How to become an innovation manager: Holly's story

Meet Holly, 24, from Glasgow, to find out more about life as an innovation manager at Nestlé in London. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"I didn't want to limit myself to a career that would only use my technical or creative skills. I was determined to find a path that would allow me to use both."

  • Holly struggled to choose her subject options at school because she was equally interested in Art and Science
  • She stuck with what she loved and managed to find a Product Design Engineering course that split her time equally between the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art
  • In Holly's job, her time is still split between art and science. She uses her creativity to understand trends and come up with new concepts and ideas, and her science knowledge to test new products.

Holly's role as an innovation manager is similar to that of a design and development engineer. Design and development engineers are responsible for researching and developing new ideas and systems in a wide range of industries, not just food innovation.

What to expect if you want to be a design and development engineer

  • Design and development engineer salary: £20,000 to £55,000 per year
  • Design and development engineer working hours: 38 to 40 per week

What qualifications do you need to be a design and development engineer?

  • Typical entry requirements: You'll normally need a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree to become a design engineer. Subjects to consider include Engineering Product Design or Industrial Design. You'll usually need 1 or 2 A-levels (or equivalent) for a foundation degree or higher national diploma, and 2 to 3 A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree. You may be able to start by taking a product design and development engineer degree apprenticeship. You can get more details about engineering careers and training from the The Institution of Engineering Designers and Tomorrow's Engineers.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a design engineer.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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