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Carnegie Mellon Offers Product Management Master's
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 05/19/2017

A new master's degree program at Carnegie Mellon University aims to teach computer scientists and engineers to become product managers, much sought-after specialists in technical organizations who shepherd new products to market.

A joint program of the university's School of Computer Science (SCS) and Tepper School of Business, the Master of Science in Product Management (MSPM) program will start January 2018. The first application deadline is July 1.

The 12-month program provides the technical skills and business acumen students need to be successful in this high-demand area. A required internship and capstone project supply the practical skills students need to return to industry prepared for their new careers.

"A product manager is first and foremost the CEO of the product," said Bob Monroe, associate teaching professor in the Tepper School and co-director of the program. "They are responsible for building the right product to solve the right problem for the right customers, and selling it at the right price through the right distribution channels. They own and are responsible for the overall success of the product."

Because their roles involve technical knowhow and marketing savvy, good product managers must exhibit excellent interpersonal skills, business acumen and technical knowledge. The degree builds on the university's leadership in computer science and business.

"One message we consistently receive from industry is that truly good product managers are incredibly hard to find," said SCS Dean Andrew Moore. "In software companies, big and small, there is no such thing as a great product manager who doesn't combine technical excellence with passionate leadership, so SCS and Tepper School are the perfect partnership."

CMU has designed this program for early career professionals with undergraduate degrees in computer science, software engineering or computer engineering. Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) will provide technical education in courses ranging from digital service innovation to data science for product managers. The Tepper School will supply courses on management topics.

"The MSPM program offers a deep dive into all the skills good product managers need to have," said program co-director Jason Hong, associate professor in the HCII. "This program will help technical professionals change their career trajectory and make the leap from technologist to product manager at tech companies."

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