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How To Become An IT Architect: Degree and Career Guide
Being an architect is an extremely fascinating career path to follow. The fact that you can create and design entire skyscapes out of nothing truly is something marvelous. However, equally as marvelous as being an architect who designs buildings and houses, is an information technology (IT) architect whereby everything you build exists in the digital sphere.
An IT architect is responsible for ensuring that a company or organization receives the technological support it needs to successfully carry out its operations. The technological support that most organizations require is needed for the company to successfully meet its objectives and goals.
An IT architect takes the business's IT and technology needs and devises actionable and practical solutions that can be implemented to meet the objectives of the organization.
To become an IT architect, you would need to obtain your qualifications, complete an internship, gain direct industry experience, enhance, and develop the skills you need for this role, and then begin searching for a role as an IT architect.
Let us take a closer look at the career of an IT architect and the steps you would need to take to pursue this career path.
What Does An IT Architect Do?
As an IT architect, you will play an important role in your company or organization. It will be up to you to develop and roll out new and updated security systems for entire organizations that serve as digital and data security tools.
Every IT system that you develop and implement will need to adhere to all IT regulations and rules and it would need to be up to scratch in terms of regulatory compliance. Additionally, you will be responsible for updating and maintaining security processes that are currently in place, you would need to introduce new programs where systems are lacking, and you would need to effectively remove obsolete security programs that no longer serve any benefit to an organization.
Steps To Become An IT Architect
Step One: Earn A Qualification
The first step toward your journey to becoming an IT architect is obtaining an appropriate qualification. The general qualification that you could pursue is a bachelor's degree in computer science or in IT.
You could choose specific courses that would be in line with your career goals.
Step Two: Gain Industry Experience
Ideally, you'd want to learn how to apply your acquired knowledge in a practical setting. This can be done by gaining direct and relevant experience. You could consider doing an internship while you are working toward your bachelor's degree, or you could consider waiting to complete your degree program and applying for an entry-level role.
Step Three: Advance Your Career
Once you have proven successful in an entry-level role, you can work toward gaining enough experience to pursue a senior-level or management role as an IT architect. You can branch off further and consider pursuing roles as an IT administrator or an advanced IT developer.
Step Four: Maintain Your Qualification
Given that the field of IT is constantly developing and advancing, it is important that you maintain and advance your knowledge and expertise. Whether you do so by taking online courses or practically learning new programming software, you can stay abreast of advancements in the field.
What Skills Do You Need To Be An IT Architect?
In order to be successful as an IT architect, you would need to develop a few hard skills and soft skills. The hard skills you would need to have been the ability to successfully carry out cloud computing, deep insight, and understanding of computer systems and applications, knowledge and understanding of security and infrastructure processes, and how to effectively create and establish systems architectures.
Given the environment that you will work in, you will also need to have specific soft skills such as leadership skills, and critical thinking skills, you would need to be extremely organized, and have a knack for problem-solving.
You would need to be skilled in project management, working with strict deadlines to meet all IT needs for an organization, and you would need to be able to work under pressure while working in a team.
What Is The Salary and Job Outlook For IT Architects?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer network architects earn a median annual salary of $120,520. The overall employment for computer network architects expects to see a projected 4% growth over the next ten years with about 11,800 jobs opening on average each year.
What Is The Work Environment Of An IT Architect?
While the role of an IT architect can be fulfilled through remote operations, in most cases they will work in a traditional office setting with several other team members. They may also find themselves working in a server room.
This role can be quite isolating if you are working in a remote position, but it can also be extremely worth it.
Is The Role Of An IT Architect Worth it?
Firstly, as an IT architect, your role is needed and extremely beneficial to an organization. You play an integral role in the success of an organization. This, coupled with the earning potential and the demand for this career makes the role of an IT architect extremely worth it.
How Long Does It Take To Become An IT Architect?
It can take anywhere between four to six years to establish yourself in the role of an IT architect. The length of your course program and the route you choose to take to become an IT architect will affect how long it takes to establish yourself in this career.
If being an architect in a digital sphere has a nice ring to it and if that is how you would like to refer to yourself in the future, then the role and career path of an IT architect may be just the career for you. Having a natural inclination toward computers and an attraction to IT, you can guarantee your enjoyment and success in this role.
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