How to Become a Cloud Architect

 

6 Steps to Become a Cloud Architect

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or Computer Engineering (or a related field).
  2. Work in the field to gain IT experience.
  3. Practice with programming languages.
  4. Practice with cloud-based technology.
  5. Attend a bootcamp.
  6. Earn a certification.

What is the Job Description for a Cloud Architect?

A cloud architect is responsible for designing and implementing cloud servers that meet the needs of businesses and consumers. Additionally, they may need to revise the current architecture of a system or transfer a previous system to the cloud. Now that Google, Amazon, and Microsoft offer cloud hosting, this technology is quickly becoming the future of IT.

As companies grow, their servers may also need to change size and capabilities. An architect has the skills to make this happen. These professionals also ensure that legal contracts for service are being upheld.

Because this technology is relatively new and constantly changing, workers in this field must keep up with trends in order to remain experts in the technology and act in a consulting role for companies. These architects must determine a company’s needs and design a plan and timeline for software installation, creation, and the transferring process. They also are responsible for communicating the plan with all stakeholders and ensuring that the process is executed properly and efficiently.

Infographic shows career paths and education needed to be a cloud architect.

Cloud Architect Qualifications

This job requires a variety of hard and soft skills including:

  • Knowledge of programming languages – Python, Ruby, PHP, and Java as well as Node.js are all languages that are highly sought after by employers looking for these architects.
  • Knowledge of types of cloud services – In order to design and deploy cloud services, an architect must be an expert in Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platforms (GCP), or at least one of these three platforms on which cloud hosting takes place.
  • Ability to design cloud infrastructure – After recognizing a company’s needs and developing a plan, the architect must then begin the design process.
  • Ability to scale and transfer information to the cloud – Often, businesses want their existing systems to be transferred to the cloud, or they want to scale further as their needs change, or business and consumers grow. Specialized architects must be able to meet any changing needs.
  • Utilize appropriate tools – Tools for network diagrams, automation, monitoring, and more can help organize the job of the architect, save time, and make monitoring the cloud easier.
  • Make sure legal requirements are met – With every contract, there are agreed-upon services and requirements. The architect is responsible for making sure these legal agreements are satisfied throughout the development and deployment process.
  • Understand and incorporate security protocols and mitigation – One of the largest concerns for this tech is security. Architects must work to ensure all protocols are in place to keep information and data secure. Mitigation identifies and minimizes threats and risks to cloud security.
  • Leverage soft skills – Communication skills, presentation skills, organization skills, and problem-solving skills are all important to this role. Cloud architects must design the plan for businesses and communicate the plan and action items to the stakeholders. They also must solve problems involving the scalability of services.

 

Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as computer science, computer engineering, or mathematics. Generally, this role is not entry-level and hands-on experience through IT roles is also encouraged.

 

Cloud Architect Education Requirements

Some employers require certifications in the type of hosting server they use. Certifications include Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect, Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate or Professional), AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, and Microsoft Certified in Azure Fundamentals. Certifications like these prove to employers that you are proficient in the tools needed to complete the job.

Bootcamps and certification courses are a great way to learn the skills required to successfully complete the certification exams. Bootcamps are available in a variety of formats and areas of focus so that you can choose the one that is best for your goals and schedule.

A list of bootcamps is included below for you to compare the offerings and find the one that meets your particular needs.

 

How Long does it Take to Become a Cloud Architect?

Depending on your background, the time it takes to enter this field varies. A bachelor’s degree requires four to five years on average to obtain. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a bootcamp is a great option to focus on skills needed for this particular career. Most bootcamps are eight to 36 weeks long, depending on their curriculums and learning formats.

How to Become a Cloud Architect

Now that you know what the job entails and the demand for these professionals, how can you become a cloud architect? While no pathway is identical, listed below are 6 suggested steps to help you enter this coveted field.

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or Computer Engineering (or a related field) – Cloud architects must be good at problem-solving and have a working  understanding of networks, operating systems, and security components. While a bachelor’s degree is not required by every employer, many see it as proof of understanding computer basics.
  2. Work in the field to gain IT experience – This profession generally is not considered entry-level so most will need to find a position that allows them to gain IT experience.
  3. Practice with programming languages – JavaPythonRuby, and PHP are the most popular programming languages used in this technology.
  4. Practice with cloud-based technology – Companies use platforms including GCP, Azure, and AWS. Understanding how to design within these platforms is necessary for this profession. It is also important to understand when to deploy private, public, or hybrid clouds.
  5. Attend a bootcamp – Bootcamps are intensive courses on a specific skill. Bootcamps can be found on cloud architecture as well as on the specific systems.
  6. Earn a certification – Each system offers its own type of certifications and some are offered at different levels. Earning a certification shows employers where your specialties lie and that you have achieved a level of expert status in one or more of the cloud systems.

Explore schools offering Cloud Architect Bootcamps.

Job Outlook for a Cloud Architect

In 2006, Amazon introduced its first product that incorporated “server virtualization.” Since then, cloud technology has continued to evolve and become more appealing to businesses in a plethora of industries. This is creating a promising outlook for the field in the future.

The demand for cloud architects is expected to continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates growth of 5% from 2020-2030 for computer network architects, which includes these workers. This technology is especially attractive to businesses because it can greatly cut expenses, introduce new capabilities, and create a simpler platform. According to CompTIA, cloud computing is one of the top IT skills in 2021, creating a greater demand for this professional in the IT world.

According to Glassdoor.com, a variety of industries need these specialists. Microsoft (computer hardware and software), IBM (IT services), Amazon (internet services), Oracle (network solutions), Deloitte (accounting), J.P. Morgan (investment banking), Insight Global (staffing), and Verizon (telecommunications) are some of the companies and industries currently hiring these professionals.

Cloud Architect Salary

Because of their specialization and expertise, cloud architects are well compensated for their skills. Glassdoor estimates the average salary, as of September 2021, to be $137,244. Of course, salary depends on experience, as well as geographical location, and the salaries of these professionals for some of the main U.S. tech hubs, are listed in the chart below.

 
CityAverage Salary
New York City$147,604
Washington, D.C.$157,609
San Jose$181,230
Atlanta$128,832
Austin$129,171

Browse bootcamps for Cloud Architect.

Explore some of the top schools offering Cloud Architect bootcamps and find the right fit for your needs and schedule.