How to Become
an Applications Architect
Education Pathways, Skills, and Certifications
Applications architects are planners. They plan how applications used for a business purpose will work together. These experts also ensure that the organization’s suite of applications is reliable, stable, and efficient as the company network continues to grow.
This guide contains information on how to become an applications architect. It also covers what you should know before deciding to transition to this career, such as salary and job outlook, education requirements, and certifications.
What Is an Applications Architect?
An applications architect designs and analyzes software projects. They assess the needs of a business and the enterprise’s use of software. Then they devise a plan that has both the information about the applications to be used and how they will be used.
This plan is often called a blueprint. An applications architect presents the plan to others in the organization and guides them through implementation.
Furthermore, applications architects remain updated on best practices and new software in the industry. This allows them to continually improve the architecture they have created. They typically work in software development firms, corporate IT departments, and computer manufacturing firms.
What Does an Applications Architect Do?
Applications architects are responsible for creating new applications, running software tests, and improving existing applications. They run different software tests and develop product prototypes relating to app development. These experts also take part in training other members of the team when the need arises.
Some of the key tasks of an applications architect include the following.
Provides Technical Support
Applications architects are responsible for providing solutions for data integrity, disaster recovery, and security. They also recommend software and evaluate alternatives for consideration.
This technical support role also involves training other staff to handle different technical issues. As an applications architect, you will coach them to analyze possible problems with data infrastructures.
Creates Technical Documents
Applications architects produce documents that relate to the field. They also design steps, testing procedures, and integration processes relating to the developed products.
The documentation process covers both maintenance and installation of application software. It also includes standards and guidelines that need to be followed for each individual product.
Oversees the Design Process
You will handle design, testing, and modification in the software development process. It often involves creating prototypes and models, analyzing specifications, and evaluating the potential defects and risks.
Applications architects also customize applications according to the specific requirements of customers. You will carry out all the necessary tasks to ensure that the software is well designed, practical, and tested.
Applications Architect Education Pathways
The educational requirements to take up a job as an applications architect varies. In some cases, you may need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related disciplines. A degree in this field will prepare you for the technical elements of applications architecture.
Applications Architecture Degrees
Some applications architects have Master’s Degrees in Computer Science. However, it is more common to see candidates with undergraduate degrees. Qualified applications architects can study computer science at four-year degree-granting institutions.
Some other disciplines for this career include bioinformatics, computer programming, computer engineering, and computer software engineering. All of these programs give you a great start toward becoming an applications architect.
Applications Architecture Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps also offer training for people who want to become applications architects. The programs are short and intensive and take a few weeks to complete. These programs teach you to code and design. You also learn to implement apps with popular programming tools and languages.
Applications Architecture Courses
There are numerous courses for applications architects. The majority are online short courses and may not be free. You can learn the knowledge and skills needed to be an applications architect. It also includes the project life cycle and software development.
Students also come to understand the essential aspects of applications architecture. You will also learn to communicate solutions to non-technical and technical stakeholders. However, while the courses may give you a headstart, they are not enough to help you get all of the training you need.
How to Become an Applications Architect: A Step-by-Step Guide
Before qualifying for applications architect jobs, you must have the requisite training. The most common educational path is a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related programs.
Below is a step-by-step guide to becoming an applications architect.
Get a degree
The first and most important step is to get a degree. Most employers prefer applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. In most cases, the program takes four years to complete.
Learn important skills
After gaining theoretical and hands-on training, you also need additional skills to help you thrive in the field. You can learn some by taking continuing education courses.
The best way to learn is to learn on the job. Some universities offer internship programs for students in technical disciplines. It gives you a chance to see how the profession handles day-to-day work scenarios.
Certification exams prove that you have the skills a prospective employer wants. They can give you an advantage over others vying for the same position. They are not compulsory but recommended to increase your chances.
Apply for jobs
After getting educated and learning on the job, you can start applying for entry-level positions. There are numerous online resources to help you find open positions. You can even create a profile in some cases to receive personalized alerts when a job is available.
Top Applications Architect Skills
Having the right set of skills will serve you personally and professionally. Being able to list top applications architect skills on your resume could make it more attractive to employers in different industries. You need to have technical skills and other soft skills.
Below are some essential applications architect skills.
Project Management Skills
In any app development project, there are many details to be managed properly. The applications architect needs to pay close attention to detail to ensure that the project meets its objective.
Also, an applications architect needs to stay focused on the team’s goals regardless of obstacles. It takes critical and creative thinking to find solutions to problems that arise over the course of a project.
Finally, applications architects need to be able to make design decisions. These decisions may involve selecting patterns, figuring out key aspects of structural design, and specifying guidelines.
Applications architects are responsible for setting the roadmap for development. Therefore, programming skills are essential. Without being proficient in a number of different programming languages, there may be a communication barrier between you and the development team.
Applications Architect Salary and Job Outlook
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for applications architects is $140,789. Some annual salaries reach above $200,000. Some employers pay as low as $81,000. The salary may vary from state to state. Generally, it is considered an above-average salary.
This profession is considered part of computer and information technology occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the sector will grow 11 percent by 2029. This growth is considerably faster than average and comes as businesses increasingly rely on cloud computing, information security, and big data.
Entry-Level Applications Architect Job Requirements
Most employers require entry-level applications architects to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Bioinformatics, Computer Engineering, or Computer Science. However, this requirement can be waived for people with bootcamp training.
How to Prepare for Your Applications Architect Job Interview
Applications architect job interviews will likely be technical. However, you should expect some behavioral questions. The interviewers will want to know if you can work in a team. They may also want to know about your goals and plans for the future.
Below are a few potential interview questions to prepare you for your job interview.
Applications Architect Job Interview Practice Questions
- Give an example of how you enhanced the performance of any existing software.
- Talk about an experience that involved analyzing information and evaluating the results to pick a suitable solution to a problem.
- Have you ever had to gather information from different sources? How did you know which information was important?
- Talk about a time when you identified complex problems, evaluated your options, and implemented solutions. How did your solution benefit others in your company?
Applications Architect Certifications
Certifications are credentials that verify competence and legitimacy to perform a job. This certification shows that you are a professional who has been trained and prepared to handle the demands of the role. Applications architects also have certifications to show their skills. Below are some of the essential certifications.
IBM Certified Solution Architect - Cloud Pak for Applications V4.1
This certification is a vendor-supported credential. It is for professionals who can plan, design, and create architecture using IBM Cloud Pak. It also shows that the expert can handle this role without external support from other professionals.
The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)
This certification is seen as a benchmark of excellence by many. It is for business, technology, and enterprise architects. The program doesn’t involve taking written exams and training courses. Rather, it asks the applicants to show their skills through written applications and peer interviews.
Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification
This is a vendor-neutral certification, and it is owned by the Cloud Credential Council. It is ideal for technology professionals who want to support organizations during the early phases of cloud migration.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Applications Architect?
Some architect jobs are senior positions. This means that it can take up to 10 years to get there. It would be best if you earned a bachelor’s degree, which may take four years to complete. You can also take up a graduate degree or work to get five years of experience.
In other cases, you can still qualify for the role if you have the necessary training from a coding bootcamp. This can drastically reduce the time you would spend gearing up for the role. However, you may still be required to get some experience in the field before being considered for such positions.
Why You Should Become an Applications Architect in 2021
There are a lot of reasons to become an applications architect in 2021. One reason is the vast growth potential this profession offers. Being a part of computer and information technology, it is expected to grow more than average in the coming years. Entering this field would surely help increase your employability.
This profession is also flexible. It is helpful in different sectors and not just tech. Experts can easily switch to other tech sectors if the need arises. You also have the opportunity to earn a rewarding salary.
Applications Architect FAQ
Applications architects understand the issues the client is facing and find the best technical solution to fix that problem. It involves designing applications with a specific architectural pattern and understanding available work techniques and tools. They also act as negotiators to make quick decisions.
The main challenge is the creative process. In this role, you need to understand professional tools and how to use them for the right occasion. You also need to know the value of the solution. This way, you can understand the link between the needs of the client and what they want to pay for.
Several employers look for candidates with a computer science bachelor’s degree. This is not always the case. Sometimes, certifications and bootcamp training can supersede this requirement.
These experts make around $140,789, according to ZipRecruiter. The earnings depend on factors like location. Generally, it is an above-average salary.