Technical Architects are a rare combination of advanced technical skills and incredible managerial abilities. They are indeed the unicorns of the tech job market, as described by Indeed.com. A technical architect acts as a bridge between technical and business aspects of an organization and oversees the design and implementation of IT systems.
If you are a computer whizz with excellent business skills, a career as a technical architect can be a perfect choice for you. It is one of the high-demand IT jobs today, and there’s a wide variety of areas where you can choose to work.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of a technical architect and explore key concepts including jobs, roles and responsibilities of a technical architect, skills, and experience required.
Technical Architect: An Overview
A Technical architect also referred to as an IT Systems Architect, is a systems logistics specialist who creates, maintains, and implements IT systems for a growing business or IT firm. You will need the right mix of IT knowledge and managerial skills to succeed in a technical architect career.
Technical architect roles typically involve:
- Designing the structure of technology systems
- Managing the implementation of programs
- Coordinating with the software development team to ensure the system runs smoothly
A technical architect manages IT projects right from inception to completion. Hence it’s imperative for them to understand all aspects of every system, from both business and technical points of view. They act as links between managers and designers or developers.
Duties like identifying organizational needs, agreeing on plans with clients, reporting progress to managers, and advising clients on future IT developments are also part of technical architect responsibilities.
If you are keen to take up a technical architect job, you can find opportunities almost everywhere. The technical architecture role is not just restricted to IT companies. Public service organizations, Government departments, financial companies, and utility companies are some of the areas you can choose to work in. However, to become a technical architect, you’ll need to work your way up an IT career path through the lines of promotion.
Employers look for a wide range of skills in technical architects, including good communication and problem-solving skills, ability to assimilate information, updated technical know-how, and ability to think ahead.
The salary you can earn as a technical architect will depend upon your experience. The average base salary in the US is $130,536 per year.
Technical Architect: Job Role
Technical Architect is a universal job title referring to a professional who oversees the technical work or IT architecture of an organization. However, there are more specialized job roles that fall under the technical architect category. Some such roles are:
- Applications architect who supervise individual parts of major IT projects and undertake technical duties
- Solutions architect, who leads entire projects.
- Enterprise architect, IT technical architect who oversees an organization’s IT strategy
- Cloud technical architect who works on cloud computing architecture
- Infrastructure architect undertaking projects related to hardware and infrastructure equipment.
- Besides, there are roles like an associate technical architect, lead technical architect
However, these job titles are not standardized across the IT industry. We recommend you check job adverts carefully to ascertain the details of a job position. Same job titles may vary significantly across businesses in terms of duties and level of seniority.
Technical Architect: Role and Responsibilities
Anyone looking to take up a technical architect role should be adept at transforming complex requirements into functional architecture. As a technical architect, you will work in a team to deliver cost-efficient and effective IT solutions to your organization.
Key responsibilities are to
- Determine organization needs and identify system specifications
- Analyze the needs of large systems and breaking them down into smaller manageable parts
- Plan and design the structure of technology systems, discuss these with the client
- Communicate best products and systems to client
- Communicate system requirements to software designers and developers; explain system structure to them and provide assistance throughout the assembly process.
- Choose suitable software, hardware and suggest integration methods.
- Oversee development and implementation of assigned programs and guide teammates
- Help resolve technical problems as and when they arise
- Carry out testing procedures to ensure systems are running smoothly
- Ensure that systems satisfy quality standards and procedures
- Work with senior IT personnel to devise plans for future IT requirements of the organization
- Produce progress reports
Technical Architect – Skills Required
The role of a technical architect is truly varied – so employers look for a wide range of skills while recruiting for the job.
Hard skills required for the technical aspect of the job include:
- Degree or Post Graduate in Information Technology, Computer Science, or relevant subjects
- Proven work experience as Technical Architect or Project Manager
- Hands-on experience in software development and system administration
- Knowledge of strategic IT solutions
- Extensive knowledge of computer hardware and networking systems
- Familiarity with operating systems like Windows, UNIX, and databases like MySQL
- Experience in cloud computing and cloud Technologies
You will acquire most of these technical skills during the course of your study and in your early career as a solutions architect. Once you get employed, you can consider taking short, specialized courses to boost your skill set.
Besides, you’ll need a few soft skills required for the management aspect of technical architecture.
- Excellent communication skills – you should be adept at listening to, understanding, and explaining key concepts to managerial and technical resources.
- Good Anticipation and problem-solving skills – an expert technical architect should be able to anticipate where problems might crop up and find solutions before the system gets deployed.
- Ability to deal with pressure – must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
- Ability to prioritize and manage time – IT projects often have fixed deadlines that cannot be averted
- Relationship building - Ability to form a good rapport with clients, managers, and colleagues as part of trust-building
- In-depth knowledge about quality standards, legislation, and best practices
Still unsure if you’ve got the skills for the job? Well, if you could tick some of the skills above, you are sorted.
The technical architect is a senior position, and to become one, you’ll probably need to work your way up an IT career path. It is difficult to bag a technical architect job right after university – you will need to gather experience working in the IT sector.
A good starting point can be a job in systems development, programming, or testing – and climbing up the career ladder thereafter. In the meanwhile, you can choose avenues for professional development. One course to consider is the TOGAF certification from Simplilearn – the world’s #1 Online Bootcamp. This course is designed to help you master the principles and processes of enterprise IT architecture. After completing the training, you’ll be adept at making successful operational plans and informed business decisions. Visit Simplilearn to learn more about the reasons to get TOGAF certification and TOGAF certification benefits.