Every Fall, I teach an undergraduate product management class at the same place where I went to graduate school – Case Western Reserve University. In a way, it’s a bit surreal to teach in the very same building that I took classes in almost 20 years ago. But I enjoy getting to spend time with students and help them along their career journey, even if it’s in a small way.
My class is a reminder to me of how things are changing in our world of product management, though. Although it’s just a single class, it’s the very first undergraduate product management class ever at CWRU. When I was an undergraduate, there were zero product management classes to take not just at CWRU – but really, anywhere in the world. Yet today, more and more are sprouting up everywhere.
I don’t know if my students understand how incredible it is that they have so many resources available to them today – and I don’t mean through the class I teach. But today, there are so many resources that exist – from communities like Product Collective and others, free courses they can take through Udemy and Coursera, and heck, even social media platforms that offer access to insights from some of the best product management leaders and practitioners today.
I can’t blame the students for not realizing what opportunities they have today that didn’t exist for others a couple of decades ago. They live in the world we are in today – and it’s no different from the new opportunities that those like me who grew up with the early web had that the generation before us didn’t. But I am excited for them. With the product management world at their fingertips, we’re bound to see some amazing product people blossom in the very near future.
I can’t wait to have a front-row seat for that.