What Is a Cloud Architect?
A cloud architect is an IT specialist who helps an organization leverage cloud technology for application deployment and other use cases. A cloud architect has extensive knowledge of both cloud computing and how it is applied in a variety of industries. It’s common for cloud architects to work closely with a variety of stakeholders, as they navigate both the back-end technical side and the business side of cloud infrastructure.
As a cloud architect, you’ll enjoy a high level of job opportunity, since most businesses operate at least partially on a cloud environnment. Sixty-one percent of businesses migrated to the cloud in 2020, and the demand for cloud computing will continue to grow. In fact, 70% of companies currently using the cloud say they will increase their budget. Because of widespread adoption of cloud computing technology, cloud architects can be employed in a wide range of industries.
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What Do Cloud Architects Do?
Cloud architects are as vital to an organization as they are versatile to varying industries.
Cloud architects are responsible for managing cloud environments. They create and execute cloud computing strategies by designing, developing, and managing cloud infrastructure and assets to help a business meet its goals.
Cloud architects must work closely with DevOps team members, not only for strategic planning, but also for the technical work of building, deploying, and migrating applications within an organization’s computing cloud. Cloud architects collaborate with developers to make sure that preliminary requirements of a build are met before continuing to design and integrate the project.
Cloud architects have deep knowledge of the organization’s cloud infrastructure and can therefore assist IT security by monitoring cloud activity and addressing bugs.An in-house cloud architect allows a company to maintain ownership of its infrastructure, rather than relying on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
How Much Do Cloud Architects Make?
The nationwide average salary for a cloud architect in the United States is between $128,000 and $153,000.
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What Skills Are Necessary to Become a Cloud Architect?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a cloud architect, you’ll need as many of the following skills as possible:
- Ability to design and implement cloud infrastructure
- Interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of various IT ecosystems
- Leadership skills
- Proficiency in programming and coding languages
- Knowledge of one or more cloud environments, such as Azure Cloud, Google Cloud, or AWS EC2
- Good written and verbal communication skills
Background Training for Cloud Architects
To start, it helps to have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, computer science, or a related field. This will help you grasp the basics of what is needed on the job as a cloud architect.
Develop and sharpen your knowledge of programming and coding languages in Elixir, Python, and Ruby, as you’ll also need these on the job.
To get a leg up on the competition, know how to operate tools, such as Arcentry, Azure Visual Studio, Cloudcraft, Edraw, and Visual Paradigm.
Once you’ve had some on-the-job experience, train and specialize further by getting as a Professional Cloud Architect (PCSA) or a Certified Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.
3 Steps to Become a Cloud Architect
Here are the basic steps to follow to become a cloud architect.
A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or science is the starting point to becoming a cloud architect. The degree will provide you with the technical skills needed to succeed in the profession.
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Upon graduation, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll start as a cloud architect. Working an entry-level job in IT to put your studies into practice will get you on the path to eventually becoming a cloud architect later on. It doesn’t hurt to ask employers if the positions you interview for have advancement opportunities towards the role of cloud architect.
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Once you’ve gained experience in cloud infrastructure, take the extra step to specialize by taking an online course that leads to certification in one of the major cloud computing environments, such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc. These certifications can validate your abilities in design, networks, storage, and security. Eighty percent of those surveyed who got certified in a particular cloud environment reported a higher salary as a direct consequence of certification.