I am considering the transition from Product Analyst to PM. I’m currently at a mid-size company with 5 product managers and 3 analysts. I am trying to decide if I should go for an MBA which help me to move to a bigger company (Google/Amazon) or looking for a PM position in a startup. Any advice?
An MBA would do no harm but certainly is not required to transition to the PM role. If you do decide to go for an MBA, a specialized program would help more (MBA in Finance, Supply Chain, etc.) If you have good domain knowledge and understand the business processes well, then I would say you may skip an MBA.
The route to becoming a PM in Google/Amazon would be to first become a PM in your own firm (or a similar firm) for 1 year or so and then try your luck with the FAANG firms.
Hope this helps!
This question is super complicated and dependent on a lot of variables. I had my first pm job as I was getting my MBA and I got to see the potential value first hand.
Here’s what I’ll say… MBA programs are good at creating managers… managers manage the engine to create value for companies. Managers are often times responsible for maintaining incremental growth in a way that is beneficial to the overall business. We’re seeing this change as of late as the best mba programs are focusing on injecting innovation and rapid value creation capabilities into their curriculum.
PMs, especially in the early days, are searching for opportunities to create exponential value for companies. It requires a different set of skills in the early days when building product than just managing the competitors / business stakeholders. It requires a deeper skillset in empathizing with users, building, delivering, and learning most importantly. These are things you can learn outside an mba program. Now, as you get to a more mature product / sophisticated product/ established market, you’re going to have to rely on some things that would be helpful you would have learned in an MBA. It becomes more about strategic ways to protect marketshare/ milk cash cows.
It depends on a lot but I would say, I got my MBA because I knew i wanted to build product but I knew that wasn’t where I wanted to end my career. The MBA is an expensive investment, if its just to build product, I would just recommend using that money to build something of value. If you’re looking at product as a stop to another part of your career, I would definitely recommend it.