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30th June 2020, London - @pearson is announcing today, in collaboration with @awscloud (AWS) through its AWS Educate initiative, the development of Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Higher National qualifications at levels 4 and 5 in Cloud Computing. 

The new qualifications are due to launch in the UK and worldwide later this year, subject to validation and approval. They will be the first BTEC Higher Nationals available in Cloud Computing, and aim to address a disparity of skill supply and demand in the cloud computing field. Cloud computing is a top hard skill that companies are seeking as reported by a LinkedIn study conducted annually for the last five years. Indeed also revealed cloud jobs are some of the most in-demand tech careers, while the World Economic Forum reports 133 million jobs will be created by 2022. 

The career-focused qualifications will enable learners to directly enter employment in the cloud computing industry or offer an opportunity to progress to a university degree. They will benefit companies by providing access to a uniquely skilled pool of cloud computing talent, whilst creating greater opportunities for graduates to be employed by the world's leading companies. To ensure that the content meets industry needs and provides high-quality preparation for progression, Pearson is engaging with experts within the industry, including employers, professional body representatives, university and further education lecturers and teachers. 

The new Level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC) will give students a sound knowledge of the fundamentals of this specialist area of computing, alongside training in different approaches to problem solving. The Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND) will provide a specialist focus by providing a choice of three pathways in Cloud Support, Cyber Security and Software Development, designed to support progression into the workplace in a specific cloud role. 

As well as providing expert knowledge and industry endorsement for the qualifications, AWS Educate, which provides students and educators with the resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning, is also providing a comprehensive package of cloud learning resources mapped to in-demand IT jobs to support the delivery of the qualification. 

The qualifications will be made available to new and existing Pearson Approved Centres, and join a wide array of BTEC Higher Nationals, which are taught in over 540 delivery centres across more than 50 countries worldwide. The industry-led qualifications attract over 50,000 new students each year.   

Gary Gates, Pearson’s SVP for Global Business (Pearson VUE) & UK Higher Education, said: “There is a real industry need for qualifications such as these around the world, and we are pleased to be helping to fill a skills gap in a growing field. The Covid-19 situation has made technology all the more important in our lives, particularly cloud computing, which enables us to continue our digital lives through various applications. We look forward to working with AWS to develop career-focused qualifications and to give learners the knowledge and skills they need to follow a pathway directly into a job in this important sector”.  

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Ken Eisner, Director of Worldwide Education Programs for AWS and Head of AWS Educate, said: “In order to provide students with paths into cloud careers, AWS Educate has worked in depth with hiring managers, industry partners, researchers, and education to backwards map learning objectives and content to the most in-demand cloud jobs. We’re thrilled that Pearson shares this education-to-workforce vision and are excited to collaborate with them on these new BTEC Higher National qualifications in Cloud Computing. This offering will open up pathways for students not only in the UK but also across Pearson’s global footprint.” 

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