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Cloud Architect: Job Description & Salary

A career as a cloud architect may be a good choice for an individual who possess a high level of computing and technology skills and enjoys working in a field that evolves quickly.

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Career Definition of a Cloud Architect

As the worlds of technology and computing change and develop, more and more careers are emerging to suit the needs of the evolving computing landscape. The cloud architect is one such role. A cloud architect, or cloud computing architect, is responsible for setting up all of the components required for successful cloud computing. A cloud computing network, as opposed to a more traditional computer network, involves storing and managing data across a number of remotely located servers, rather than a local server. Cloud architects are in charge of creating these cloud networks by connecting remotely located servers. This involves setting up front- and back-end platforms and developing an operational cloud based delivery system.

Some of a cloud architect's general duties and responsibilities may include setting up cloud storage and computing systems from scratch, making sure these systems abide by various compliance and security policies, managing systems, and making updates as necessary. Cloud architects need to be able to adapt quickly and respond to new problems and issues efficiently and effectively, as the field of cloud storage and computing changes often.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Computer programming and networking skills, knowledge of scripting languages, expertise in computer operating systems, computer security, creativity, organizational and planning skills
Median Salary (2017)* $124,882
Job Outlook (2014-2024)** 9% (for all computer network architects)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

While there is no specific required education to become a cloud architect, obtaining a bachelor's degree in a related area like computer science or computer programming will definitely help you master some of the skills necessary to be successful in this field. Many cloud architects also combine a technical education background with a number of years of work experience in the field of computing and technology. It is also possible to obtain a Cloud Architect certification, which is not necessarily required to find a job as a cloud architect, but may boost your resume and help prove to potential employers that you have the necessary skills to be successful in this role.

Required Skills

Working as a cloud architect requires certain skills and technical knowledge. To be successful, you will likely need to be proficient in at least one computer scripting language, if not multiple. Cloud architects also must be skilled in the areas of computer programming and be knowledgeable about computer networks in general. As a cloud architect, you may choose to specialize in one particular computer operating system, like Windows, Linux, or Solaris, though if you are capable of working with multiple operating systems, you may be able to find more work. It is also important for these professionals to be keenly aware of computer security, as they want to be sure to create cloud systems that are safe and secure.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to PayScale, cloud architects made a median salary of $124,882 as of 2017. These professionals, which are classified under the broader category of computer network architects by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), are in high demand. All computer network architects are projected to experience 9% growth in their field from 2014 to 2024 according to the BLS. While the BLS mentions that as more and more companies adopt cloud computing methods, traditional computer network architects may not be as highly demanded, this should only positively affect individuals who are cloud architects.

Related Careers

For individuals who are considering pursuing a career as a cloud architect, they may also be interested in looking into a couple of similar career options, listed below.

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