Industry engagement

The decision to develop the BTEC Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing was the result of extensive research around the future skills demand for the digital and computing sector and the evolving partnership with AWS Educate to enhance learning and skills development for higher education students.

It was clear that there is, and will continue to be, a skills shortage of suitably qualified cloud computing experts. With more and more businesses adopting cloud solutions and cloud architecture, technically competent, skilled and qualified people are in short supply.  

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Industry is placed at the heart of BTEC Higher National qualifications. Throughout qualification development and validation, we work with industry experts to structure our qualifications to meet industry standards. We chose to design vendor neutral BTEC Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing with AWS expertise, and supported by AWS vendor specific resources as a unique selling point of the qualification. The qualifications will have the option of being supported by further vendors in the future. We additionally co-designed with industry, higher and further education experts, and students to reflect a wide range of views and experience.  

Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals provide real-world experience as well as academic knowledge. This ensures students will leave with the required expertise as identified by business and industry, and with the flexibility to go straight into employment or continue to a degree.

We are proud to have developed these qualifications with representatives from the organisations listed below, who were able to help structure our qualifications to equip learners with skills required by industry across the world. 

  • Amazon Web Services 
  • Monzo 
  • British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT 
  • KPMG 

Our work with Amazon Web Services (AWS)

From the outset, the Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing have been designed in collaboration with AWS Educate, an initiative by Amazon Web Services. 

As well as supporting with the design and structure of the qualifications, AWS are providing additional industry support for the BTEC Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing, in the form of teaching and learning materials. These resources, part of the AWS Educate platform, relate to the learning outcomes of the qualification, providing increased support for students and tutors. Examples of the AWS materials and benefits include:

  • Alignment to AWS Educate Pathways
  • Digital Badges  
  • Use of virtual classrooms 
  • Access to console and sandbox environments for lab activities
  • Access to all AWS Educate learning and teaching content
  • Possibility to join the Cloud Ambassador programme  
  • Access to the AWS Educate job board
  • Facilitator guides
  • AWS cloud credits to put towards accessing the additional paid tools and services to build applications.

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

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, with the Software Development pathway offering the most coverage in content in preparation for the latter. 

Industry support and recognition

For years, employers have valued the skills and knowledge that BTEC Higher National students bring to the world of work. That is why students choose to study our programmes. 

We work with industry partners post-validation to further recognise our qualifications; whether that be in the form of upskilling their own workforce with our qualifications or simply formally accepting the qualification as a part of the application process. Organisations that recognise the Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing will be listed here in due course. 

Alignment with Apprenticeship Standards

The Cloud Computing qualifications have been designed to map to several digital standards. Full details of this will be available on HN Global