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Senior-level Certification: IT Architect Credentials Can Open Career Doors

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Entry- and mid-level certifications are all well and good for IT professionasl in the first half of their working lives. But what about more senior professionals, who may not necessarily want to transition from individual contributor to management roles, but who still want opportunities to grow and advance their careers? IT Architect certifications may be just the ticket for those interested in and able to articulate big-picture views of technology planning and adoption.
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As a discipline and an arena for employment, IT has matured considerably in the last 30 years. Today, the focus on skills and knowledge tends to move away from straight technology and into detailed issues related to infrastructure design, deployment, and management—particularly as IT professionals gain seniority and job experience (not to mention the occasional gray hair). As IT’s role has evolved inside most organizations, it has changed from a purely tactical cost center to a focus for strategic investment. In today’s IT world, organizations continually seek out ways to establish competitive advantages, and often look to information technology to help define and develop such advantages, and then to refine and maintain them.

As IT has matured and grown, job roles related to IT have done likewise. One such role that offers particular promise to talented, knowledgeable individuals in the second half of their careers is that of IT Architect. An IT architect is someone who not only understands most of the important aspects of information technology from the standpoints of acquisition, deployment, implementation, and use, but also understands how strategic investments in IT can help organizations meet their goals, boost productivity and profitability, and let them fulfill their missions more effectively and efficiently. The IT Architect is a person who brings technology savvy together with a deep understanding of and appreciation for business concerns, and can use that unique perspective to assess and guide IT investments according to their ROI and in light of the opportunities they can create.

Let’s take a look at trends in the IT Architect certification space, including salary potential, training opportunities, job search tips, and conclude with a quick look at leading relevant programs and certifications that cater to this job role.


According to job and salary sites like Indeed.com and Dice.com, salaries for IT Architect (or similar technology architect positions in IT) continue to grow. For 2010, the average salary across all IT architect positions was in the $80-90,000 range, but a significant percentage of such positions (nearly 30 percent) pays salaries over $100,000, some in the over-$160,000 range. Various IT Architect credentials can bring pay boosts with them; our research shows that for positions that require or desire specific certifications, pay runs about 15-20% higher than other similar positions that do not mention certification directly.

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