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How to Become a Applications Architect

If you want to learn how to become an applications architect, this is the guide for you. Here, you will find all the information you need to know about this profession, including potential career tracks, skills required, and education pathways for launching your career.

What Is an Applications Architect?

An applications architect is a professional who designs and analyzes software products. Companies rely on them to either create new products or improve existing applications. They also contribute by testing software and developing product prototypes. You will find most applications architects working for IT departments or computer manufacturing companies. They are also quite prevalent in software firms.

As enterprise software advances, there is a need for professionals with the technical skills needed to help businesses take full advantage of it. Additionally, companies require applications architects to act as a liaison between them and the users. With excellent communication skills, these professionals can train software project managers as well as customers.

Applications Architect Job Description

Applications architects must have in-depth knowledge of the development life cycle, software tools and technologies, and management tools and techniques. To successfully execute their job duties, they must have a knack for application development as well as business intelligence.

Armed with this knowledge and skills, these professionals work closely with stakeholders and software development teams to design and document the entire development life cycle. Often applications architects lead application teams. They work with top executives to create better application development processes and are part of the team charged with incorporating popular functions and supervising the application life cycle.

Applications Architect Salary and Job Outlook

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for applications architects is $140,789 a year. However, some earn as much as $207,500, which indicates an opportunity for advancement if you have the right experience and skills.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that software development jobs will increase by 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. This translates to over 131,000 job opportunities. With such a huge need for talented professionals in the field, choosing a career path in applications architecture is a wise choice.

Top Reasons to Become an Applications Architect in 2021

Becoming an applications architect is a solid career choice given these professionals’ earning potential and the job security they enjoy. Below we explore the main reasons why becoming an applications architect in 2021 is a great career choice.

  • High income potential. These professionals earn high salaries by both national and tech industry standards.
  • Challenging and fulfilling career path. If you are looking for a mentally stimulating job, look no further. Applications architects have plenty of opportunities for problem-solving. In addition, you'll play a key role in helping companies meet their business goals, which makes the job very fulfilling.
  • Job security. The tech industry relies heavily on applications architects and this translates to great demand for these professionals. According to BLS, the number of job opportunities in this profession will grow substantially in the next decade.

Applications Architect Job Requirements

Most hiring companies have very specific requirements for applications architect jobs. You will find a list of requirements attached to the job advertised. It is important to carefully read through the job requirements before starting the application process. Below we take a closer look at some of the main requirements for this profession.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. A four-year degree in computer science will give you a great foundation for this career. Ensure you specialize in application development or software engineering.
  • Minimum experience of two years. Companies place a great deal of importance on the experience level of candidates. Experience in a related industry will help you launch your career as an applications architect.
  • Proficiency in programming. Your chances of landing the job will be much greater if you have experience coding with SQL, C, and .NET.
  • Analytical skills. To refine existing applications or develop new ones, you need analytical skills. Having extensive problem-solving abilities will make you a much more valuable asset to the company.

Types of Applications Architect Careers

There are a plethora of careers that people with the skills described above can access, from IT solutions architect to IT data architect. Once you acquire the relevant skills, consider these career paths:

IT Solutions Architect

IT solutions architects are responsible for evaluating the business needs of a company. Once they have determined what the company needs, these professionals come up with a technical solution that relies on software, hardware, and other IT infrastructure.

Network Solutions Architect

These professionals handle the communication networks for a company. They deal with local area networks, wide area networks, and the intranet of a company. They find solutions to network-related problems and provide technical guidance and product plans.

IT Data Architect

IT data architects design and oversee an organization’s data management framework. They define data standards and principles for businesses. Companies rely on them to provide strategic requirements in line with the entire business architecture.

Applications Architect Meaning: What Does an Applications Architect Do?

We’ve already discussed the important role that applications architects play within a company. Let’s explore in more detail the tasks and responsibilities that these professionals perform on a daily basis.

Development of Applications Architecture

The main role of an applications architect is to design and build the software architecture of a company. They are in charge of user interfaces as well as middleware. Applications architects create prototypes and evaluate risks by analyzing applications for different customers.

Code Review

If you are part of the development team, you must conduct code reviews for your application. Applications architects also carry out regular code reviews to identify bugs or syntax errors in the code.

Translating Applications Architecture into Business Requirements

Employers rely on applications architects to develop applications that ensure the design and function of each application are in line with company standards. They oversee the entire development team, making sure everyone understands the company’s objectives and vision.

Essential Applications Architect Skills

There is a wide range of abilities to master as an applications architect. As we have seen, the role requires both technical and soft skills. Below, we describe the three most important skills to work on if you seek to become an applications architect.

Application Integration

This is the process of ensuring that the application environment is cohesive and robust. Applications architects must ensure that all applications are working together without hiccups. This skill is essential in maintaining the data structure as well as the integrity of the enterprise.

Application Design and Testing

Designing an app requires a slew of skills, from researching and ideation to prototyping and implementation. Applications architects must have a strong command of the whole process. They also run software tests, so they must be familiar with test automation frameworks used to identify errors.

Programming Languages

Having strong programming skills will make you a much more valuable asset in any company. Applications architects should look into learning Python, C#, Javascript, and HTML, among other programming languages.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Applications Architect?

Typically it takes four years to become an applications architect. This is how long it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, which is the minimum requirement for many applications architect roles. However, there are now alternative paths, such as coding bootcamps, that can drastically reduce the time it takes to acquire the necessary training.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become an Applications Architect?

Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you become an applications architect. Coding bootcamp programs train students on multiple programming languages. This comes in handy as hiring companies need professionals who are well versed in coding skills. Consider attending one of the best data science bootcamps to enhance your coding arsenal.

The biggest advantage of attending a bootcamp program is the ease with which you can connect with hiring companies. Many top-tier tech companies partner with coding bootcamps to find top talent in the industry. Bootcamps also help graduates with their job search through career assistance services and networking events.

Can I Become an Applications Architect From Home?

Yes, you can become an applications architect from home. Most education providers now offer online courses or programs, mainly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attending an online bootcamp, for example, is becoming an increasingly popular option.

Many universities also feature online programs for international and domestic students. If this is your preferred mode of learning, there is nothing stopping you from becoming an applications architect.

How to Become an Applications Architect: A Step-by-Step Guide

We curated a step-by-step guide to help you become an applications architect. This is not the only way to become an applications architect, but it is one of the most common.

Step 1: Earn a Degree

The first step to launching your career in applications architecture is to attend a four-year degree program. Enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and pursue a specialization in software engineering or data science. These degree programs will help you acquire the foundational knowledge you need to succeed in the industry.

Step 2: Acquire Job Experience

Recruiting managers ask for at least two years of experience in job descriptions for applications architect jobs. Start with an entry-level role as you work toward a senior-level position. Progressively, you will garner enough experience and expertise to land a job as an applications architect for a leading company.

Step 3: Get Certified

There are not many professional certifications for applications architects. In this guide, we consider some of the main ones. Hiring managers have a preference for certified professionals so make sure to earn a certification as soon as possible.

Best Schools and Education for an Applications Architect Career

Aspiring applications architects can get the training they need through a variety of programs, often available both online and in person. This means students can learn the skills they need to launch their careers with comfort. Below, we take a look at the education pathways available to help you launch your career in applications architecture.

Applications Architect Bootcamps

Attending a coding bootcamp can help you launch your career. Although there are no applications architecture bootcamps per se, a data science bootcamp can greatly enhance your skillset. Applications architects need to be proficient in programming as well as data science, and you can boost your expertise in both fields through a bootcamp program.

Vocational School

Vocational schools provide courses to acquire the skills for a specific job, usually technical in nature. Some of these institutions have short immersive programs in software engineering or data science that are ideal for learning basic and advanced concepts in applications architecture.

Community College

Attending a two-year degree program at a community college that offers training on information technology is a fantastic option to launch your career. You will find plenty of community colleges with affordable programs for students who want to break into tech. These programs can help you learn the software engineering and computer skills required for a career in applications architecture.

Applications Architect Degrees

Most companies prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Data Science, or equivalent degree. This educational credential assures companies that the candidate has the technical knowledge and expertise needed to get the job done.

The Most Important Applications Architect Certifications

Gaining certification is a great way to gain a competitive edge over other applicants. Certifications are the easiest way for recruiting teams to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you are committed to your career, consider pursuing one of the certifications below.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is common amongst solutions architects but can also work for applications architects. It's highly recommended for professionals with hands-on experience dealing with distributed systems on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

This certification will validate your skills in creating and deploying secure and robust technologies on AWS. It also shows that you have mastered best practices in handling the entire life cycle of a software development project.

ITIL Master

The ITIL Master certification is common amongst professionals who have worked more than five years in leadership and managerial positions. To acquire this certification, you must prove that you have knowledge and expertise in ITIL, which is a framework of best practices for delivering IT services. This credential proves you can successfully apply ITIL knowledge and skills at work.


TOGAF is an open enterprise architecture standard used by organizations to improve business efficiency. TOGAF 9 proves your knowledge of the framework. TOGAF 9 shows employers you are familiar with TOGAF terminology, concepts, and structure and that you have a thorough understanding of enterprise architecture.

How to Prepare for Your Applications Architect Job Interview

Applications architects, just like professionals in any field, need to prepare for their job interviews. Those that come to the interview having rehearsed some of the most commonly asked questions stand a better chance of getting the job. These are some common questions you might encounter during an interview for a position as an applications architect.

Applications Architect Job Interview Practice Questions

  • How do you approach the development of an application?
  • What information do you prioritize when it comes to documenting the development process?
  • How do you remain abreast of new technologies?
  • Which was the most challenging project you have worked on so far?
  • How would you handle a conflict between members of your applications development team?

Should I Become an Applications Architect in 2021?

Yes, you should become an applications architect in 2021. This is a high-paying job with a very promising job outlook. In addition, this career path is extremely rewarding, giving you plenty of chances to exercise your intellect and problem-solving skills.

This is a sound career choice if your interest lies in technology, specifically software development. It’s a highly technical career path that will require you to be fully committed and passionate. Once you acquire more than two years of experience in IT management, data science, or software development, do not hesitate to apply to applications architect job postings.


Can You Become an Applications Architect Without a Degree?
Yes, you can become an applications architect without a college degree. Although most companies look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree, more and more employers are prioritizing skills and expertise over education credentials. You can acquire these skills and expertise by attending shorter programs like coding bootcamps.
Is It Hard to Become an Applications Architect?
Yes, it is relatively challenging to become an applications architect. This is a technical profession that requires mastery of a host of professional tools and technologies as well as strong interpersonal skills. Most applications architects pursue a university degree. However, you can also become an applications architect by completing a coding bootcamp or another intensive program.
What Is the Difference Between Software Architects and Applications Architects?
A software architect deals with the technical aspects of software, whereas an applications architect is more concerned with the overall application environment and how each application works with the other.
Do I Need to Learn How to Code to Become an Applications Architect?
No, coding is not a requirement to become an applications architect. However, having programming skills help you to better understand the challenges of the application development team. Knowing how to code can give you a better insight into the applications you are working on.
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