An individual hoping to become a product specialist should have a background in marketing, sales, or business management. Product specialists will also benefit from gaining valuable experience related to product development and supply chain analysis in the field they wish to seek employment, such as technology or pharmaceuticals. Other skills that may benefit you if you hope to work as a product specialist include critical thinking skills, solid communication skills, and leadership ability.
Product specialists are involved with all aspects of product development, marketing, and profitability. They are tasked with identifying current marketplace positioning for a product and asked to keep an eye on the future at all times. Product specialists work in almost every industry for companies of all sizes and are considered experts in the products they handle.
If you want to become a product specialist, you should meet the educational requirements established by your prospective employer. Typically, you will need to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in marketing, sales, or business administration. Those interested in working in a specific field should tailor their degree choice to meet the qualifications required of product specialists in that specific industry. For instance, an individual looking to become a product specialist in a scientific field, such as chemical engineering, should possess a bachelor's degree with requires extensive coursework in one of the sciences, such as chemistry or physics.
Beyond meeting the traditional educational requirements associated with the job, prior work experience can also help an individual looking to become a product specialist enter the field. You may want to start out in an entry-level marketing or a consumer research position to help you acquire specific product knowledge. This knowledge and an overall understanding of the business strategies, policies, and procedures of a company or organization can be invaluable for an individual eying a position as a product specialist.
Maintaining company standards while providing innovative and creative solutions to problems surrounding a specific product requires excellent critical thinking skills. This allows product specialists to think "outside of the box" and come up with solutions that will differentiate their product from others on the market. Critical thinking skills also help product specialists analyze market trends and capitalize on any changes occurring in the marketplace.
Those candidates applying for product specialist positions should also possess excellent communication skills and demonstrate leadership ability. Product specialists need to be able to communicate with multiple departments and cater to the various needs of the company. This is an important part of creating an effective teamwork environment, supporting and growing a product line, and fulfilling a leadership role within the organization.