The Value Of An MBA In Product Management

At the center of product development is the role of the product manager (PM). It is a role that involves consumer research, product concept development and the development and deployment of the final product.

Every company that develops and markets products or services needs a product manager to guide the product development process. This means that product management is a career path with plenty of employment opportunities.

There are several ways you can attain an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) that will enhance your career in product management. Other than conventional learning, more and more people are opting to pursue their MBA online.

The skills that make a good PM The job requires a broad set of skills that must be well developed. Amongst theses are consumer research, communication and basic marketing skills. These skills will help you define the product, communicate what the product is about and position the product.

Besides just being focused on a new product, PMs often also take care of existing products. This is often referred to as product life-cycle management and it involves opening up new sales channels and minor product refreshes.

Without a doubt, people in this role need to be able to cover many business aspects. Though they can be learned on the job, pursing an MBA education gives you a consistent background that is not just tailored to your current working environment.

What an MBA is An MBA education is a collection of courses on a variety of business topics from finance to marketing. It is thus specifically tailored to the corporate environment and it’s challenges. Because of this, MBA graduates often have a competitive edge in the job market.

If you have an affinity for business but don’t have a business degree, an MBA degree will give you quick and credible primer to move into more business oriented roles, like product management. To further enhance your chances, choose a reputable MBA program.

Requirements to enter an MBA program The requirements for entry differ per program. Usually, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or you must prove you have attained a similar level of knowledge through experience. In many programs you need at least a few years of work experience.

Business schools want MBA students to have work experience so they can apply their experiences on the case studies. This helps students learn modern methods of solving problems in a business environment.

Many companies understand the value of an MBA degree and prefer candidates that hold the degree for business related roles, like product management.

MBA programs with product management specializations While a more generic MBA program will provide ample value to a PM, there are some specialized MBA programs out there. These specialized programs tend to focus a lot on brand management and marketing.

Market research, consumer behavior and product positioning are all important topics for PMs and are usually covered in marketing courses. Brand management is useful because it deals with the identity of the company and that identity supports and needs to be supported by the product shipping under it’s brand.

There are several highly respected schools globally, so you can choose to study nearby or make it an international adventure.

Ways to do the MBA

Full-time Full-time programs are great, because you get to focus purely on studying and you get to know your fellow students very well. Though this is the quickest way of doing an MBA, it also requires a significant financial commitment. During the approximately 2 years of a full-time program, you’ll have to be able to pay for the tuition costs and costs of study materials, while have little to no income.

Part-time People who are not willing to let go of their jobs may opt for part time classes. These may be evening classes, weekend and holidays. While it is convenient in terms of finances, it will take a considerable longer period of time to accomplish and makes it very hard to take a break for multiple years. You will be spending a lot of your free time on the MBA, so make sure that your family is ok with that. Studies typically take 4 years.

Online You can now also pursue an MBA degree online through respected business schools. Programs vary, but are typically more similar to part-time programs. These programs might be especially good for those who live far away from the business school where they want to study.

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