TLPD Industry Insight placement: Ian Wallace

Ian Wallace is the Deputy Head of Faculty at Exeter College. As part of the preparations for delivering the Digital T Level from September 2020, Ian completed an Industry Insight placement at Securious. The placements are part of the T Level Professional Development support offer providing opportunities for professional updating for teachers that is industry relevant and that facilitates knowledge transfer and professional exchange.

What were your key objectives for going on a staff placement in industry?

I wanted to gain an understanding of how the theories that I am very familiar with, including in-depth policies and procedures, are used on a day-to-day basis to support business. I also wanted to get a clear understanding of the day-to-day workings of a cyber security company and establish how our students’ skill sets match up with the skills required by the business.

The other thing that I wanted to explore was the requirements for good soft skills; how the requirements for the business match up with the skills we try to support our students to develop, and if they don’t match up, what we need to do to support them to progress these.

Tell us about your experience and the highlights from the placement?

I learned about the use of forensic tools and penetration testing and found this area particularly interesting alongside discussing the legal and ethical considerations that need to be taken into account before undertaking an audit.

What did you value the most about engaging with Securious?

The increased understanding of how the business uses policies to build a business model and sell services off the back of these policies. This gave me insight into the use of tools. This means that I can now apply this to my teaching and show students how each policy builds on the next. The use of penetration testing to give business confidence of their level of readiness was also interesting.

What has been the impact on you, your colleagues and organisation? 

I now have increased awareness of the behaviours and people skills that our learners need to develop to be successful in the IT industry. I have increased confidence in being able to develop these employability skills and behaviours in partnership with students.

The links created with this employer should ensure that we have the scope to place students in an exciting and dynamic industry placement. The employer has committed to visiting the college and delivering some guest speaker sessions for students and staff.