Cloud computing is developing rapidly. Moreover, they are gradually taking over the technology market. The fact is that more and more companies and businesses are moving to the cloud, and many others plan to do the same.
It has dramatically increased the demand for professionals in the field, bringing about a significant change in the job market picture.
According to LinkedIn, in the United States alone, there are more than 227,000 jobs for professionals in the field, making demand for this profession one of the highest globally.
So, how to become a cloud architect? You will get the answer via this article.
How to Become a Cloud Architect
If you want to become an expert in the field, it is essential to complete a correct path that includes specific steps.
Here are five steps you need to take to pursue a career in this field.
Step 1. Obtain a High School Diploma
If you want to become an expert in this field, you should know that some employers will require candidates to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
So, you’ll need to start with earning a high school diploma. So while in school, you should focus more on electives related to this field, such as science, computer programming, and math.
We recommend considering AP (advanced placement) courses as it allows you to earn college credits before graduation.
If you have completed your studies well and still have plenty of time left, it is wise to look for opportunities to work part-time to gain experience.
You can look for opportunities at companies that offer entry-level positions in the information technology field.
Step 2. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
When choosing a school that gives you the bachelor’s degree you need, look at the majors they offer. It would be best to prioritize schools that offer more attractive programs for your career goals.
A degree in computer science or information technology is quite joint for cloud architects. Yet, some schools deliver majors, specific courses, or minor programs in cloud computing.
You should also take classes related to areas such as:
- Virtual storage
- Backup and recovery method.
- Data center computing
- Network infrastructures
We recommend participating in activities that can support your learning through hands-on training and experience during schooling.
For instance, you might work in your college or university’s computer lab. It is okay to tutor other students in subjects that you target.
Step 3. Get Work Experience
If you want to become an expert in this field, it is essential to get practical experience.
The fact is that engineers in this area typically start at an entry-level position to gain experience to be promoted to the cloud architect role.
The more relevant your experience, the more likely you will get a position that leads directly to cloud engineering or even your dream position.
Step 4. Get a Master’s Degree
Although possessing a master’s degree is not necessary to become an engineer in this field. However, many employers love their candidates to own it.
Many institutions even consider a master’s degree as a preferred educational qualification. Hence, we recommend a master’s degree if you want to be more favorable in pursuing a career in this field.
If you have a master’s degree, you will be more likely to stand out from other potential candidates as most employers will appreciate you.
Step 5. Gain Relevant Certifications
Some certifications allow you to learn more about the area you’re targeting. As a result, they can help you boost your confidence in architecture.
Besides, you can also easily show your knowledge, education, and skills to the employer.
Some certifications help you focus on specific skills required for architects, and others educate you on specific cloud platforms.
What Is a Cloud Architect?
Large technology companies, such as Google, Deloitte, Infosys Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI), are always looking for leading architects in this field worldwide.
Therefore, there is no denying that they have a significant role for technology companies.
Simply put, these engineers are information technology professionals who specialize in cloud technology and establish protocols or programs to support the overall goals of the business or organization.
These professionals typically complete their work in an office environment during office hours. Yet, sometimes they can work overtime to meet deadlines, including weekends, nights, and holidays.
These professionals can also work remotely without sitting in the company’s office.
They may also have to work with other members of the IT team, including:
- Quality assurance specialists
- Database developers
- Help desk professionals
- Information security managers
- And more
What Do They Do?
The following are some of the typical responsibilities of cloud architects:
Creates Cloud-Related Solutions
Different companies will have different specific needs and requirements. Your job is to translate these needs into a trusted cloud structure.
On the other hand, it is essential to be able to improvise and propose new ideas and initiatives to your organization.
Oversees Cloud Security
Cloud architects will also ensure that the organization’s cloud system is secured to the highest degree.
So, if you can’t secure it with confidence, you can cause significant problems for your company because security threats are everywhere.
There is no denying that dealing with security threats requires constant vigilance. Moreover, it also requires the implementation of defense mechanisms when appropriate.
Maintains, Manages, and Monitors Cloud
These engineers will need to do more than create the cloud for their partners and customers.
It will take some time for an organization to integrate into the system entirely. As a result, they need help with the conversion. They can also work full-time to monitor and maintain the cloud continuously.
These architects are responsible for managing the cloud structure, and the incoming and outgoing data flows. Thanks to that, they ensure that it is running efficiently and smoothly.
Cloud Architect Skills
As an architect in the field, you will have to depend on different skills.
Specifically, you must combine technical skills with troubleshooting capabilities to keep cloud-based applications running efficiently and smoothly and eliminate problems from the moment they start.
Here are the skills you should have to succeed as an expert in this field.
This skill gives you the ability to manage all aspects of cloud-based applications, including user access and infrastructure.
This skill teaches you how to implement database platforms. That way, you help your organization or business protect, manage, and use the information it collects.
You need to be able to fix any issues as soon as possible to restore full cloud functionality to your organization’s use. As a result, you will help your organization minimize damage.
As an expert in one of the essential business areas, you need to work well with other team members.
You work not only with team members but also with other team members, customer representatives, and executives.
As a result, this skill is essential for conveying your opinions, ideas, and reports to them.
It indicates using standard programming languages, such as Java and Python, to develop custom applications relevant to your industry.
Thanks to this skill, you will know how to make an operational cloud infrastructure effectively, and it will support the client’s network and promote secure data storage.
This skill allows you to help your company manage all users of a cloud-based application. That way, you will each employee access any necessary resources stored on cloud servers.
By mastering the skills above, you will become a skilled expert in your field.
Salary and Job Outlook
The top essential factors you need to consider when choosing a job are salary and job outlook. The good news is that this field fulfills both of these factors well.
Salary and Common Benefits
In the United States, the average annual salary of architects in this field is $135,560.
The salary you can get can vary depending on many factors, such as:
- Your education level
- Your skills
- Your number of years of experience
- The region in which you work (city or state)
For instance, according to engineers in San Francisco, California, they can earn an average annual salary of $172,231.
In addition, software professionals in Biloxi, Mississippi, report that they can earn an average of $112,964 per year.
You can expect to receive a desirable salary for this position. And, of course, the salary you receive will increase as you gain more experience and skills.
Expected benefits you can get include:
- Dental, vision, and health insurance
- 401(k) with matching
- Stock options
- AD&D insurance
- Paid time off
- Health savings account
- Commuter assistance
- Referral program
- And more
The expected benefits you are entitled to may vary by region in which you work.
Currently, we do not find any specific job outlook statistics for architects in this field. However, we can categorize them along with computer network architects.
According to the BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), the number of jobs for computer network architects can be expected to grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029.
So, by pursuing a career in this field, you can expect that the future of your career is bright and open.
Where Do They Work?
As an architect in this area, you can work in various positions, depending on the nature of your work.
Some architectures may work for technology companies, contracting with customers to deliver cloud-based applications. Meanwhile, others are hired by businesses to work alongside IT departments.
In most cases, you may work for:
- A cloud computing organization or company
- The IT department of an individual company
- A technology research firm
- An information technology provider
- And more
Finally, your employer determines your place of work.
Jobs for Cloud Architects
If you are an architect with excellent skills in cloud computing, you will have a lot of job opportunities out there.
Here are some resumes for you.
- AWS Specialist
- Azure Cloud Architect
- Service Cloud Architect
- AWS Cloud Solutions Architect
- Security Architect
- Data Architect
- Senior IT Architect
- Solutions Architect
Preparing a good architect resume is essential if you want to try your hand at any profession on the list above,
Certifications for Cloud Architects
By owning several professional certifications, technology companies will likely appreciate you. As a result, you will stand out from other potential candidates.
Currently, three major technology companies offer professional certifications in this area, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google.
Here are three of the most popular choices:
1. Certified Solutions Architect By Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services offers this certificate.
It is an option for architects who have at least one year of experience in this field.
The exam consists of 65 questions, a mix of multiple-choice and multiple responses. You need to complete them in about 130 minutes.
2. Solutions Architect Expert By Microsoft Azure
If you want to gain this certification, you must pass two exams.
The first exam is all about the various technical tasks related to Azure. The other exam indicates data storage, designing security, infrastructure, and business continuity.
2. Professional Cloud Architect By Google Cloud
If you want to receive this certificate, you will have to complete a two-hour exam that includes multiple-choice questions.
This exam will assess your ability to create, design, and manage cloud infrastructure. It also indicates other related skills.
The Bottom Line
If you want to become an architect in this area, it is best to have a strong background in cloud computing or a related technical area.
You should also have a good knowledge of at least one operating system and a basic understanding of networking, security, and computer programming languages.
Last but not least, you also need eagerness to learn to get good time management and communication skills.