In the past decade, more MBA students have moved away from traditional MBA concentrations such as accounting and finance, and into areas such as product management. Product management is a fairly new field and is constantly evolving. Simply put, a product manager is the CEO of a company’s product. The task of the product manager is to help the company and team get the product designed properly and to get it to the right users.
Product managers can grow their skills in business management, communicating with customers, digging into business analytics and more by earning an MBA in product management and related specialities. While most MBA programs do not currently offer a product management MBA, it is possible to get a good MBA curriculum, activities, internships and network in business school to pursue a product management career. Check out some of the best MBA options for professionals who want an MBA to become product managers.
#1 Pepperdine University
Pepperdine University and the Graziadio School of Business and Management offers an online MBA that enjoys a strong reputation nationally and internationally as one of the top programs in the world. It has one of the biggest and most interactive alumni networks in the US and has been praised as a top business school by The Wall Street Journal and Businessweek as well as US News and World Report.
This is a 52 unit program that is completed over six, 14 week trimesters. It covers topics that are important to budding product managers, such as marketing, product and brand development, financial management, human behavior, economics, accounting, strategic management and quantitative analysis. Concentrations available are finance, leadership and managing organizational change, marketing and general management. Most students who want to be product or brand managers focus on marketing.
One of the defining aspects of the Pepperdine online MBA is the Personal and Leadership Development Workshop that you attend at the start of the program. It is designed to allow you and your fellow students to establish the base of your learning community by growing a shared understanding of your business learning objectives.
Together, you explore interpersonal communication, personal ethics, team development and values. All of this will help you to work better together throughout the two year program. It also provides a complete overview of the MBA curriculum.
#2 University of Southern California
The University of Southern California and the Marshall School of Business offer a top rated online MBA that has been built to help its student to succeed in the modern business landscape. It provides a curriculum that is based upon the necessary skills that are needed in modern leaders:
- How to think like an entrepreneur and increase company growth
- How to develop new brands and products that stand out from intense competitors
- Interpreting and acting on metrics and digital analytics
- Use different channels of social media to develop brands and products
- How to effectively manage remote team members
Every course in this two year, AACSB-accredited online MBA program has been built from the ground up by USC professors for the online learning platform. The program features mostly self paced courses, but there are real time, live class sessions once per week where you will interact with professors and your fellow students.
Your coursework will focus on accounting, marketing, brand management, entrepreneurship, supply chain management and finance. Each topic is taught by a faculty expert in that field, so you will be able to work closely with top instructors closely as they go through the material in which they are experts.
Required courses are:
- Role of the Manager
- Fundamentals of Business
- Opportunity Recognition and Implementation
- Managing Inside the Firm
- Business Environment and Leadership
- Managing Outside the Firm
#3 University of Florida
The University of Florida and the Hough Graduate School of Business offers a flexible online MBA that is currently is ranked the #4 online MBA in the US according to Financial Times. It also is in the top 20 of full and part time MBA programs according to US News and World Report. As of 2018, it was ranked #6 in online MBAs by that publication.
Online MBA students at the University of Florida come from all over the world and from many organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, non profit organizations and much more. To ensure the best quality for each MBA student online, class size is limited to 65.
This online MBA is 24 months in length full time and does not require any campus visits. Every course take only five weeks to finish and includes the same academic breaks as the on campus program. Course materials are developed and taught by the same highly rated University of Florida professors of business.
You also can choose a 16 month hybrid option for professionals who have an undergraduate degree in business and have graduated within the last seven years. There also is a 27 month hybrid MBA option for any undergraduate major.
Available concentrations are in finance, real estate, human capital, marketing, strategy and supply chain. Professionals who want to work as product managers usually select the marketing concentration. Past students have gotten jobs in marketing, brand management, product management, PR, sales and market research. Required courses are:
- International Marketing
- Art and Science of Pricing
- Building and Managing Brand Equity
- Customer Analysis
- Web Based Marketing
- Product Development and Management
- Customer Relationship Management
#4 Auburn University
Auburn University and the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business offers one of the best online MBAs in the country, according to US News and World Report, and is currently ranked #11. It also recently moved up to #13 in the US on The Princeton Review’s list of best online MBA programs.
The AACSB-accredited MBA program can be completed in two years and consists of 13 classes. Nine of them are core business courses and four are electives. Students can complete the program at their own pace if within six years. Most students take two courses every fall, spring and summer semester. This allows them to complete the degree in 2.5 years.
Required courses are in:
- Financial Analysis
- Quantitative Analysis
- Strategic Analysis
- Information Systems
- Marketing and Consumer Theory
- Operations Excellence
- Cost Analysis and Systems
- Integrated Business Project
- Organizational Leadership
All MBA students both online and on campus have access to all of the services of the Office of Professional and Career Development and will work with the Graduate Career Services center for career coaching and career options after graduation.
#5 New York University Stern
New York University and the Stern School of Business offer a two year, full or part time on campus MBA specifically in product management. The courses in this fully accredited product management MBA include branding and defending brands, collecting and analyzing market research material, and developing and introducing new types of products. Professionals who major in product management at NYU Stern usually enjoy dynamic careers in product management, brand management, consulting and marketing management.
Required courses in this product management MBA include:
- Brand Strategy
- Data Driven Decision Making
- Research for Customer Insights
- Consultative Selling
- Marketing Hi Tech Products
- New Product Development
- Pricing Strategy
- Innovation and Design
- Top 25 Online MBA Programs. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings?rankings=top-25-online-mba-programs