Should I consider an MBA for PM?

Autodesk / Product gell-o
Aug 30 26 Comments

Currently a "PM" by title but without revealing too much, I don't work with software engineers.

I'm trying to break into a more traditional PM role building software products and have been interviewing like crazy. I've been to something like 6-7 onsites/final decisions this year after 50+ applications (gotten decently far with some big companies & FAANG) but keep missing the offer... super frustrating.

I'm curious what my next move should be. An MBA is a nice career pivot and I feel like could land me PM roles, but cost $ and time.

Anyone recommend something else or think MBA is the way to go? I keep telling myself it's a numbers game/matter of time because I've gotten close but the rejections are wearing me down lol. I would move within autodesk but the pay is shitty and I've been here long enough

yoe: 1 with a PM title
TC: 110K

tl;dr- PM not working with software. Want to work with software. Have interviewed a lot and gotten close to offers but none yet. Is next step to try mba?

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TOP 26 Comments
  • Spotify iPNh35
    Lol doing an MBA isn't gonna magically make you a better PM. Stay longer and learn actually how to be a PM watch vids and shit
    Aug 30 5
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      I feel like I've done a ton of "prep" stuff but I can't really learn regular pm stuff at my current job. It's pretty different
      Aug 30
    • Spotify iPNh35
      So don't do prep stuff. Read books on lean methodology, watch the Google pm talks, there's so much like it'll make you a better PM than going to another company and hoping you'll learn by osmosis
      Aug 30
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      Hmm I would consider that prep stuff and I've tried a lot of that, but wouldn't going to a job and actually doing it be the best way to learn? Seems the most direct
      Aug 30
    • Spotify iPNh35
      But nobody is going to hire a half baked PM. If you didn’t have experience you’d get an APM role but you do have experience so that’s what you gotta roll with. PM role is considered “important” cos a bad PM will screw the company for years while they try to fix your mistakes
      Aug 30
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      Totally, I would apply for APM roles if I could. A lot of those are reserved for mba new grads though
      Aug 30
  • Oath OPnd70
    No, you’re a PM already. Usually an MBA is a gateway to becoming a PM. Unless you like school or want to go to a prestige school with a network.
    Aug 30 5
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      Any ideas on what to try or keep on truckin? I feel like the hesitation comes when I do interviews with engineers and they don't think I can work with them.. Idk
      Aug 30
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      I feel like I wouldn't get to the final decisions if I wasn't a decent candidate, but imposter syndrome kicks in
      Aug 30
    • Oath OPnd70
      An MBA isn’t going to give you that, you just need some experience shipping some products and features. Ultimately, engineers want to know if you know what product should be built and can make decisions on it.
      Aug 30
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      The mba itself won't but using an MBA to get an APM role or something would. Ultimate goal is to land a role where I can learn and I haven't been able to do that after a year or so of trying. My current role is removed from the traditional product teams
      Aug 30
    • Oath OPnd70
      You have PM experience and that’s worth more than an MBA.
      Aug 30
  • Autodesk / Product
    Ymjm83

    Autodesk Product

    PRE
    Workday, IDEO
    Ymjm83more
    Lol I know exactly what you mean, Autodesk doesn't know what a product manager is. Fake it till you make it at the next place. It's not rocket science to learn, mainly soft skills.

    Source: True PM then moved to Autodesk and have a similar experience as OP.
    Aug 30 2
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      RIP my dude lol
      Aug 30
    • Adobe excusemepl
      What is it like being a PM at Autodesk? Mind sharing a bit since I am evaluating a PM offer from them.
      Nov 29
  • Amazon badroma
    Have you tried to figure out what is missing in your interviews?
    Without doing that how do you know that an MBA is the solution to your problem?
    Aug 30 2
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      Yeah my guess is either 1. Domain expertise which is a circular requirement (work in fintech to get a job in fintech kinda thing) or 2. Experience with engineering

      I can't get either in my current role. The reason why MBA came up is because there seems to be a better appetite to bring on an MBA grad for a PM (albeit a lower level with lower expectation) but they aren't expecting the same lvl of experience
      Aug 30
    • Amazon badroma
      Firstly, try talking your interviewers to give you detailed feedback. Most people won’t do it but some will - that should help on identifying the problem.
      Both of your problems are solvable without the time and cost required for an MBA.
      Aug 30
  • New naked
    Damn u got it good. My PMs at ADSK were a MBA from MIT and an MBA from Booth. How’d you break into that, just wondering?
    Sep 27 1
    • Autodesk / Product pandamnit
      Just asked when a req came up. Might do it again to move into a real pm role
      Sep 27
  • Microsoft wh was a
    No. I am a PM with an MBA. If you must go get a degree, you would be better served by actually learning to code.

    But I agree with the advice above that you should focus on finding experience shipping products over going back to school.
    Aug 30 1
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      The other path I've considered was just a coding bootcamp and putting out some side projects. Thoughts on that?Idk where I'd find experience shipping products at my current company because it's so far removed from my current pm responsibilities
      Aug 30
  • Yahoo Crdp53
    You don’t need an MBA to be Prime Minister
    Aug 30 1
    • Autodesk / Product gell-o
      OP
      The dream is still alive
      Aug 30
  • Autodesk / Product gell-o
    OP
    This is good advice, thanks!
    Aug 30 0
  • Google ysTs12
    I have shadowed a couple of PMs at Google. They got in after an MBA from top 5 b schools. That being said, if you already are a PM by title, it's easier to transition to a PM role on whatever company you are aiming for. All you need to do from now to the next 2 years is to get more hardcore PM experience. Find some projects at Autodesk where you can do this. I have seen PMs from other small companies transition to G after 2-3 years of work experience. Now after a year, if you still feel not so confident in doing the role then I would recommend an MBA but for now, it's a no from me
    Aug 30 0

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