How To Become An Enterprise Architect In 10 Easy Steps
This year, global spending on information technology will reach a whopping $4 trillion.
You read that right!
Of this, investments on cybersecurity alone will account for a staggering $125 billion. That makes sense, considering there are about 360,000 new malware files created every day.
But cybersecurity isn’t actually the fastest growing sector of IT; it’s enterprise software. After all, it’s at the core of efficiency and productivity behind every enterprise.
So, it’s no wonder that many in the IT department want to learn how to become an enterprise architect. With an average yearly salary of around $130,000, becoming an EA is definitely lucrative.
Now the question is, what exactly does it take to have a career in the enterprise architecture sector? It’s not a piece of cake, mind you, but it definitely is doable and worth it. Keep reading so you can take that first step to become a valuable enterprise architect!
1. Know (and Hone) the Skills Required of Good IT Architects
Great enterprise architects are masters of systems architecture, IT management, and project management. They’re also skilled and well-versed in virtualization, IT security, and IT infrastructure. They also have an excellent understanding of cloud computing.
That said, the first step to your enterprise architect career path is to acquire these skills. If you love everything about IT and know that you can develop these skills, then you’re on the right track. Besides, you’ll learn these through the right education and training programs.
2. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Component Architecture
Learning enterprise architect skills starts with a Bachelor’s degree in an architecture discipline. This can be in Application Architecture, Business Architecture, or Data Architecture. You can also complete a Bachelor’s degree in Network Architecture or Security Architecture.
3. Study a Discipline that Falls Under an EA Framework
There are four main EA frameworks that you can choose to learn and focus on. Of this, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is the most sought-after. After all, 80% of global leading enterprises have already adopted this framework.
Aside from TOGAF, the three other frameworks you can choose to learn are the following:
- The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture
- The Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF)
Choose a framework that’ll let you work with your preferred disciplines. The more architecture disciplines you can work with, the closer you are to becoming an EA.
4. Get Certified as an Enterprise Architect
Once you’ve completed your EA framework study, get certified. TOGAF certification is one of, if not the most important certification to have. Today, there are over 57,000 folks who are already TOGAF-certified.
If you studied FEAF, be sure to get your Federal Enterprise Architecture Certification. FEAC offers both green and black belt certification. For a more extensive practicum, go with the black belt certification, which is 2.5 months long.
5. Explore Your Other Certification Options
With enterprise architecture encompassing entire IT environments, EAs have countless roles. That’s why you shouldn’t limit yourself to a TOGAF or FEAF certification. You should explore other programs that can add significant value to your career.
For instance, Amazon Web Services offers its own AWS Certified Solution Architect certification. You should also look into the Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) certification. Cisco, another well-known name in the industry, also offers a Certified Architect certification.
6. Seek Apprenticeship Under an Experienced Architect
Once you’ve obtained a few certifications, find yourself a master to apprentice for. It’s best you work under an architect experienced in areas aligned with your career goals. Your apprenticeship should be at least one to two years.
7. Establish a Career Related to Enterprise Architecture
You can already start seeking EA-related job roles after your apprenticeship. You may not secure a senior EA position right away, but you can start getting more hands-on experience. The more actual work experiences you have, the closer you are to a top-level role.
8. Pursue a Master’s Degree in Enterprise Architecture
A Masters in enterprise architecture combines enterprise technology and business management. A comprehensive program, it teaches enterprise architecture foundations, business architecture, and IT architecture. It also focuses on enterprise security and risk architecture.
As for the business side, you’ll learn what it takes to be an organizational leader. It’ll also teach you strategic and financial enterprise management.
Best of all, you can earn a Master’s Degree in EA online! That means you can continue working full-time as you widen your knowledge. What’s more, you can apply what you learn in real-time in your current job.
9. Advance Your Career Further with a Doctorate
Granted, you don’t need a doctorate to become an enterprise architecture. However, a Ph.D. in a related principle can make for an even more robust career. So, at this point, you can choose to complete a doctorate to share your EA knowledge with others.
One more thing: There’s no actual doctorate for enterprise architecture yet. These programs do focus on closely-related practices, such as systems engineering. You can also opt for a technology or engineering management doctorate.
10. Keep Polishing Your IT Knowledge and Skills with Relevant Short Courses
Considering that IT is an ever-evolving field, continued education is a must to keep up with it. A Ph.D. provides a way to stay in the loop of the latest in enterprise architecture innovations. However, that’s only one option, as there are other online short courses that have the same goal.
For instance, you can complete an online short course on Business Systems Analysis. You can also polish your tech your skills with an IT management course. A Business Process Design for Strategic Management is another good alternative.
What’s important is to make sure you keep your EA skills and know-how relevant and up-to-date. There are many short courses you can complete online, all of which you can do while working full-time.
Follow These Steps on How to Become an Enterprise Architect Now
There you have it, the 10 steps on how to become an enterprise architect. As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved, but the pay, experience, and knowledge you’ll gain are totally worth it. Besides, jobs in the IT sector are more secure, since IT is one industry that’s here to stay.
So, as early as now, start preparing to take that first step to become an EA! The sooner you do, the sooner you can get certified and work as a valuable member of the IT sector.
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