Silicon Valley is synonymous to high profile coding jobs. The monthly stipend of an engineering intern (almost $81600 per year annualized) is about twice the median wage of the rest of the USA. It is not a lie that coders form do get to take a hefty paycheck after all. But it is not the only job that is entitled to such a privilege. Product management currently is the most lucrative career path in Silicon Valley.
According to a report released by Hired on Aug 25, product managers consistently get the top salary offers, $ 133,000 on average. Software engineers were offered an average of $123000, followed by designers at $115000 during the second quarter of 2016.
The pay gap has widened
According to Jessica Kirkpatrick, Hired’s data scientist, software engineers have always been paid less than product managers. But, she adds, the gap has only widened over the past year. The trend remains the same irrespective of experience. Product managers with one year of experience are paid 10% more than software engineers with similar experience. Even after six years or more experience, the trend remains the same.
Good product managers behind any brand’s success story
Every company these days cherishes a skilled product manager, argues Ken Norton, a former Google product manager. He further adds that in the long run, it is the product managers who make the difference between winning and losing. A product manager is the most important hire for any company. They are the ones who lead the product from its ideation to completion and promotion. They are the crucial link between the company and the consumers.
Programming knowledge beneficial, but not essential
While it is true that product managers are required to have some programming knowledge, a degree in computer science isn’t necessary. In fact, if we listen to Hunter Walk, former director of product management at Google, it is not even the most important skill. According to him, the best product managers possess a broad set of skills, allowing them to work on different domains simultaneously. Walk is a history undergraduate and also holds an MBA.
The only job that has a slight advantage over product management is that of a data scientist. But there are more data scientists than product managers, so this will go down soon in future. More and more people are interviewing for data science jobs. This will impact the salaries they are getting right now. The charm of product management is not going to fade so soon.