Chris Burton, computing alumni

Chris Burton

What have you been doing since finishing your studies?

Since graduating I have spent most of my time working in education. Although more time has been spent teaching ICT and computing in secondary schools I spent a year working at Leeds University focusing on schools outreach work. I then went on to a role in the school improvement team as an ICT Advisor and have now made the move into primary education working as a phase leader and ICT teacher in a Bradford primary school. I have recently qualified as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and will be working with other local schools on school development. 

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?

The teaching staff at the university ensured the course provide challenge and pushed you out of your comfort areas. There was a significant amount of coursework involved with my degree and this meant I had to manage my time carefully. Staff were supportive and there to constructively challenge you and your work - this meant you had to take full ownership of your work and your own progress. 

The content of the degree was academically rigorous, it wasn't just about learning the latest software/applications. Because the degree developed my root understanding of computing it has enabled me to become more confident as systems and technology advance.

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

The University of Leeds was by far one of the best universities for my subject. It had a good reputation and produced a good caliber of graduates. I wanted to attend a university that was part of lively city but a the same time was not spread all over the city. The course was structured in such a way that I could focus on Information Systems whilst tackling some of the more practical based computing units without needing to specialist in that area. I was able to study units based around computing architecture, artificial intelligence and business whilst retaining my Information Systems focus. 

What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why?

Leeds university is a vibrant university with plenty to do outside of the course. The union is buzzing with activity as is the city. I was living a long distance from home but soon settled into university life. I enjoyed the independence you were given at university academically and socially. 

What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds or thinking about the same career?

You have to work hard from day-one. I remember friends on other course at other universities having much more free time than I did but in the long run it does pay off. The skills a course like this give you make you a very employable person. Although I decided not to work in the IT industry my degree has enabled me to do well in the teaching profession.Computing, science and engineering are all subjects in demand in education at the moment.