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How to Become a Enterprise Architect

Enterprise architecture is a great career to pursue, as enterprise architects earn a high annual salary, have good job security, and offer indispensable services to organizations. If you’re interested in learning how to become an enterprise architect and finding out more about the best enterprise architect jobs, check out this article.

Professionals with experience in a related field don't necessarily need a degree. However, you will need a wide range of soft and technical skills. Keep reading to find out more information on how to become an enterprise architect, job outlooks and salaries, and typical enterprise architect career paths.

What Is an Enterprise Architect?

An enterprise architect is a professional who designs, builds, and implements an organization's IT infrastructure. Enterprise IT architects optimize and maintain business operations by improving enterprise services using the latest software and hardware tech. To keep an organization's infrastructure updated, enterprise architects must always stay ahead of the latest industry trends.

Becoming an enterprise architect requires analytical thinking, communication skills, and strong leadership skills. Professionals must also have a technical understanding of network security, coding, project management, and systems architecture. If you want to find out what is an enterprise architect’s main responsibility, keep reading. 

What Does an Enterprise Architect Do?

An enterprise architect analyzes an organization’s IT and technology systems and works closely with internal stakeholders to understand the business needs. The job also involves a lot of research and networking, in order to stay up to date with the latest technology advancements.  

Enterprise architects have a wide range of duties, and their jobs are essential to the efficient functioning of companies. You can expect to build architecture models, create and implement compliance methods, and evaluate tech systems. These are typical responsibilities for enterprise architects. 

Develop Architecture Models 

Enterprise architects must develop models to demonstrate how their solutions will match the business needs and improve efficiency. Once the architect has created a model, they can use their technical skills to bring it to life. 

Implement Compliance Methods 

To eliminate potential problems, the strategy should include developing compliance procedures for all team members to follow. This includes data storage and change control, or ensuring new systems are implemented in an orderly manner. A successful enterprise architect will regularly update compliance protocols aligned with the company. 

Evaluate Systems 

Part of an enterprise architect’s responsibility is evaluating IT systems and networks for any vulnerabilities. They must be able to identify and solve potential security risks by finding a sustainable solution. 

Enterprise Architect Job Requirements

The main enterprise architect requirements include knowledge in systems architecture as well as a range of soft skills. You also need leadership and project management skills. Additionally, the most common enterprise architect education requirement is a bachelor’s degree. Find out more about enterprise architect job requirements below. 

  • Systems architecture knowledge. This is a vital enterprise architect job requirement. Professionals must understand how a system works and behaves. 

  • Soft skills. If you want to become a successful enterprise architect, you need to have excellent communication skills. You'll deal with a lot of stakeholders daily, so these soft skills become vital. Other soft skills like collaboration, organization, and time management are also important enterprise architect requirements. 

  • Leadership and project management skills. An enterprise architect’s role entails juggling various projects at once and leading those projects to success. Strong leadership skills will enable you to do your job efficiently. 

  • A bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is the most common enterprise architect education requirement. A college degree isn't the only way to become an enterprise architect but it's the most reliable method. Professionals with degrees are often prioritized over candidates without degrees.

Essential Enterprise Architect Skills

Important enterprise architect skills include being proficient in cloud systems, standard business procedures, and being able to code in JavaScript. Find out more about the most important soft and technical enterprise architecture skills below. 

Communication Skills

As you’ll be working with colleagues across the organization, as well as external contacts, you’ll need excellent communication skills. A big part of the job is understanding people’s needs and presenting potential solutions to complex problems in order to implement changes. 

Enterprise Architect Technical Skills 

Understanding the fundamental components of how business processes work is one of the most important enterprise architect technical skills. This knowledge enables you to build infrastructure around an accurate business strategy. You’ll also need a strong understanding of tech, including cloud systems, and be up to date with current developments in the market.

Analysis and Data Visualization  

Strong data analysis skills will allow you to interpret and evaluate the organization’s current performance and inefficiencies. It’s also essential to have good data visualization and design skills so you can transform that into visual graphs and graphics that bring complex analysis to life. 

Types of Enterprise Architect Careers

There are many enterprise architect career paths available. You can work as a project manager, a software engineer, or a solutions architect, among other professions. Below are three of the most popular enterprise architect career paths. 

Project Manager 

Project managers handle every aspect of a project from start to finish. Professionals have to meet time requirements and ensure that their project fulfills the client's requirements. You need communication, leadership, and analytical skills for this job.

Software Engineer

Software engineers create, implement, and maintain computer programs. They need to know how to code in order to create functioning web applications, mobile applications, and websites. If you want to become a software engineer, you’ll need to build software that achieves business goals. This can also help begin an enterprise architect career path. 

Solutions Architect

Solutions architects play a vital role in assessing business infrastructure operations. These professionals assess a business’s software environment and offer solutions to any issues present in those systems. Solutions architects must implement better frameworks, tools, and software when necessary. 

Top Reasons to Become an Enterprise Architect

Becoming an enterprise architect in 2022 is a good idea because you’ll likely earn a high salary and have job security. You’ll also open up opportunities for many different jobs in tech.

  • High salaries. The average salary for enterprise architects is much higher than most careers in the tech field. If you want to work in enterprise architecture, you can expect generous pay. 

  • Your knowledge is valuable for many tech careers. Once you become an enterprise architect, your resume will receive an instant boost. You’ll likely have access to many of the best tech jobs at world-class tech companies. 

  • Professionals have job security. Architecture roles are in high demand, and this means you can rely on a recession-proof career. 

  • You can work for a wide variety of companies. All types of businesses need enterprise architects, which allows you to work in dynamic environments. 

  • Job flexibility. In addition to working for a wide variety of companies, enterprise architects can work in a variety of roles. They have transferable skills in communication, project management, and programming, making them employable in various positions and sectors.

Required Education for Enterprise Architects

The most common enterprise architect education requirements are a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Although some relevant entry-level positions can be accessed with a bachelor’s degree, high-level enterprise architecture positions will require many years of industry experience or a master’s degree. 

There are, however, other options to consider. Some are geared toward those new to the industry while others are better suited for professionals. Below are the top four education pathways that will help launch your enterprise architecture career. 

Enterprise Architecture Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps offer software development, software engineering, and project management training programs to help you become an enterprise architect. If you don't have any previous work experience, you’ll have to settle for entry-level positions. Professionals with relevant experience may be able to get hired for intermediate and senior-level positions. 

Coding bootcamps are much faster-paced and cheaper than degree programs. However, they can't help you break into enterprise architecture right away. Coding bootcamps work better for professionals making a career switch rather than beginners wanting to become enterprise architects. 

Vocational School

Vocational schools aren't a popular route into this field. These schools provide essential job training supplemented by practical and academic courses. If you're a professional with relevant industry experience, vocational schools aren't the best option for you. These schools work better for tech novices who want to gain the technical and academic skills for entry-level jobs. 

Community College

Community colleges require a two-year commitment and offer comprehensive training courses that allow you to easily progress towards a bachelor's degree after graduation. Community college is an ideal choice for those with no experience who want a bachelor's degree but aren’t ready to immediately commit to a four-year program.

After community college, you can further your studies or gain work experience at entry-level jobs. Community college graduates can also find jobs much easier as many community colleges have hiring partners. 

Enterprise Architecture Degrees

There are a few schools that offer dedicated enterprise architecture degrees but most enterprise architects have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to data science, IT management, or computer science. A degree in enterprise architecture will provide you with all the practical and theoretical skills you need to work in the tech industry. 

Most enterprise architect jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. However, for more senior roles, you will most likely need a graduate-level enterprise architecture degree or a certificate program. If you choose not to pursue a graduate degree, you will need many years of experience in the industry to get enterprise architect jobs. 

Enterprise Architecture Self-Directed Learning

If you already have a relevant degree but are looking to make a career switch to enterprise architecture, you may be able to do so by teaching yourself enterprise architecture. Online platforms like Coursera and edX have courses in enterprise architecture that allow you to watch lessons at your own pace. 

This method of learning is only recommended for those who already have knowledge in the industry. It can be difficult to start from scratch with self-teaching and you need to know the best education methods for yourself in order to succeed.

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

Getting a degree and supplementing it with work experience is the most surefire way to land a job as an enterprise architect. Below we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to become an enterprise architect.

Plan Your Career Path

If you are interested in how to become an enterprise architect, you should plan out your ideal enterprise architect career path. Planning allows you to map out actionable steps you can take to achieve your goals. This will also allow you to view your trajectory from where you currently are and determine what education path is best for your industry experience and career goals.

Obtain an Education

A degree program is not the only learning pathway to becoming an enterprise architect but it's the most tried-and-tested route. Most employers want enterprise architects with work experience and a degree. The higher your degree level, the higher your salary will grow.

Gain Experience

Industry experience is one of the most important aspects of an enterprise architect career path. Enterprise architecture is an advanced niche within IT and most enterprise architects have at least a bachelor’s degree and multiple years of relevant experience. You may be able to get a job as an enterprise architect with fewer years of work experience if you also have a master’s degree or industry certifications.

Showcase Your Skills 

To prove to employers that you can deliver the services they need, create a project or a portfolio showcasing your enterprise architect skills and ability to use enterprise architect tools. Some learning pathways like a degree program and a coding bootcamp may require you to do this in your training. However, you can also complete projects on your own or showcase projects you’ve completed at your job. 

Make sure to also highlight your skills with enterprise architecture tools. Most enterprise architecture tools are used for project management and data analysis. You may also be able to find some enterprise architecture tools open source, like Essential Open Source, a project management tool used by network architects.

Become Certified 

Getting certified doesn't just bump up your salary range, but it will also increase your job opportunities. Getting enterprise architect certified will put you ahead of your competition when applying for jobs in enterprise architecture.

Getting a certification proves to potential employers that you can utilize the enterprise architect skills you claim to have. Useful certifications for enterprise architects include the Systems Engineering Professional certification, AWS Certified Solution Architect (Amazon Web Services), and the Open Group Architecture Framework certification. 

Create a Resume

In order to get a job as an enterprise architect, you’ll need a strong enterprise architect resume. Your resume does not need to be long or complicated but should include information on your past positions and the relevant skills you’ve utilized in those positions. Make sure to list your software skills on your enterprise architect resume.

Prepare for Your Job Interview

Go over potential interview questions beforehand to build your confidence before the actual interview. You’ll be asked situational interview questions that gauge your ability to react to different scenarios. Below is a list of common questions you may be asked. 

Enterprise Architect Job Interview Practice Questions

  • What metrics do you use to evaluate whether your enterprise architecture solutions are benefiting a business? 

  • What does a successful SOA mean to you? 

  • Define business architecture and the role it plays in different organizations. 

  • What does the term "network policy enforcement" mean? 

Apply for Jobs

Once you’ve created a strong enterprise architecture resume, you can begin applying for jobs. Make sure you tailor your resume for each position and write a cover letter, even when one isn’t explicitly requested. You can find enterprise architect jobs on popular sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, or you can go directly to the website of a company you’re hoping to work for. 

Common Questions About Becoming an Enterprise Architect

How long does it take to become an enterprise architect?

It takes between nine and 12 years to earn a degree and gain the necessary experience to become an enterprise architect. Although other education options require less time, a bachelor's degree program is your best bet. How long it takes to become an enterprise architect will depend on your current level of education and experience. 

You also need to gain hands-on experience in the industry. During your educational journey, you can take on job roles like software engineering and project management to gain this invaluable experience. Bootcamps are also a great way to specialize your skills and gain practical training.

Is it hard to become an enterprise architect?

Yes, it is hard to become an enterprise architect. Professionals in this position must have a few years of industry experience. The best way to become an enterprise architect is to earn a bachelor’s degree and gain job experience to work your way up. 

Can I become an enterprise architect from home?

Yes, you can become an enterprise architect from home. Many universities and colleges offer remote learning nowadays. There are also plenty of tech companies hiring these professionals to work remotely nowadays. If working from home is a priority for you, this could be an ideal career.

What is the difference between a solutions architect and an enterprise architect?

The difference between a solutions architect vs an enterprise architect is the scope of solutions they work on. Solutions architects work to find solutions to specific issues within a business. Enterprise architects design entire IT systems for a company. Enterprise architects work more on strategy while solutions architects are focused on technology and technical aspects. 

If you’re curious about solutions architect vs enterprise architect salaries, enterprise architects are paid more on average. Solutions architects make $133,882 per year, according to ZipRecruiter, and enterprise architects have an average salary of $151,512

Enterprise Architect Salary and Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't collect data on the job outlook for enterprise architects specifically. However, it does have data on similar professions such as computer network architects. BLS states that the job growth for this career field is five percent, which is above average.

How Much Can You Earn as an Enterprise Architect?

You can expect an annual salary of around $151,512 as an enterprise architect, according to ZipRecruiter. This median salary is much higher than most tech jobs. It’s worth keeping in mind it takes time and extensive experience to reach this amount. 

Where Can I Work as an Enterprise Architect?

You can work in finance, banking, technology, or as a consultant as an enterprise architect. Based on open positions on Indeed, companies including Walgreens, Deloitte, and Starbucks, as well as various banks and consulting companies, are hiring enterprise architects. If you’re interested in a specific area like air travel, commerce, or finance, you will likely be able to find a position.

Enterprise Architecture Internship 

Volo offers a dedicated enterprise architecture internship to students in their third or fourth year of undergraduate studies who have high GPAs. Since enterprise architecture is usually a senior position, there are few other dedicated internships. If you are hoping to pursue an enterprise architect job, you could get an IT or computer science internship while pursuing your bachelor’s degree.

The Most Important Enterprise Architect Certifications

Whether you want to progress in your current position or break into the enterprise architecture industry, earning enterprise architect certifications is key. These are three of the best enterprise architecture certification programs. 

Google Professional Cloud Architect

There are no prerequisites for professionals to gain this certification, but you must be experienced with the Google Cloud Platform. To pass the Google Professional Cloud Architect exams, you’ll need skills in planning, designing, and implementing cloud architecture. You should also have expertise in analyzing business processes with Google cloud technologies. 

Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

If you're a master at working with architectural solutions on the Salesforce platform, this certification is for you. During the exam, you'll be faced with hypothetical situations and build architectural solutions for each one. 

AWS Certified Solution Architect

Before attempting this exam, you should have six months of hands-on experience working with AWS (Amazon Web Services) architecture solutions. You should know about computing, storage, and databases on the AWS platforms. You should also be knowledgeable in AWS global infrastructure and technologies related to AWS. 

The Best Enterprise Architect Courses and Training

If you are hoping to start learning enterprise architecture or just renew some of your existing skills, online enterprise architect courses provide a self-paced approach to gaining new skills. Although formal enterprise architecture training through an enterprise architecture master’s degree may be the most comprehensive option, it is also a big commitment of time and money.

Online Enterprise Architect Courses

Online enterprise architect courses are offered by learning platforms and industry experts. They are usually free or affordable and often offer certificates of completion to add to your LinkedIn profile or resume. If you’re someone who wants to learn something new and prefer self-teaching, check out some of the best enterprise architect courses listed below. 

Enterprise System and Management | Coursera

  • Duration: 12 hours

  • Prerequisites: None

  • Cost: Free to enroll (additional payment may be required)

This online enterprise architecture course is taught by Greg Williams from the University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera. It is the first course in the Computer Security and Systems Management Specialization and offers an introduction to enterprise architecture. Students use examples in their own homes to understand the concepts. Ninety-five percent of students gave the course a positive review. 

Introduction: Emerging Technologies in an Enterprise Environment | edX

  • Duration: 6 weeks

  • Prerequisites: None

  • Cost: Free (upgrade options are available)

This course is offered on edX in collaboration with the University of British Columbia. Topics covered include business architecture, business intelligence, IT infrastructure, and emerging digital technologies. Students work with real-world situations and case studies to learn business architecture best practices.  

Enterprise Architecture in Practice | LinkedIn Learning

  • Duration: 56 minutes

  • Prerequisites: None

  • Cost: $19.99-$29.99 per month (LinkedIn Learning subscription)

This course covers the fundamentals of enterprise architecture. Students learn how to build and manage an enterprise architecture team. There are four chapter quizzes at the end of each section that allow you to practice the knowledge you’ve just learned. This course offers students a certificate of completion that they can easily share on their LinkedIn profiles.

Enterprise Architect Books

If you want to become an enterprise architect but prefer not to learn digitally, enterprise architect books are a great option. They can also act as an additional resource while you’re studying. Enterprise architect books are great because, unlike some online courses, your subscription never expires and you can access the information at any time. 

The Practice of Enterprise Architecture: A Modern Approach to Business and IT Alignment

This book covers a wide variety of core enterprise architecture concepts. It explains the basics and history of enterprise architecture, as well as how enterprise architecture is used in the modern workplace. It was published in 2018, making it one of the newer enterprise architect books currently available. 

A Modern Enterprise Architecture Approach: Transform the enterprise with Mobility, Cloud, IoT & Big Data

This book takes an easy-to-read approach to explaining enterprise architecture. It covers the successes and failures that the author has witnessed to help leaders learn from them. The author, Dr. Mehmet Yildiz, has worked in the tech industry for decades as an enterprise architect at organizations including IBM, Microsoft, and NATO. This book was published in 2019. 

Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture

This book contains information and insight for anyone in a management position in the tech industry, including project managers and enterprise architects. It also takes an easy-to-read approach, using less technical language and framing things through the author’s personal experiences. However, it was published in 2015, so consider looking for updated information, as well. 

Should I Become an Enterprise Architect?

Yes, you should become an enterprise architect if you desire a high-paying and possibly remote management role in the tech industry. You should be prepared to study hard and work in the tech industry for several years before landing an enterprise architect job. Once you've locked down a position in enterprise architecture, you’ll be enjoying a high salary and considerable job security.

Pros of Becoming an Enterprise Architect

  • Since enterprise architects are senior managers, they are paid very well, with the average salary in the US being over $150,000.

  • There is a lot of responsibility associated with this role and managing large IT networks, but that can make it a fulfilling and rewarding job. 

  • If at some point you choose to leave enterprise architecture, you will have tons of transferable soft and hard skills and could likely get another tech job at many other companies. 

Cons of Becoming an Enterprise Architect

  • Since this is a position that requires a wide range of knowledge in IT, you may have to work in multiple careers or fields before becoming an enterprise architect. This can take a lot of dedication and career planning.

  • Becoming an enterprise architect requires at least a bachelor’s degree in addition to many years of relevant industry experience. It is not an entry-level position, and many enterprise architects are expected to have a master’s degree. 

  • Enterprise architects are in charge of large systems and teams of people. They often work long hours and shoulder a lot of responsibility. 


Can you become an enterprise architect without a degree?
If you have five to 10 years of industry experience, you can become an enterprise architect without a degree. However, most jobs for enterprise architects require at least a bachelor’s degree. If you don't have any experience in tech, a degree program will be your best bet.
Is enterprise architecture a good career?
Yes, enterprise architecture is an excellent career. Professionals in this career earn a high salary, have job security, and can work from home. This makes this form of architecture a good career path. For many, these are top priorities and for anyone willing to put in the time and work, working as an enterprise architect is an achievable goal.
Can a coding bootcamp help me become an enterprise architect?
A coding bootcamp can help you become an enterprise architect, but it will take much more to land a job. A coding bootcamp won’t work for those new to the scene. In the case of enterprise architecture, coding bootcamps are more suited for professionals with extensive experience who want to make a career change or advance in the field.
Has enterprise architecture changed post-pandemic?
Yes, those in the industry do believe enterprise architecture has changed post-pandemic. Due to many businesses focusing on surviving through the economic turmoil of the early 2020s, emphasis has been shifted to cloud computing.
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