- Course studied:
- Computer Science
- Year of graduation:
Christopher Nixon is Head of Cyber Security Product Engineering at one of the world’s largest banks – Barclays.
The computer science graduate from Staffordshire University has been at the bank since his work experience year during his degree. He has risen through the ranks, starting as a UNIX Performance and Capacity Engineer through to his current position, where he designs products and systems to keep Barclays’ millions of customers safe.
“I really enjoy my job,” said Christopher. “Cyber security is a very important area and one that is getting quite a lot of attention at the moment. The internet has provided lots of different ways of banking and Barclays always place computer security at the heart of product development.”
Chris is originally from Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, and attended Newcastle-under-Lyme College. He always had an interest in computers and studied computing, physics and English literature at A level.
He said: “There were always computers in our family home since I can remember. I always had a keen interest in them and I worked in jobs that used computers before signing up to a degree at Staffordshire University.
“The University had a good reputation for its computing courses and it was close to home and convenient. The Computer Science degree gave us a really good grounding in computer systems and then the placement year set me on my career path.”
Chris joined Barclays’ Unix team during his work placement year, situated on the bank’s Technology Campus, in Knutsford. After graduating in 2008 he was offered a job analysing the company’s servers and looking for ways to optimise their usage.
He rose to Senior Infrastructure Specialist during the following seven years, specialising in UNIX/Linux systems and Apple mobile solutions. He provided project management, solution evaluation and design, configuration, testing, documentation and training of support staff.
In 2015, he left to join telecommunications company TalkTalk, as an Infrastructure Designer. After a year, he moved back to Barclays, initially as a Security Engineer and then Head of Cyber Security Product Engineering.
Since being back at Barclays, Chris started a Master of Research in Computer Science at Staffordshire University. He is undertaking the course via distance learning and will graduate in 2020. He has also been a judge at the University’s GradEX event, casting his expert eye over the final year students’ cyber security and networking solutions projects. And he will be hosting a talk at the University’s annual careers event, Connected Futures, taking place from the 12th to 23rd November.
He said: “It has been great getting back involved with the University through my Masters, where I’m researching cyber security and the application of artificial intelligence. It was good to see several projects at GradEX looking at using AI to improve cyber security as well.
“The University is a great place to explore the future of computer science, as the staff are very open minded and have a lot of industry experience. There is a big drive for students with coding and digital experience in the banking industry. The job opportunities are out there for graduates, including at Barclays, at our Technology Campus in Knutsford, our offices in central Manchester and one opening in Glasgow as well.”