Enterprise architects are concerned with a company’s information technology (IT) structure and how to align it with the overall business goals. They analyze, design and implement IT systems that help teams within an organization perform more efficiently.
This article will answer the question, “What does an enterprise architect do?,” then outline how to become one, the skills they use and the national average salary for these professionals.
What Does an Enterprise Architect Do?
Enterprise Architects are responsible for managing IT networks, services, and structures that organizations use. This means they’re responsible for maintaining and upgrading enterprise software and hardware and implementing emerging technologies or platforms to better serve the company. They need to be flexible and have business knowledge, as they need to understand the organizational goals their IT systems need to achieve.
Enterprise architects work with different departments within an organization to learn about their strategies, weaknesses, and requirements. From there, they establish an end goal for their work, implementing efficient systems that aim to serve these goals for each department. These architects use critical thinking and strategies to determine which systems serve their purpose and which ones the company can replace or enhance.
If you want to be an enterprise architect, you need to learn the right skills. These include IT expertise, knowledge of business operations, and strong communication skills. The average salary for enterprise architects varies depending on the industry and location, but it’s typically a high-paying profession.
Common Qualifications of Enterprise Architects
Here are some common qualifications that are expected of enterprise architects, from background and education to technical and soft skills.
One of the foundational requirements of becoming an enterprise architect is to have a Bachelor’s in computer science, computer applications, information systems, or a related field. Some may also have a degree in business administration or a related field. If you earn a degree in one of these fields, you will learn both the business and technical skills you need for this job.
Enterprise architects need to have a deep understanding of technology systems and applications. They should also have experience with databases, cloud computing, IT infrastructures, and software development technologies. Additionally, they should be familiar with enterprise architecture frameworks like The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF) and Zachman.
In addition to technical skills, enterprise architects should have excellent communication skills. They must effectively communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical employees, including senior management. They should also have strong leadership and interpersonal skills to work closely with other technical professionals and stakeholders across the organization.
Enterprise architects typically have several years of experience in a related field, such as IT infrastructure, project management, business analysis, and other related roles. Having relevant experience will enable you to understand the challenges and complexities of enterprise architecture and make you a more effective enterprise architect.
Core Responsibilities of Enterprise Architects
As an enterprise architect, you can handle and oversee many important tasks for the success of your company. Some of the core responsibilities of an enterprise architect include assisting solution architects, leading the development and implementation of enterprise systems, and leading IT teams.
Assisting Solution Architects
You will work closely with solution architects to ensure their work aligns with the enterprise architecture principles and goals. You will also provide guidance and support to help them complete their work effectively.
Leading the Development and Implementation of Enterprise Systems
You will lead the analysis, development, and implementation of enterprise architecture systems of the business. This may require working with all employees of your organization to figure out the business goals and needs, and then coming up with and putting into place solutions that meet those needs.
Understanding Business Strategy
You must have a deep understanding of your organization’s business strategy and the goals of various departments. This will enable you to design IT systems that can support and guide the goals of the business, and ensure that the enterprise architecture is aligned with the overall strategy.
Creating Pans and Designs
You will create plans and designs of IT structures and present them to decision-makers. This requires working closely with other employees of the organization to solve business issues.
Leading IT Teams
Once the software architecture plans have been approved, you will lead IT teams to develop the systems and solutions needed to implement the enterprise architecture. This will require strong leadership and communication skills to effectively communicate within and outside of the organization.
Analyzing IT Systems
You will analyze IT systems to establish vulnerabilities and areas that can be made more efficient through updates and maintenance. This requires leveraging your technical knowledge to identify areas for improvement and then collaborating with IT teams to implement changes.
How to Become an Enterprise Architect
If you want to become an enterprise architect, the best place to start is getting a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, then gaining work experience and building up your resume until you can apply for enterprise architect positions.
Step 1: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
To get started on your professional journey as an enterprise architect, you may need a bachelor’s degree in computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or a related discipline. These courses will help you learn more about the basics of computer technology.
If you know the basics of computer science, you’ll have a solid foundation in understanding how to design and run complicated applications.
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
Work experience is critical for enterprise architects as it helps them apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world projects. You can seek internships or employment opportunities during or after your studies to gain experience and develop your skills.
Step 3: Apply for Enterprise Architect Positions
Once you’ve completed your education and gained work experience, you can start searching for enterprise architect jobs. You can search online job boards for entry-level or graduate positions that match your skills and interests. Make sure to review the job descriptions carefully and use keywords from the job posts in your resume and cover letter to highlight your suitability to the employer.
What’s the Average Enterprise Architect Salary?
According to Indeed, the average salary for enterprise architects in the U.S. is $143,029 per year. That number can vary based on the size of the company, the industry in which you work, and your education level and experience.
Most enterprise architects work full-time hours and are salaried employees, although some may work as consultants on a project basis.
Top Enterprise Architect Certifications
Being certified as an enterprise architect can be a game-changer for your career. In addition to validating your skills and expertise to potential employers, certifications demonstrate your dedication to professional development. Here are some enterprise architect certifications that can give you a viable advantage:
The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF)
TOGAF certification is one of the most recognized and respected certifications in the enterprise architecture field. It provides a common language and methodology for enterprise architects to develop and manage IT strategies that align with business goals.
Obtaining this certification will demonstrate to employers that you have a deep understanding of enterprise architecture principles and are equipped to lead successful IT projects.
Systems Engineering Professional Certification
This systems engineering professional certification recognizes the expertise of systems engineers. Designing and implementing complex IT systems as an enterprise architect requires a solid understanding of systems engineering.
Zachman Enterprise Architect Associate Certification
The Zachman Framework is a widely used framework for enterprise architecture that enables you to develop theoretical and technical skills. With four levels to the certification, it offers a comprehensive learning experience for EAs at different stages of their careers.
Associate Certified Enterprise Architect (ACEA) Green Belt Program
The ACEA Green Belt program provides comprehensive experience and a range of frameworks and methodologies for enterprise architects. It offers a foundational understanding of IT architecture principles and the skills required to confront real-world challenges.
Certified Information Technology Architect (IASA)
The IASA IT Architect certification program verifies the capacity to implement foundational architecture practices. As an enterprise architect, you must have a comprehensive understanding of IT service management and its relationship to business objectives. This certification can demonstrate to potential employers that you possess the knowledge and skills required to develop and manage IT services in a business.
Should You Start an Enterprise Architect Career?
If you’re considering a career in enterprise architecture, but feeling uncertain if it’s the right choice for you, first look at your technical skills and your ability to think critically.
As an enterprise architect, you need to know a lot about technology systems and applications and be good at analyzing them. If you like working with technology and are good at solving problems, you might be a good fit for a job as an enterprise architect.
Next, consider your career goals. Enterprise architects are unique in their role in organizations, as they bridge the gap between technology and business. Enterprise architecture could be a good path for you if you want a job that combines technology and business.
It’s worth noting that the demand for enterprise architects is high, with many organizations seeking professionals who can develop and implement effective technology strategies.
Bottom Line: Becoming an Enterprise Architect
Becoming an enterprise architect could be the right path for you if you’re interested in a career that combines business and technology and allows you to make a significant impact. As an enterprise architect, you will require a unique set of skills—including technical, analytic, and soft skills—to succeed in this difficult but rewarding field.
The demand for enterprise architects is on the rise, and organizations are looking for professionals who can help them develop and implement effective technology strategies.
However, it’s important to remember that enterprise architecture is a constantly evolving field that necessitates ongoing education and growth. To be successful as an enterprise architect, you’ll need to remain current on the latest industry trends and technologies. If you’re dedicated and work hard, you can have a rewarding career that allows you to make a positive impact on the organizations you work for.
Not sure becoming an enterprise architect is the right path for you? Explore our other career guides to find what’s best suited to your skills.