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MBA in Product Management: Programs & Salary

An MBA in Product Management can lead to an upper-level career in the field. This article provides information and academic requirements for the program, as well as detailed information on potential careers and corresponding salaries.

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Product management is a broad and varied field that can involve everything from the design and innovation of new products to market research to new product development. A Master of Business Administration in Product Management is a highly respected qualification that can earn you consideration for the best positions in the industry. Its focus on management and strategic planning will prepare you for positions with the greatest level of responsibility.

MBA Program in Product Management

An MBA program with a product management specialization will cover a wide range of topics to prepare students for the many different careers in the area. Brand strategy, market research and planning, product development, pricing strategy, sales, and design are among the key topics covered by most MBA programs. Focus on technology and media marketing is becoming more common as the importance of social media continues to grow.

A bachelor's degree in a financial major is the most common starting point for those interested in completing a master's degree program in business administration. However, those with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines can usually also apply for entry. Courses in mathematics, business, economics, and accounting will be a benefit to your application.

Candidates will need to provide all education transcripts. In addition, letters of recommendation are usually required and always helpful, and background experience in the financial industry is certainly advantageous. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) results are often required, and high GRE scores could improve your chances of acceptance.

Product Management Careers

There are a large number of careers that fall under the umbrella of product management, including the following:

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2017)* Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Computer and Information Systems Manager $139,220 12%
Marketing Manager $132,230 10%
Sales Manager $126,880 (Manufacturing) 7% (all)
Industrial Production Manager $100,580 -1%
Logistician $74,590 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Product Management Career Descriptions

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Often referred to as information technology - or IT - managers, they are responsible for the overall computer and technological systems of the organization. They oversee every aspect of computer technology from determining targets and goals to project coordination to implementation. They are responsible for digital security, determine personnel requirements and manage the company's IT professionals. Many organizations require a graduate degree, although occasionally it can be completed while already on the job.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers focus on sales and marketing, using concepts such as global marketing, market research, analytics, and social media to maximize potential sales. They coordinate with department heads to formulate budget plans, marketing strategies and advertising campaigns. They are also tasked with formulating pricing strategies and planning promotions. Typically, a bachelor's degree is sufficient to break into the field, but an MBA will set you apart from the competition.

Sales Manager

In charge of all aspects of sales for the organization, sales managers analyze data, determine targets and develop sales plans. They also set budgets, oversee customer preferences and coordinate with marketing teams to create promotional strategies. While a bachelor's degree is often the minimum requirement, a master's degree will provide greater access to upper-level positions that offer increased responsibility and higher pay.

Industrial Production Manager

Industrial production managers are in charge of the daily operations of manufacturing facilities. They manage and coordinate the entire process involved with the creation of the product. They develop and monitor budgets, schedules and production plans, as well as analyze data and create production reports. Large plants generally require an MBA with a specialization in industrial management.

Logistician

Logisticians are responsible for coordinating the organization's entire supply system, from acquisition to allocation to delivery. They analyze client needs, establish business relationships, propose strategies, and monitor logistical processes. Positions in logistics are technically open to all levels of education. However, top positions normally go to those with a graduate degree.

Product management is a diverse and burgeoning career path. Almost every type of business provides a product of some sort, and whether that product is a physical good, a specialized service, or a technological development, a product manager is required to oversee the process from start to finish. With the wide variety of positions comes an equally broad range of education requirements, but the completion of an MBA in product management will usually be necessary to put you in contention for the top jobs in the field.

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