AI has surrounded us with its presence on different devices, businesses, and jobs.  Besides, AI’s contribution to the global economy is estimated to be $15.7 tr by 2030. With the potential to boost GDP for local economies by 26%, a wise person will view the data with respect to AI usage, jobs, and products. 

If you are willing to seek a management career in the product aspect of AI, many job opportunities are available on Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other websites. Because of the growing opportunities and increasing interest in the topic, here is a complete guide to becoming an AI product manager.

What Is AI Product Management?

Product management is a well-defined role in an organization’s product development department. The hired professionals focus on ideation to execution of the product while adhering to the product management principles.

AI product management is an advanced role with newer opportunities. In executive product development, it encompasses using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and/or deep learning. While not completely dwelling on the technical aspect, AI product management is responsible for understanding the capabilities and implications for product development.

In the dynamic landscape of AI product management, obtaining a product manager certification can be a strategic asset. Such certifications offer a structured framework to navigate the complexities inherent in overseeing AI-driven products. Through specialized coursework and practical training, aspiring AI product managers gain invaluable insights into the intersection of technology, user experience, and business strategy. These certifications not only validate proficiency but also equip professionals with the requisite skills to lead cross-functional teams effectively.

What Does an AI Product Manager Do?

The AI product manager is a tech professional well-versed in all the concepts of AI and products. They work with cross-functional teams in the organization to offer a solution to customers that adheres to the organization's objectives and goals. Their job responsibilities include: 

  • Understand the market trends, customer needs, and business goals and accordingly provide the strategy and ideas concerning the company’s objectives 
  • Connects with the group of stakeholders 
  • Ensure proper understanding of the client’s needs and convey the same with technicalities to the other required teams and team members.
  • Establish metrics to measure the progress with KPI
  • Make data-driven decisions and monitor the performance and impact of AI-based products in the market 
  • Leverage AI to analyze and predict the equipment or product maintenance time to ensure cost-effectiveness 
  • Ensure adherence of products to ethical guidelines in terms of transparency, fairness, and privacy concerns 
  • Remain updated with AI advancements and associated developments to offer relevant solutions for organizations and customers 

How to Become an AI Product Manager?

Becoming an AI product manager requires the will to pursue the path of knowledge, skills, and experience. While individuals can also switch paths at any time in their career, strengthening the base is a non-negotiable requirement. Hence, here is what to follow: 

Pursue Formal Education in Foundational Areas

Pursuing formal education includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree in information technology, business administration, computer science, or other areas. This helps build a foundation and become well-versed in the basic concepts. It also familiarizes the individual with technical skills relevant to the field. A degree in Business Administration helps one dwell into the intricacies of business and industry, imparting knowledge on product aspects in the ‘AI product manager’ job.

Understand Artificial Intelligence

While the foundational courses will offer conceptual clarity in related aspects, including AI, the deeper knowledge must be gained separately. It will be relevant when considering the product's functionality, resolving customer problems, enhancing their experience, and suggesting relevant changes specific to the product.

Understand Product Development Processes

Product development includes managing the business, technology, and users. The ability to tackle challenges in the stated three domains is not in-built. Rather, it is learned with knowledge and experience in product development processes. The learning here expands to understanding profitability, managing budgets and resources, handling different teams, providing the team with a product roadmap, and conducting customer experience and market research. 

Develop Proficiency with AI Tools

Developing AI products requires a thorough understanding of AI and Machine Learning concepts. Hence, the professionals must be good at data analysis and user experience. They must be familiar with Machine Learning algorithms, Deep Learning frameworks, NLP tools, computer vision libraries, data visualization tools, cloud platforms, model evaluation and development tools, and version control systems. 

Build a Network and Seek Mentorship

By knowing the basics, you now need industrial exposure. While it comes with experience, mentorship helps you get the right type of experience specific to you. It helps to provide insights into the field and mentorship to choose the domain of your interest and suitability. Get in touch with the AI product manager position holders and understand their organizations, associated challenges, responsibilities, and other questions particular to your field of interest that you may have. 

Gain Hands-On Experience

Now, get the experience. By now, you must have chosen the field to pursue your career or relevant project. Familiarizing yourself with associated tools, frameworks, and technologies is recommended. Work on projects to build and enhance the right skills for your resume specific to your field of interest. For this, you can join internships, or entry-level jobs, work under a startup, or, if you have an idea, go forward to learn with experience and launch your own AI product.

Seek Certifications and Continuous Learning

Certifications help you stand out from the crowd, indicate your will to learn and remain updated, and contribute to your resume. They also help you stay updated with progress and enhance your job chances. Certain certifications also require continuous learning to keep them active, indicating the candidates' active learning and marking their updates with current trends, innovations, and advancements.  

Enhance Soft Skills and Communication

The right soft skills will help you progress way more. Use the negotiation and discussion skills to get your answers. Further, in communication and soft skills, build the following skills: leadership, project management, strategic thinking, analytical skills, technical acumen, and ethics. 

Stay Updated with AI Trends and Ethical Considerations

The advancements in AI are swift. Unethical usage is also common. As an AI product manager, the role requires remaining up-to-date with AI trends and market scenarios. It helps to have a sense of accountability, transparency, fairness, moral awareness, and privacy. Keeping up with trends also includes being updated with laws and regulations. To be updated with AI trends and ethical considerations, following industry publications, conferences, webinars, workshops, online forums, and communities is recommended. 

Build a Strong AI-centric Portfolio

Portfolio marks indicate the candidate’s skills, experiences, and knowledge. They help identify the candidate’s interest and familiarity with the specific domain. Additionally, while indicating an AI-centric portfolio, explain the details, small and large wins and failures, your overcomes, challenges, and intricacies that exhibit your skill building and knowledge. 

Use the Right Platform to Apply for AI PM Jobs

While searching for AI Product Manager jobs, navigating through types of platforms is recommended. With types, we indicate both generalized job portals and AI-specific job portals. The common examples of job portals are Naukri, Indeed, and Linkedin, while AI-specific job portals are AI Job Board or 

AI PM Skills Required

The skills required to become an AI Product Manager are: 

Technical Skills

  • Ability to get along with technical jargon during communication with technical teams and stakeholders 
  • Understanding feed inputs in learning models 
  • Knowledge of management processes such as Agile
  • Manage AI product roadmaps 
  • Effective gathering of feedback 

Non-Technical Skills 

  • Collaboration with cross-functional teams 
  • Working in a team 
  • Strategic thinking skills 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Curiosity for technicalities 
  • Analytical skills 
  • Decision-making skills
  • Ethical judgment 

How to Become an AI Product Manager With No Experience?

As mentioned, people transition their careers into AI product managers. Bringing on experience in different fields and following the above-stated path is recommended. However, it is a long process and requires time. 

While studying is the only option to gain knowledge and understand concepts, management experience can be gained through working in a specific role in any field. Further, soft skills can also be learned through experience. Now, further, gain the certifications required for a job as an AI Product Manager and then apply for the role even without experience. 

Average Salary of an AI Product Manager

The salary of an AI product manager ranges from approximately INR 23 lakhs to 31 lakhs per year. Hence, the average salary of an AI product manager in India is about INR 27 lakhs per year. 

Career Potential as AI Product Manager 

AI-based products are taking over. Offering time and cost efficiency, eliminating the requirement to do redundant work, and providing better and more in-depth insights into routine work, AI products are widely accepted and looked forward to. In such a scenario, it is obvious that growth in demand for AI product managers is expected. 

The products will also be integrated across different industries, paving the path for interdisciplinary collaboration. Further, employees and professionals from different fields are most likely to benefit, as they can combine experience from different core fields. The professionals will also be more likely to be well-versed in ethical considerations and regulatory compliance in their specific field. 

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1. Is an AI product manager a good career?

With the expansion in AI usage and the growing market of AI-based products, the job role of an AI product manager offers a good career option. 

2. Do I need a technical background to become an AI Product Manager?

A technical background contributes greatly to handling responsibilities. Hence, it is recommended that one gain one to ensure the best output at work. 

3. Can I become an AI Product Manager without a degree?

Working as an AI product manager does not require attending college or university. The responsibilities can be effortlessly and efficiently carried out once the candidate has the right set of hard and soft skills and experience in the field. Hence, you can focus on gaining the skills. 

4. What kind of companies hire AI Product Managers?

Companies hiring AI product managers are Uber, Amazon, Microsoft, Airbnb, Adobe and many more. 

5. How important is understanding data for an AI Product Manager?

The responsibilities require studying the market, customer problems, offering strategy, and much more. The base of all these functions is handling the data effectively. 

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