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To become a product planning manager, your first step should be to identify a field in which you want to work. Individuals who want to work for companies that produce packaged goods, for example, or financial products, should pursue degrees in business. In most cases, it is necessary to earn a master's degree in business, concentrating in a subject such as finance or marketing. Individuals interested in software development, on the other hand, should have strong technological backgrounds. At the same time, these individuals need to have a strong grasp of principles related to marketing and customer satisfaction.
A product planning manager is an experienced professional who is responsible for overseeing all stages of production. For example, he or she might communicate between departments to ensure that production is on schedule. A planning manager is also often responsible for tracking costs and revising budgets.
An individual who would like to become a product planning manager in a field other than software should plan on earning a graduate degree in business. In most cases, graduate students have opportunities to engage in internships. You can benefit most from internship opportunities in which you can observe and contribute at various stages in a production process.
To become a product planning manager in the software industry, it is more important to get a background in computer science. Once you have the necessary education, you should find a position in sales where you can learn about markets and pricing. Many planning managers start off as sales engineers or marketing professionals.
Regardless of the industry you work in, to become a product planning manager you should be familiar with two aspects of business. On the one hand, you need to understand a product that you are selling. This knowledge can either be the result of years of scholarship or firsthand professional experience. On the other hand, you should have a strong background in management. It is important that you can run an organized, logically scheduled operation and that you demonstrate excellent leadership skills.
A person who wants to become a product planning manager might find it easiest to begin working for a company where he or she can earn promotions. This is not always possible right away, so at first you might want to concentrate instead on gaining experience. You should, however, make it a goal to get hired by a company that is interested in workers who would like to develop professionally.