5 Steps to Become an IoT Architect in 2021
IoT stands for “Internet of Things” which includes any and all technologies that connect users to the internet and/or other devices. These architects are responsible for creating the vision, strategy, and architecture of the internet of things for a business.
When a business communicates its system and network needs, the IoT solutions architect must create a plan to match these needs and the vision of the company’s leaders. Next, the plan and strategy must be created and monitored. Not only will the architect consider current needs, but also possible future needs.
The actual connection of all components to create the final architecture includes data collection, hardware, applications, systems, and everything in between. The constructed project will then be deployed and the IoT solutions architect will work with a company to create a plan for solutions and steps to follow so that the process is standardized for all stakeholders.
These technology professionals must not only understand the internet of things but also comprehend how businesses work to match a business with the necessary internet of things that is appropriate. IoT architects are leaders in their field and must feel confident in communicating to both fellow technology professionals, as well as business stakeholders.
Some skills aspiring IoT Architects should have include:
According to Oracle, the Internet of Things is “the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.” The inclusion of “things” is vast and professionals in this career field must have experience with a variety of software and technology.
Different businesses will require a variety of solutions to meet their company’s vision. The architect must be able to match the company’s objectives with the proper solutions for their needs. As architects gain experience, they will be able to use prior work to influence future plans.
According to The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), websites are largely built on HTML and CSS, and the internet of things can utilize the “web of things” as an established platform that helps to increase the interoperability of devices.
In order to identify business solutions, an IoT solutions architect must be able to look at and analyze data to then make informed decisions to create solutions.
Machine to Machine (M2M) app development allows devices to share data without human intervention. Understanding app development, as well as M2M app development, is key in this field. Knowledge of how data transfers among devices is also an imperative part of this skill.
Now that devices can be automated and also controlled from everywhere, IoT is largely reliant on the cloud, making this a needed skill.
IoT largely works by connecting embedded systems and the internet of things cannot happen without them. Therefore, knowledge of how embedded systems work, their capabilities and limitations, and how they can connect is imperative in this field.
As with any technology field, security protocols are important here, especially when data is being transferred over the internet and other devices. Actual IoT security protocols are in place since different networks are communicating. Using secure operating systems, firewalls, and cryptography are just some of the protocols that can be put into place.
The IoT architect helps connect business leaders with back-end developers and other IT workers. Creating this collaboration and communication among team members requires communication and presentation skills.
Since they work directly with company leaders to create solutions and delegate future work, IoT architects must have leadership skills.
Since this is a field that requires a vast number of technical skills, most people enter this career through formal education, rather than on job experience. Most employers agree that a bachelor’s degree is necessary with focuses in information technology, computer science, or computer engineering. Since a degree in the internet of things is not a common offering, many companies offer certifications and related courses that are needed for this relatively new and evolving profession.
Another great way to prepare for certifications and to learn the skills needed in this field is to attend an IoT bootcamp. Bootcamps are offered in-person, online, and in hybrid variations lasting, on average, 8 to 36 weeks. Read more below to compare bootcamps and find the one that meets your needs and goals.
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.
As with other jobs in technology, most employers require a bachelor’s degree to show that you have some expertise in computer technology.
In order to plan, design, and create solutions, IoT architects must be familiar with the technologies at their disposal. This includes programming languages, data tools, embedded systems, software and hardware, networks, cloud services, and more.
Understanding the solutions that businesses incorporating the internet of things have used in the past can help you become a more informed architect.
Data is an important part of the design and solution process, and, as solution leaders, IoT architects are expected to have knowledge of how to manage and transfer data appropriately.
Since this is a relatively new field in technology, there are not widespread degree offerings in this concentration. Different companies and organizations like Microsoft, Cisco, the Cloud Credential Council, and CertNexus offer training and certifications to show that you are specialized in this area.
This relatively new career field is exploding as more devices are embedded with sensors and connected to the internet — and each other. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet have a specific measurement for growth in this emerging field but ranks computer network analysts as having a 5% growth from 2020 to 2030.
IoT Analytics expects business spending on the internet of things to grow 24% in 2021 when compared to 2020. Since very few workers in the technology world specialize in the internet of things, those who do have the necessary skills will continue to be in high demand.
IoT technology is already in a variety of industries and businesses. As companies work to stay competitive and keep up with evolving technology, the demand for internet of things tech and its professionals is growing.
According to a 2019 report by imaginovation, there are eight sectors that can greatly benefit from this tech. Many of them have already begun incorporating connected devices into their practices. Agriculture is one of those industries that can incorporate everything from drones to cattle monitors. The energy industry can use it to monitor and optimize energy. Finance can utilize this tech for automated processes, interactive credit cards, and encouraging better financial habits through connected devices. Healthcare utilizes tracking devices to monitor equipment, reduce patient costs, and monitor patients remotely. Transportation, hospitality, retail, and manufacturing also made the list.
According to Zip Recruiter, as of September 2021, the average salary for this field in the United States is $132,462. Of course, salary can vary by both experience and geographic location. Listed below are the average salaries for this career in some of the nation’s top tech hubs.
|Location||Average Salary (September 2021)|
|New York, NY||$129,525|
|Silicon Valley, CA||$188,807|