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I'll answer this, but, honestly, there are a lot of ways. Here's two paths.

//-- //

1. The traditional path

Product management is generally a role that you should take after you have some professional development under you belt. The best product managers I've met were at one time in the engineering/development pit.

That said, the simplest way is to get a job doing design/programming and make sure your employer knows that you'd like to move in that direction and agree that you'll be there in X years. Shadow and work with the PM's at the company.

If they don't move you in to a PM in the time, you can look elsewhere and with a few years of development under your belt you'd have a better chance of getting the management hire.

The key is that you make sure whatever you do, you show leadership and the fact that you're a self-starter.


2. The startup path

Go work (found) a startup and basically act as the project manager. If the org grows (which is a big if) you'll slowly become that role and hire people around you. If not, you'll have to try again. It's more risky but potentially could get you to a PM role faster.

In the end, I'd recommend you pick up Marty Cagan's "Inspired" http://www.amazon.com/Inspired-Create-Products-Customers-Lov... -- it discusses product management in much more detail.

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