MBA News: Is “Product Manager” the Latest Trendy Job Title?

Just like the corporate world, business schools see their fair share of trends. The latest, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), is product management. The field’s appeal is attributable to its high salaries—the national average is more than $111K—and the diversity of possible employers. However, its entrepreneurial side is a notable source of interest. Product management “[marries business strategy with] the thrill of building a thing,” Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Tom Eisenmann commented to the WSJ. HBS is among the many top-ranked business schools that are targeting interested students by offering programs and courses in the subject.

A “Product Management 101” course taught by Professor Eisenmann, he says, is typically overbooked by two to three times the number of allotted slots. Yet some employers are wary of the trend: “I’m not really sold on the idea that you could hire an MBA product manager [who lacks a technical background],” said the CEO of a tech start-up, while a senior product manager at Google implied that the reality of the job is quite different from the idea circulating campuses. “[The job is] more like being the glorified admin,” he told the WSJ.

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