Top MBA Programs for Product Management
An overview of the best business schools for getting into a career in product management, complete with average salaries and sample courses.
September 7, 2022
Product management is an industry focused on creating products and brands, and making sure that they succeed in the market. While the process varies depending on the kind of product, generally it starts with ideation, in which companies gather ideas for a product and evaluate its caliber in comparison to the competition. PMs also look at the demand for the product, the customer targets, and its revenue potential.
Product management is becoming a more prominent role in companies because it lies at the intersection of technology and operations. PMs are responsible for outlining the product roadmap and working with the other teams to stay on that path. Many PMs have experience in computer science, computer engineering, or another technical field; although, that is not necessarily required. Interested in product management? Here is a good introduction: What is Product Management?
Those with MBAs are a top choice for recruiters of PM jobs. Many core and elective courses in business school prepare students for roles that work a lot with a product. Some MBA programs offer a specialization in PM or relevant elective courses.
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Best MBA Programs for Product Management
1. Sloan School of Management — Massachusetts Institute of Technology
% Graduates in Product Management/Development: 13.2%
Average Base Salary: $142,939
As one of the most prestigious MBA programs for technology-minded individuals, Sloan has several opportunities in product management. They offer three tracks, one of which is the Enterprise Management Track where students learn a holistic approach to solving modern business problems. As outlined on Sloan’s website, this is the best track for those hoping to enter a career in PM.
In addition to this track, Sloan offers a Digital Product Management Certificate. MBA candidates interested in PM can get this certificate by taking the required number of PM core and elective credits and participating in a real-life, hands-on product management project. 17% of the students that complete this certification go on to take jobs in PM, making it the second-largest job category for Sloan MBA graduates. Lastly, Sloan also has a Product Management Club, one of the largest clubs in the business school with over 700 active members. This club sponsors events, connects students with peers and alumni, and hosts guest speakers.
- Digital Product Management and Digital Product Management Lab
- Entrepreneurial Strategy
- Product Design and Development
- Platform Strategy and Entrepreneurship
- The Analytics Edge
Learn more about the program at MIT Sloan—MBA Program and Application Overview.
2. Graduate School of Business — Stanford University
% Graduates in Product Management: 12%
% Graduates in Technology: 28%
Average Base Salary for Products: $169,435
Like Sloan, GSB is known for being a world leader in technology due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, the high caliber of professors, and its history of excellence. The curriculum is intended to be well-rounded and optimized for flexibility. The first year of the MBA program provides a foundation in general management knowledge while the second year can be spent specializing skills through electives, seminars, a joint degree, and courses in other Stanford schools. There are no MBA “tracks,” but the wide variety of electives offered allows students to choose their own paths.
- Strategies of Effective Product Management
- Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation
- Product/Market Fit
- Assessing High-Impact Business Models in Emerging Markets
- Strategic Thinking in Action — In Business and Beyond
Read more information on the program at Stanford GSB—MBA Program and Application Overview.
3. Haas School of Business — University of California Berkeley
% Graduates in Technology: 34.1%
Average Base Salary: $141,350
Haas is one of the MBA programs that funnels the most students into careers in technology upon graduation. It offers a concentration in Technology for candidates that want a broader range of skills in data analysis, product management, business development, and strategy. Haas is also known for its curriculum’s heavy emphasis on experiential learning. For this reason, future product managers will be able to take advantage of learning about PM inside the classroom and outside of it.
- Product Management
- Team Facilitation for Product Managers
- The Lean Launch Pad
- Built for Growth
More details can be found at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business—MBA Program & Application Overview.
4. Stern School of Business — New York University
% Graduates in Product Management (Tech MBA): 26.5%
% Graduates in Product Management (Two-Year MBA): 5.7%
Average Base Salary (Tech MBA): $138,173
Average Base Salary for PM (Two-Year MBA): $133,679
The best MBA program for entering a career in product management is the Tech MBA offered by NYU Stern. Candidates will learn the fundamentals of business and expand their knowledge of technology through four areas of the curriculum: the business core, the technology core, Stern Solutions, and elective courses. In addition to the tech MBA, the school also has a Tech Product Management specialization available which uniquely prepares students for careers in product management.
- Digital Disruption: Creating and Capturing Value
- Emerging Technologies
- High Tech Entrepreneurship
- Predicting the Future of Technology
- Design Thinking for Managers
5. Kellogg School of Management — Northwestern University
% Graduates in Product Management: 7.9%
Average Base Salary: $138,874
Because of the increasing popularity of careers in technology post-MBA, Kellogg now offers a Technology Management Pathway to prepare students for roles in product management, operations, strategy, and product marketing management. Candidates in this pathway will take courses in three sections: foundational, competitive advantage, and exploratory. In addition to the pathway, it also has a Management Science Major that qualifies as a STEM-designated field of study. This major prepares students to manage and direct analyses in order to optimize performance and revenue.
- Product Management for Technology Companies: An Entrepreneurial Perspective
- Technology Marketing
- Launching New Products and Services
- Customer Analytics and AI
- Introduction to Software Development (foundational course for PM at Apple, Amazon, Meta, Google, Microsoft, etc…
Bonus: Tepper School of Business — Carnegie Mellon University
% Graduates in Technology: 28%
Average Base Salary of the Class of 2021: $134,847
Tepper is a program well-known for funneling students into product management. It offers a track in Technology Strategy and Product Management for its MBA candidates that is designed to build a deep understanding of strategic and management skills in conjunction with the development and management of technologies. Graduates of this track are uniquely positioned to solve the issues that lie at the intersection of business and technology.
For individuals who are laser-focused on a career in PM, CMU also has a Master of Science in Product Management. This program is only one year long and is offered by both the Tepper School of Business and the top-ranked CMU School of Computer Science. Many of the students come from technical backgrounds but others have come from marketing, finance, and other business-related areas.
- Finance for Product Managers
- Data Science for PMs: Making Products Count
- New Product Management
- Product Design Thinking and Practice
- Managing Intellectual Capital and Knowledge-Intensive Industries
Where Can I Start?
We hope you found this list helpful as you navigate through the MBA admissions process or your product management application. Here are some other resources to get you started:
- Tips from an Expert: How to Prepare for Your Product Management Interview
- An Expert’s Guide to Resumes: Five Tips to Make You Stand Out
- 20+ Free Product Management Resources
If you prefer one-on-one help for personalized MBA admissions or PM application help, browse our world-class coaches here. They have years of experience in their respective fields and have gone to the top business schools and companies. Here are a few of our experts in product management:
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