A Complete Career Guide for Enterprise Architects: From School to Salary

A Complete Career Guide for Enterprise Architects: From School to Salary

Enterprise architects (EAs) develop the long-term IT strategy for organizations to support business strategy. What is the average salary of an EA?

Today's business landscape is increasingly competitive and global. For businesses to be successful, they must enlist a competent enterprise architect to head up their IT functions. But for those trying to break into the world of IT maintenance and upkeep, where does one start?

To become the best of the best, you have to build your skills and network effectively. To earn the best enterprise architect salary requires years of education and professional experience. This guide will help you determine your career goals and salary expectations.

What Does An Enterprise Architect Do?

Businesses cannot win in today's global economy without technology. Anyone who has worked from home this year due to the pandemic can attest to that. Technology break-downs can have serious consequences on every organization's ability to compete.

At a high level, this is what an enterprise architect is charged with. Often, companies come out with key strategies and goals for five- and ten-year plans. But implementation is only achievable with the right technology in place.

Everything from mapping old systems to new ones for continuity, to maintaining or transferring databases remain under an enterprise architect's purview. The high impact and responsibility of the job cannot be overstated. Without smooth transitions between technologies, data can be lost and security can be compromised.

Being an enterprise architect is not all about the hard skills, however. Yes, you must know how to create and maintain databases and be familiar with new technology trends. But a good amount of your value to the company lies in your soft skills as well.

Consider that when you must build something from the ground up, or transfer sensitive information, you must also mobilize a team. You have to engage multiple business leader stakeholders in the process. And you have to navigate competing interests with finesse.

To build up the skills necessary to perform the duties of an enterprise architect, start with your education. This can be the perfect springboard into a fulfilling career.

Education Builds Skill

Every enterprise architect starts with a bachelor's, and often master's degree in data management, IT, or other technology or data science major. Because enterprise architecture often overlaps with business management, using your time in school to take some business classes can help launch your career.

You will likely spend the better part of a decade building up your information technology skills before you can qualify for an enterprise architect position at a major company. By spending your time in IT roles pursuing additional certifications and ongoing education, you will keep your skills relevant and up-to-date.

In fact, certifications can have a direct impact on how much you make per year. It can also determine whether you qualify for the next promotion or raise. One important certification to consider is your TOGAF 9 certification. TOGAF 9 is the gold standard of enterprise architecture.

There are other certifications you can pursue as well to increase your education clout. Cloud architecture is increasingly important in the digital world. There is a certification for cloud architect training available through multiple companies. Finally, DPBok certification can help you reach your goals as well.

Many companies even use training platforms as a recruiting tool. You never know when a professional is looking at your education material, so always put your best effort forth.

Education isn't just about the diploma. Although, that is a very sweet accomplishment at the end of your degree. Education is also about building your network so that you can cash in on opportunities around you.

Network, Network, Network

For higher-worth jobs, it's all about who you know. Don't underestimate the doors that open for you when you spend your time networking. Especially when most companies rely on software to sort through candidate applications and resumes, there is a high need for potential applicants to pre-network to get their name to the top of the pile.

Start with informational interviews to understand more about the job beyond the job description. Plus, you will build more connections in your network that may pull through for you later.

Networking can be a mixture of cold calling or reaching out via LinkedIn. Many professionals are happy to talk about what they do for a living. Often, it is a nice break from the monotony of day-to-day job duties. Make sure you are giving something in return. Even a small token of appreciation, like paying for coffee, can go a long way.

Make sure to always dress and act professionally in any networking situations. You never know when the next opportunity will present itself and you want to always be ready for it. Take advantage of every opportunity to its fullest.

Enterprise Architect Salary

The best place to start to determine the salary you can expect is by researching active job recruitments in your area. Many of these jobs require five to 10 years of experience in IT before you can become an enterprise architect. But because of this, the positions often pay a premium.

The amount you can expect to make depends heavily on location. But according to Glassdoor, an enterprise architect can expect to make $110,000 per year starting out.

The range goes up from there and depends additionally on the type of company you are targeting. Depending on how large the organization is or how many resources they have, the salary range can fluctuate. For instance, an enterprise architect at Microsoft makes on average $163,000 a year.

Experience also determines salary - the more experience you have, the higher entry level salary you can expect. Try to also spend some time building up your soft skills, as these go a long way during interviews and recruiting sessions. They can be the difference between landing the job and being passed up for the opportunity of your dreams.

Build a Promising and Fulfilling Career

An enterprise architect salary is enticing - there are a variety of different things you can do with a high salary, good benefits, and job security. But these benefits alone don't make up a rewarding career.

Enterprise architects can also look forward to a fulfilling career with plenty of educational opportunities for constant personal improvement. Pursue your path into enterprise architecture by accessing education courses at Architecture Center. Jumpstart your career today.

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