Supporting delivery of Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing

9 May 2021

In doing our research and in conversation with Amazon Web Services, it became clear quite quickly that cloud technologies are huge and are developing fast.

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We discovered that:

  • 80% of enterprise IT will move to the cloud by 2025
  • global public cloud computing market is growing by 15% year on year
  • cloud computing is ranked as top skill since 2014.

The utilization of cloud services is increasing, which leads to people needing to be trained and skilled in developing and delivering cloud services. We developed our BTEC Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing to address this need.

Cloud Computing: An insight into the new BTEC Higher Nationals Qualification
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Additional AWS certification for students

Upon completion of the Level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC), students will be suitably prepared to attempt the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, with a recommendation that students have six months of fundamental AWS Cloud and industry knowledge before taking the exam.

In addition, all three of the Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND) pathways include foundational content which can help students to partially prepare for both the AWS Certified Solutions Architect and the AWS Certified Developer exams at Associate Level. The Cloud Software Development pathway offers the most coverage in content in preparation for the latter.

Furthermore, the Higher National pathways broadly align to job roles at AWS as follows:

  • HNC – Cloud Support Associate
  • HND Cloud Support – Cloud Support Engineer
  • HND Cloud Cyber Security – Cyber Security Specialist
  • HND Cloud Software Development – Software Development Engineer

AWS delivery resources to help with hands-on learning

AWS has provided a comprehensive package of cloud learning courses and resources mapped to in-demand IT jobs to support the delivery of the qualification. The Support Pack, available free of charge to centres and students on the Cloud Computing Higher Nationals, and available via HN Global, includes:

  • opportunities for students to earn digital badges for completing courses 
  • access to console and sandbox environments for lab activities
  • access to the AWS Educate job board so that students become more proficient in cloud in areas like software development or cyber security our cloud support associate.

The resources, which are organised into read, build and reflection phases of learning, have duration times indicated for each of the activities, descriptions of all the assets and then also how to use them in classroom discussions.

Support available to centres and educators

Educators have access to several interactive steps and guides that can help and support in the qualification delivery. The resources are organised by learning outcomes and therefore closely aligned to the structure of the Higher National qualification.

AWS Academy courses provide cloud computing education and resources to students and teachers at no cost to help develop the next generation of IT professionals.

Marketing Toolkit

All centres approved to deliver Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing have access to a marketing toolkit, with co-branded Pearson and AWS materials. This is available through the HN Global platform.

Example Assignment Briefs

The Assessment Brief forms a critical part of the assessment process for students and teachers. A well-structured assignment brief, that is contextualised by a vocational scenario, should provide the student with a modelled real-world situation that reflects the type of work that they may undertake in future employment. As with any assessment brief, the Pearson EABs are intended to provide a model of an assessment that is valid, sufficient, authentic, appropriate and relevant.

Upskilling

In addition to Getting Ready to Teach and Assignment Writing training, educators benefit from various support options to help deliver the qualification.

Staff delivering the qualifications are not required to be AWS certified, however teachers are more than welcome to undertake certification. 

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