Comparing Software Architects to Product Managers
Both software architects and product managers are concerned with increasing efficiency and production. The former, however, focuses on producing only new software, while the later focuses on creating new products.
|Job Title||Educational Requirements||Median Salary (2017)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)**|
|Software Architects||Bachelor's Degree||$121,890||24% (for all software developers)|
|Product Managers||Bachelor's Degree||$81,553||9% (for all advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)|
Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Responsibilities of Software Architects vs. Product Managers
Companies may need to update their software to make jobs easier for their employees, or they may need new ideas for a product to sell. Software architects are responsible for programming new computer software for companies. Product managers, however, design products that will meet the demand of customers. Both must fit their creations into an existing system of standards, but they should also be open to reformatting or changing their designs.
These professionals meet with company leaders to determine the goals and needs for technical systems. Their focus is on designing software and operating systems that meet the needs of the company, making the company more efficient through information technology solutions. User interfaces and databases are two examples of the software they may create. During the design process, software architects release the software in parts, ensuring each part functions both independently and with the whole.
Job responsibilities of a software architect include:
- Researching the latest developments in software and technology so they can make educated suggestions for updates
- Analyzing the cost and benefits of implementing new software
- Creating flowcharts that model the software code
- Planning for later additions and changes to the software
When a company needs to create, develop, and market new products and services, they look to product managers. These professionals expand the company's product portfolio by studying the market and finding a demand for new items. They manage the budget and employees related to the production of the new product, which may mean visiting the plants to ensure performance and safety requirements are being adhered to.
Job responsibilities of a product manager include:
- Remaining aware of competitive industries and products to make sure the new product fills a gap in the market
- Suggesting design and specifications for new products based on market knowledge
- Taking part in quality control to maintain the integrity of the product
- Outlining strategies to market and sell the product
If a career as a software architect interests you, you could also look into a position as a computer information systems manager, as both require deep knowledge of technological systems and development. On the other hand, if you think a job as a product manager is for you, you may also research a career as a marketing manager, as these require knowledge of markets and sales.