There is no “one” path to becoming a product manager. That’s because no two product managers are alike. Companies are different, teams are different, tech stacks are different and products are different. So the path to becoming a product manager is different, and yet there are similarities that you can learn to become one. These include project management and coordinating teams, communications and understanding users and markets.
In this post we’ll outline:
Product management is one of the more coveted tech adjacent jobs out there. LinkedIn, rated the role of product manager as one of 2020’s most promising jobs, with a 29% growth rate year over year. In today’s changing environment, it’s definitely a good skill to have.
But how can you dive into it quickly and master what you need to know in time for the big job interview or promotion? That’s what we’ll be covering in this post! We’ll touch on a few key topics:
If you want to learn product management quickly, there are a few things you’ll need to know to be able to step into a product managers roles. These are the overall topics that are a ‘must have’. The rest will depend on the specific company you’re going to be working at and the kind of product you’ll be managing. The three main areas you’ll need to cover are: understanding users and market, working with your organization and product strategy.
Product management starts with understanding your users, the problem you’re solving and the market you’re in. The curriculum to cover here is:
Market research can further be broken down into analyzing competition, sales analysis and total addressable market. Understanding these steps are at the core of product management, as they deal with your product, or more accurately, the users of your product.
The second core aspect you’ll need to know is how to work with your team and across your organization. Product managers coordinate across teams and stake holders in a company. The core parts of the syllabus to cover here are:
As you can see, working with different organizations is critical to product management success.
The last, but definitely not least topic a good product manager must know is product strategy. Here you’ll need to cover:
These topics are critical to be able to understand how your product and company are positioned in the broader market and where you can play strategically.
Now that you know what you have to know, let’s talk about how you can learn, and then we’ll cover the best way to learn product management quickly so that you can dive right in.
The three main ways to learn product management are:
Online courses are the easiest way to gain access to the best teachers. There’s also a broad array of options: whether you’re doing an in depth, intense cohort based course, like Reforge or ‘14 Day PM‘ a lower touch Udemy course on product management – the options are endless.
While online courses are great, they do have one large problem: time. If you’re a busy person who needs to learn things quickly but doesn’t have the time to dedicate hours a day to a video course, you’ll probably find yourself skipping critical work, which hurts learning. It’s also plain old hard to find the time to sit in front of a laptop for a few hours and watch content. More on how to solve this below.
In person courses are fantastic and have the benefit of adding a cohort of peers who are struggling with you together. This is immensely valuable. The main downside of in person courses is that they’re a huge time suck, very inaccessible for busy, working people and have a wide variance of quality that once you’ve committed to, it’s hard to change.
Unlike the previous two options, when studying on your own you have a large benefit of setting your own timetable and choosing what material you want to study. The large downside is that you have to curate your material in a see of available content. Even knowing where to start is difficult.
So if you need to learn product management quickly, what’s your best bet?
Why audio courses? Well, audio has many benefits, especially when it comes to learning things quickly.
“Well, for one, audio courses are accessible any time, from anyplace. You listen to songs in your car or while you cook, maybe even in the shower, right? Swap the music with these audio-only courses, and you can learn even when you are occupied with other activities. You don’t need to wait for a perfect learning time anymore. If you don’t believe it, you can read about it in depth here: “Making education accessible with audio”.”Learning with audio only courses: https://www.alpeaudio.com/post/learning-with-audio-only-courses/
Audio fits into our day. It’s the best format for busy lifelong learners. Audio courses fit into your lifestyle, in your free time. Waiting for the bus? No worries, you can listen to a lesson. Washing dishes or commuting to work? No problem – review the product management methodology while you’re hands are busy doing something else.
When properly crafted, audio courses provide an in depth learning experience that’s convenient, in depth and fun. If you’re worried about being a visual learner or not remembering what you hear because you’re multitasking, those are valid concerns, which is why podcasts aren’t the best format for in depth learning (although we do love them), but audio courses solve a lot of these problems by being built for auditory learning. If you’re interested in how those issues are solved, you can read about them here:
So how can you learn product management quickly? Just in time for that job interview or internal promotion? The answer is with audio courses. Imagine a course as fun as a podcast but as educational as a degree and there’s your answer. This includes the best of the worlds of online learning with the convenience of a format you can learn wherever, whenever.
To try it out and start learning, you can explore Alpe’s product management audio course, or 14 Day PM, a cohort based course built around it. In both you’ll learn the core curriculum any product manager needs to know. All in a convenient format.