Case Study: Chris Harland

It was the natural progression from doing a BTEC National Diploma to reach the qualification level and skills I wanted to get my career started. From this I was able to develop the research skills and deeper understanding of my chosen field's disciplines.

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Through studying BTEC Higher Nationals I gained a wide range of IT related disciplines that enabled me to have a well rounded career with a good range of choice. The wide range of skills gained has enabled me to be quite dynamic and adaptive in my career choices. I have worked in various areas of IT as a result of this.

I started work in a secondary school as an IT Technician, became the IT Manager and then went to work in the NHS as a Tech Support Manager. I came to work for Pearson as a Server Engineer and then became a Network Architect.

I then switched across to manage an Application Support team before moving into handling security for Edexcel. When the CISO office formed I was asked to join the Threat Management Team.

I currently assess threat and risks to Pearson's IT systems and data. This often involves understanding a wide range of IT disciplines in order to fully understand an issue. I am able to do this because I have spent my career building on the solid foundations of my HND.

I also completed an MSc in IT in 2015 which I was accepted on based on the fact I had a HND along with the work experience I had gained.

To any current or prospective BTEC HN students I'd say: remember that it's not just about the piece of paper at the end. It's about the experience and the capabilities you pick up along the way.