The demand for professionals skilled in product management has grown rapidly in recent years. Companies have realized that the creation of a successful product is an investment that requires skillful leadership and management. Having a PhD in Product Management gives you an advantage when pursuing desirable, high-paying product management jobs.
A product management PhD can lead to a career as an industry expert. It can also open the door to higher salaries. This guide offers a look at the best PhDs in Product Management as well as what you can expect for a PhD in Product Management salary.
The best doctorates in product management will help students earn an excellent salary following graduation and become great product managers in their chosen fields or enter the world of academia as skilled teachers and researchers.
What Is a PhD in Product Management?
A PhD in Product Management is a postgraduate degree that prepares students to become experts at managing products, usually in retail environments. Students will be required to complete advanced courses in product management before graduating as well as conduct original research in the field and produce and defend a thesis.
How to Get Into a Product Management PhD Program: Admission Requirements
The main requirement to get into a product management PhD program is a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution. You would need to prove completion of the degree program and provide transcripts from each institution you previously attended. You will also likely have to present letters of recommendation.
In addition, the majority of PhD in Product Management programs require prospective students to take a standardized test such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Some graduate schools require students to have work experience so you must provide a resume. International students will also have to submit English proficiency test scores.
PhD in Product Management Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited university or college
- Transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended
- GMAT/GRE scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Resume detailing educational and professional experience
- English proficiency exam scores
Product Management PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Product Management?
It is hard to get into a PhD program in product management, especially the ones at prestigious universities. Many well-known and accredited schools have rigid admissions for PhD applicants and are highly selective. Excelling in your undergraduate or master’s degree may give you a better chance of gaining acceptance.
How to Get Into the Best Universities
Best PhDs in Product Management: In Brief
|Arizona State University
|PhD in Business Administration with a Concentration in Management
|Carnegie Mellon University
|PhD in Operations Management
|PhD in Management
|PhD in Operations Management
|Georgia Institute of Technology
|PhD in Operations Management
|PhD in Technology and Operations Management
|New York University
|PhD in Operations Management
|PhD in Operations Management
|University of South Carolina
|PhD in Production/Operations Management
|The University of Texas at Austin
|PhD in Information, Risk, and Operations Management
Best Universities for Product Management PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Product Management
The best universities for product management PhDs have been accredited by a recognized accrediting body. Since PhD programs rely heavily on research and teaching work, the best universities in product management also focus on research. Below are 10 of the top universities to consider if you want to pursue a PhD in Product Management.
Can You Get a PhD in Product Management Online?
Yes, you can get a PhD in Product Management online. Various schools offer this doctoral degree online, such as Capitol Technology University, Indiana State University, Walden University, Sullivan University, and Bellevue University.
Best Online PhD Programs in Product Management
|PhD in Business Administration
|Capitol Technology University
|PhD in Product Management
|Indiana State University
|PhD in Technology Management
|PhD in Management
|PhD in Management
How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Product Management?
In general, it takes four to five years to complete a PhD in Product Management. However, this can vary based on the program you choose and whether it is a full-time or part-time program. Your specific school and program may also have requirements regarding how long it takes to complete your degree.
Most people who complete a PhD in Product Management program choose to do so through full-time study over four years, but it is possible to do it part-time over six years. This includes time spent completing coursework, conducting research, writing papers, and preparing for your qualifying exam and dissertation defense.
Is a PhD in Product Management Hard?
Yes, a PhD in Product Management is hard. The requirements for admission to the program are numerous and include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and standardized test scores. Schools offering PhD programs in product management are very selective and only accept a handful of students.
The program itself requires rigorous training and a significant commitment from students. Students will have to complete unique research on a topic related to their field of study, which requires a lot of focus and time because conducting experiments and analyzing data sets is required.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Product Management?
It costs an average of $19,314 per year in tuition and fees to get a PhD in Product Management, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, this number will depend on the grad school you attend. A PhD in Product Management offered by public schools typically costs $12,171 per year, while private institutions’ annual tuition and fees average $25,929.
How to Pay for a PhD in Product Management: PhD Funding Options
The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Product Management include teaching and research assistantships, tuition scholarships, fellowship programs, or loans. Many universities offer full tuition and fees funding for part or all of the PhD program, and sometimes even cover students’ housing costs.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
What Is the Difference Between a Product Management Master’s Degree and PhD?
The difference between a product management master’s degree and a PhD is the education offered and the career options available for students after graduation. Graduates of both programs will have the opportunity for a successful career in product management in the corporate world, with additional opportunities in academia for PhD holders.
A Master’s Degree in Product Management is intended for those seeking a career outside of academia. Graduates can become product managers and will have a considerable advantage in the job market.
A PhD in Product Management does not necessarily prepare students for a product manager role. It focuses on the experimental methods for the product development process, managing innovative products, and other strategic operations. The program will prepare you for a research or teaching career through independent study.
Master’s vs PhD in Product Management Job Outlook
Master’s Degrees and PhDs in Product Management will help you gain a competitive edge in the job market. Those with a master’s degree can find jobs as product managers, economists, and instructional coordinators in different industries.
Those with a PhD in Product Management can land top executive roles, such as business managers, in which they will develop strategies and oversee budgets. However, most PhD graduates in product management have positions in the academic world as professors. You can also become a researcher for various industries and organizations.
Difference in Salary for Product Management Master’s vs PhD
A doctorate holder in product management can expect to earn about $121,000 annually, according to PayScale. Jobs for these graduates include chief executive officer, vice president of operations, and director of a department or team. Meanwhile, students who graduate with a product development master’s degree earn an average of $94,000 a year and work in positions such as senior manager or program manager.
Related Product Management Degrees
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Why You Should Get a PhD in Product Management
You should get a PhD in Product Management because you will gain a competitive edge to become a leader in the field of product management. This advanced degree will help your career, especially if you want to switch from the corporate world to the academic world. Below are five reasons why you should get a PhD in Product Management.
Reasons for Getting a PhD in Product Management
- Develop your critical thinking capabilities. The vast amount of research involved in earning a PhD in Product Management will help you think independently and intensively. A PhD encourages active learning so that you can apply new and exciting methods and solutions for organizations.
- Hone your skills and expertise. A PhD in Product Management will teach you new skills and strategies for managing and developing products. This includes new and advanced statistical methods for analyzing relevant factors such as consumer behavior in order to build strong market strategies.
- Become a scholar-practitioner. A PhD will help give you the authority and confidence to become a leader in your field. This may happen through writing a doctoral dissertation and other research-based articles and getting them published in academic journals and being invited to present at academic conferences.
- Access higher salaries. Becoming more skilled and knowledgeable in your field will bring you more opportunities for a higher salary. Many businesses do not hesitate to pay higher wages to individuals with postgraduate degrees, and you can be confident in asking for better compensation too.
Getting a PhD in Product Management: Product Management PhD Coursework
Getting a PhD in Product Management requires rigorous training and coursework. Doctoral degree programs require that students take advanced core courses and electives. Aside from this, some schools will require you to attend doctoral seminars and conferences. Below are some of the more common requirements when pursuing a PhD in Product Management.
For many students, their thesis or dissertation will be the most taxing, complex piece of writing they ever undertake. Through a focus on the mechanics of writing, with tips for research-based papers, this course helps students turn months’ or even years’ worth of research into a compelling piece of writing ready for publication.
This course teaches stochastic foundations and processes for application in the business field. Students learn about various modeling concepts for financial investments. They are trained in completing competitive analyses of queuing systems and other analysis processes to help business stakeholders make sound decisions.
The advanced optimization course will help students gain an extensive array of optimization techniques for complex decision-making and problem-solving. Students will be using modeling concepts and applications of linear, nonlinear, and dynamic programming models.
Economics or Microeconomics
Economics or microeconomics will help product managers analyze the relationship between businesses and the markets with which they interact. This course trains PhD students in consumer psychology and psychological processes so that businesses and internal stakeholders can make informed decisions regarding the innovation of their products or services.
This course teaches PhD students how to simplify decision-making regarding complex problems by turning them into a series of smaller, simpler problems. Students will study examples that follow a general optimization framework and then think creatively to apply that framework to other problems affecting businesses.
Best Master’s Degrees
How to Get a PhD in Product Management: Doctoral Program Requirements
In order to get a PhD in Product Management, you have to satisfy all of the doctoral program requirements. Many PhD programs are fully funded but require you to maintain good academic standing. You will also be required to complete advanced coursework, teach at the undergraduate level, take a comprehensive exam, conduct original research, and write and defend a thesis.
Potential Careers With a Product Management Degree
PhD in Product Management Salary and Job Outlook
With a PhD in Product Management you have a good chance of making a six-figure salary shortly after graduating. The degree also gives you access to the highest-ranking jobs in a company, like CEO, with an average salary of $179,520, according to PayScale. The job outlook is also good for doctoral degree holders in this field, with higher-than-average growth expected for most positions.
What Can You Do With a PhD in Product Management?
With a PhD in Product Management, you can have a successful career in the academic world or in business. You can become a scholar or professor or a product manager or top executive in various industries. Below are the best jobs for those with a PhD in Product Management.
Best Jobs with a PhD in Product Management
- Chief Executive Officer
- Finance Manager
What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Product Management?
The average salary for a PhD in Product Management is $121,000, according to PayScale. You can work as a professor or researcher in the academic world, or you can pursue high-paying jobs in the industry like chief executive officer, economist, or financial manager.
Highest-Paying Product Management Jobs for PhD Grads
|Product Management PhD Jobs
|Chief Executive Officer
Best Product Management Jobs with a Doctorate
The best product management jobs with a doctorate are high paying. While some of these jobs do not necessarily demand that someone have a PhD, getting one will open many more doors of opportunity. Below are five of the highest-paying jobs in product management and related fields.
Is a PhD in Product Management Worth It?
Yes, a PhD in Product Management is worth it. A Doctoral Degree in Product Management is a great investment for professionals who want to become product managers. You will learn and practice new skills, which will help you get ahead in your field. In addition, having a PhD can help open the door to careers in research or in teaching at the postsecondary level.
Pursuing this degree requires a lot of hard work and dedication on your part, which means that by the time you finish, you will be prepared to take on leadership roles in product management within your company or organization.
A PhD in Product Management will also give you more opportunities for employment than someone without one. You will likely be able to earn more money with this advanced degree because employers will be willing to pay more for someone with such extensive experience and knowledge in their field.
Additional Reading About Product Management
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PhD in Product Management FAQ
No, it is not necessary to get a master’s degree before pursuing a PhD in Product Management. However, earning a master’s degree first could give you a chance to finish the PhD faster if the school allows you to apply some of the credits you earned during your master’s program toward the PhD.
Many product managers work in tech companies. Some of the top companies hiring product managers are Google, Adobe, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems.
Yes, product management is a good career path. According to Glassdoor, product manager is one of the top 10 jobs for 2022. It scores a four-out-of-five job satisfaction rate, which makes it a very rewarding career.
Earning a PhD will help you gain effective problem-solving skills along with very extensive research skills. You will also become familiar with advanced marketing and finance skills and knowledge, which is beneficial if you wish to become a product owner or do other product management for a business organization.
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