How to Become an
Education Pathways, Skills, and Certifications
With so many digital businesses on the rise, information technology is quickly becoming a sought-after skill. This is a major reason to become an enterprise architect in 2021.
Technology is the leading force behind most organizations today. These businesses need professionals to set up their technological infrastructure. If you want a rewarding career in information technology, enterprise architecture is a great choice.
What Is an Enterprise Architect?
Enterprise architects are tech experts who design and install information technology infrastructures. The aim is to help businesses achieve their digital goals. They also maintain and upgrade technology systems.
As a professional in this field, you have to communicate with company stakeholders. Doing this makes sure they’re using information technology assets effectively. Enterprise architects also have to analyze and optimize various technology systems to improve business operations.
What Does an Enterprise Architect Do?
An enterprise architect determines infrastructure solutions, evaluates technology systems, and creates infrastructure models.
Enterprise architects work closely with infrastructure architects. The latter profession designs and implements information systems. However, both professions create complex infrastructures for information technology.
Professionals should learn database management and infrastructure modeling, as these concepts are important to the job. Below are the primary roles of enterprise architects.
Determines and Executes Infrastructure Solutions
For new and existing information technology systems, the core infrastructure can be problematic. Enterprise architects work to solve technical or practical challenges in different infrastructures. Doing this ensures businesses have sound technology systems and strategies.
Experts should also create policies around infrastructure solutions to maintain consistency among employees. This makes training new employees on infrastructure solutions easier.
Evaluates Technology Systems
Enterprise architects should test new and existing systems regularly. If needed, professionals have to find a different strategy or improve the current one. These professionals will also communicate where infrastructure could use general improvements.
Creates Infrastructure Architecture Models
Before enhancing the existing systems and introducing new ones, enterprise architects create infrastructure models. These models reveal a business’s requirements, objectives, and strategies. They use tools like iServer, Hopex, and Abacus to create infrastructure models.
Enterprise Architect Education Pathways
To become an enterprise architect, you can choose several education pathways. You should base your choice on how you want to study, your academic level, and your experience. There are enterprise architect bootcamps, degree programs, and courses available. Below are the full details on all these options.
Enterprise Architect Degrees
You can complete an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD program for enterprise architecture. It’s fundamental to decide what you want to major in, as you can’t study just any subject for this role.
Completing an associate degree takes two years. However, you will most likely need to transfer your credits to a bachelor’s degree to get a job in the field. This degree takes four years. To get ahead of your competition, you can also get a master’s degree. Many master’s degree programs specialize in enterprise architecture.
Enterprise Architect Bootcamps
Bootcamps are for students who need to improve specific areas of expertise. Students who need foundational knowledge should consider attending bootcamps. This will help you become an enterprise architect faster than a degree. A degree program can require four to five years. On the other hand, a foundational bootcamp can take as little as four days.
Flatiron School, General Assembly, and Springboard offer programs that can help you learn enterprise architecture. Bootcamps allow you to learn online, and the fees are lower than the cost of a degree program.
Enterprise Architect Courses
If neither a degree program nor bootcamp suits you, try taking a course. Massive open online course providers (MOOCs) offer short-term courses. These are similar to bootcamps but are usually less intensive. You can gain basic knowledge in enterprise architecture or hone your current skills.
Since courses are online, this is a convenient method of studying. You’ll learn the technical and communication skills to become an enterprise architect. Plus, completing your course will make it easier to become an enterprise architect. Employers will also have more reason to offer you a job or apprenticeship.
How to Become an Enterprise Architect: A Step-by-Step Guide
Enterprise architects are not entry-level workers. They are seasoned professionals with impressive communication and technical skills. It takes years of experience to become an enterprise architect, and the job is demanding.
Below are the best steps to become an enterprise architect.
Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program
You need to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or any related field. This step will get you started in the industry. It will also prompt employers to offer an apprenticeship or job.
Master an enterprise architecture framework
Doing this makes it easier to learn various architecture disciplines and gain certification. The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a popular choice for professionals. Many course providers like Udemy offer classes that can help you learn.
Start an internship
For the first two years of your career, you can start as an intern. You’ll learn from professionals who have extensive experience in the field. This exposure allows you to gain work experience and develop your skills.
Study a master’s degree program
A master’s degree might not be necessary, but it is a bonus. Completing a master’s program in a topic like enterprise architecture will help you secure roles at notable companies.
You should occasionally enroll in bootcamps and short courses to keep your expertise updated. Technology is rapidly changing, and this will keep your skills relevant and evergreen.
Top Enterprise Architect Skills
Businesses place the performance of their information technology systems in the hands of enterprise architects. Consequently, a professional enterprise architect needs to have powerful leadership abilities, accomplished DevOps skills, and a knowledgeable handle on various applications.
Let’s explore each of these critical skills.
An enterprise architect must communicate information to the relevant stakeholders and motivate employees. For a business’s processes to run smoothly, professionals must have strong leadership skills. A business’s technical infrastructure relies on enterprise architects, so they must have leadership skills.
A significant aspect of being an enterprise architect is ensuring a business’s information technology infrastructure works efficiently. You need an in-depth understanding of DevOps, a combination of software development and IT operations practices. This will help you evaluate analytics and create automated workflows for optimal efficiency.
Enterprise Architect Applications Skills
The exact applications you use depend on whether you’re edging toward a specific industry or if you want to master a certain platform. Countless courses and bootcamps can teach you how to learn information security and other appropriate applications. So, you have the resources to master one platform at a time.
Enterprise Architect Salary and Job Outlook
According to ZipRecruiter, the enterprise architect average salary is about $151,690. This is an extremely high average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities for computer architects will increase by five percent by 2029. The BLS reports that this growth rate is faster than average.
Enterprise architects spend most of their days working in an office in front of a computer Monday to Friday. These professionals attend meetings, lead seminars, and create presentations. Experts may have to travel between office branches. Commitment to your work can help you get a higher infrastructure architect salary.
Entry-Level Enterprise Architect Job Requirements
For an entry-level job as an enterprise architect, you need a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study. You also need at least one certification and at least three years of work experience. ZipRecruiter reports that the national average annual salary for entry-level enterprise architects is $74,549.
How to Prepare for Your Enterprise Architect Job Interview
As intimidating as interviews can be, preparing will make them much easier. To prepare for an interview, nail down the infrastructure and system requirements you’re familiar with, your reason for entering this industry, your academic and work experience, and the strategies you use.
Below are the top interview questions for an enterprise architect job.
Enterprise Architect Job Interview Practice Questions
- What is your experience with security and data architecture frameworks?
- Which stakeholders should you include in the enterprise architecture life cycle?
- How would you solve an information technology process that negatively affected a company?
- What metrics do you use to validate infrastructure solutions?
Enterprise Architect Certifications
You can earn several professional certifications as an enterprise architect. These certifications will help you progress your career because employers will have proof of your expertise. The certification you should earn depends on your academic level and specialties. Below are a few of the best enterprise architecture certifications in the United States.
The Open Group Architecture Framework Certification (TOGAF)
TOGAF is an extremely valuable certification for enterprise architects. It confirms that you can systemically maintain timelines and budgets according to the outlined business objectives. Ultimately, the TOGAF proves you can efficiently help businesses reduce their costs and increase their technology infrastructure.
Google Professional Cloud Architect
This certification reveals your abilities to operate Google Cloud technologies. You should know how to design, implement and analyze cloud solution architecture.
The certificate focuses on security and compliance, implementing and overseeing cloud architecture, and optimizing business processes. The exam is offered in person at a registered testing center.
Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA)
The CTA certification shows that you can successfully design and build technology and business solutions on Salesforce. Before earning this certification, you need to achieve the Certified Systems Architect, or Certified Application Architect certifications.
You’ll also need to pass the CTA exam and the Technical Architect Review Board exam. The exam includes hypothetical problems that require you to design architectural solutions.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Enterprise Architect?
It can take up to eight years to become a professional enterprise architect. You need to work hard in your bachelor’s degree program, complete an internship, and earn a master’s degree for the quickest path. Considering these professionals must have a broad range of skills and expertise, this amount of education is necessary.
Most enterprise architects have between 10 and 12 years of work experience. Increase your chances of finding a job by developing your skills, furthering your work experience, and excelling at academic studies. It also helps to earn certifications and attend bootcamps and short courses to master different applications and skills.
Why You Should Become an Enterprise Architect in 2021
There is a high job demand for enterprise architects. With the growth of technology, this demand might not decrease anytime soon. Although this profession demands many years of experience and academic expertise, it offers job security and a high annual salary.
If you love infrastructure solutions, information technology, and improving existing systems, consider a career in enterprise architecture.
Enterprise Architect FAQ
Enterprise architects design, implement, and analyze technology solutions to help businesses achieve their goals. Professional enterprise architects have to develop infrastructure solutions and streamline business processes.
To become an enterprise architect, you need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or any related field of study. You don’t need a master’s degree, but some programs specialize in enterprise architecture.
For this career path, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree program and then complete an internship or apprenticeship. It’s possible to study for your master’s degree afterward, but it’s not compulsory.
Enterprise architects commonly have between 10 and 20 years of experience. However, it’s possible to become an enterprise architect in eight years. You need to earn your bachelor’s degree and gain work experience.