We’ve seen a lot of discussion around how tech will change the workforce and a lot of it sounds pretty scary. The conversations tend to focus on what tech will take away instead of what will be created. But here’s an interesting statistic: At least 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have not even been created yet. These jobs are all being created thanks to technology.
Ask your parents about when they were starting their careers. Did career paths such as Product Manager, User Experience (UX) Designer, or Product Marketer exist? Most likely not. That’s because these positions are part of the wave created by tech!
As you can see here, a little over half of jobs in tech are in technology. People love to assume that you need to be some kind of coding prodigy to make it in tech but nothing is further from the truth. These companies are finding more and more opportunities for a large range of skill sets thanks to how fast the world is progressing.
Technology has taken away many of the day to day tasks that businesses face, allowing companies to expand like never before. With this expansion comes so many opportunities for someone willing to put in the work and try new things. Even the jobs that have been here forever, such as doctor or teacher, are being revolutionized, such as tele-health or the move to online education during quarantine. At PathMatch, we believe that technology-focused careers will grow exponentially in demand as more and more companies look to digitally transform their businesses. That means it's more important now than ever before, for students to discover these tech-enabled paths to be relevant in the workforce once they graduate. And we’re here to support you.
Many students find it hard to picture themselves in the workforce and out of the classroom. That’s because colleges aren’t prioritizing career discovery and showing students what’s out there for their graduates. This isn’t the school's fault entirely. The world is changing at a rapid pace and many jobs require skills that utilize technologies just recently developed. Thanks to this, almost none of the faculty would have ever been exposed to the tech being used in today's workplace. In addition, colleges tend to overstate the real world value of what is taught which leads many students to not go beyond the classroom when preparing themselves for the job search.
The only way to truly understand what skills are needed is to learn about what jobs are out there. So what are some of these opportunities like?
Product Managers help organizations decide what products to build and help teams deliver those products. Product Management refers to the setting of the product vision and strategy, planning of what teams will deliver and the timeline for when, owning the creative process of generating, developing and curating new ideas, and prioritizing features against strategic goals and initiatives. Basically, they manage the lifecycle of a product. Okay, now that you know what a Product Manager does, let’s break down the qualities that make a great Product Manager.
The best Product Managers have a high emotional intelligence. This is because you’re managing the needs of many different groups. From the customer to the engineers, you need to think about all of it. You’re also going to be working with executives, so your ability to manage relationships is key to finding success in this field. This emotional intelligence expands to your self-awareness. You can’t let your own partiality hurt the product. This means listening to the needs of your customer when adding features to a product instead of working on what you would prefer.
User Experience (UX) Designer
A User Experience (UX) Designer is focused on the interaction between a customer and a product (usually a website, app, or software). This means that you are going to be at the intersection of many fields, from Psychology to Market Research, and of course, Design, so this role is best for those interested in an intersectional mix of these fields. The job of a UX Designer is to humanize tech, which means figuring out how to design products so that they are easy and effective for the consumer. But what makes a UX Designer great? Let’s talk through some of the particular UX Design skills needed to excel at the job.
UX Designers need analytical skills since a lot of the job involves working with raw, analytical data. This data is used to understand the behaviors of a product user, to identify problem areas, and to find shortcuts to implement. UX Designers also need strong communication skills since they have accurately and effectively convey the customers' needs to developers. On the technical side, aside from design strategy and skills, UX Designers should also have some programming knowledge. You don’t need to be a coding genius, but the ability to understand the lingo and alter some designs will give you a huge advantage.
Thousands of new products are released every day, but what actually goes into bringing them to market? And who's behind it? Product Marketing Managers are at the forefront of collaborating with creative teams and engineers to help bring a product from concept to commercialization. They’re involved in things like pricing, strategy, market analysis, branding and messaging. That may sound like a super intimidating description, but don’t worry we’ll break down the skills you'll need to become a Product Marketing professional.
One of the biggest skills you need is the ability to write and communicate effectively. Because you need to convey the benefits of the product to your customers, one of the biggest skills you need is the ability to write, communicate, and present effectively. Product Marketing Managers have to explain their marketing strategies to many different groups in the company, from the high ups to other people within your team, so it’s important to be able to use language that others understand. Another important soft skill you'll need to excel in Product Marketing is the ability to thrive in ambiguity because your day to day responsibilities are never going to be set in stone. You’re going to be navigating an unstructured environment on your own since you’ll be working with many different teams.
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