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Hot Jobs: Software Product Manager
Hot Jobs: Software Product Manager

“As a software product manager, you’re the guardian and the champion of the product,” said Kevin Saito, an instructor in the Certificate in Software Product Management program and vice president of marketing and product management at Coding Dojo. “You’re the one who’s ultimately responsible for working with various teams to get the product to market and to ensure its success.”

Common Job Titles

Software Product Manager, Technical Product Manager, Program Manager

Median Salary

$97,149 in Seattle

Source: PayScale.

Basically, you’re at the intersection of all aspects of bringing a product to life, from planning and budgeting to software development and marketing. So what does that look like in terms of day-to-day work? “Lots of meetings,” Saito joked. On any given day, you might be building business models, talking with designers and developers about product features, or meeting with marketing to talk about how the product should be positioned.

Riding the Tech Tide

The ongoing tech boom means software product managers are in demand. In Seattle, the number of job listings that include product management skills roughly doubled between 2010 and 2015, according to Burning Glass, a job market analytics company. Saito noted that he’s experienced an increase in recruiters contacting him about job opportunities, too.

“The number of tech jobs available in Seattle has significantly increased,” Saito said. “I think it’s a bit like a rising tide lifting all ships. Tech companies that hire a lot of product managers are growing, so in turn, the number of software product management jobs will increase.”

Breaking Into Product Management

There’s no one path to product management. Your skill set needs to be broad — technical aptitude, finance and business acumen, communication and marketing know-how, leadership abilities. Some people take the MBA route. Others come from software development, program management or marketing careers and supplement their skills with programs such the Certificate in Software Product Management.

When hiring for this role himself, Saito looks for a product manager who can not only go wide, but also dive deep. “I look for someone who’s very hands-on and passionate and committed to a product — and who’s obviously smart and into the details. Often, for a product manager, the devil is in the details; execution is a critical component of any product’s success.”

Advancing Your Career

Interested in starting or advancing a career in software product management? Check out our Certificate in Software Product Management or explore one of our other related offerings:

For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

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