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Career Definition for an Information Architect
As technology has enabled websites to perform an ever-increasing number and complexity of functions, information architects are required to ensure a well-planned, user-centered design. Companies found that ease-of-use increases site visits and e-commerce, and the involvement of an information architect could achieve this while minimizing costly re-designs, according to Tech Republic.
Information architects begin by analyzing the target audience and level of interactivity, and technology required, in addition to the data presented through the site. They then develop a plan that will balance efficiency with ease-of-use. Information architects work with graphic and web designers, database engineers and coders to implement their plans.
|Education||A bachelor's or master's degree in computer science or related field is commonly preferred|
|Job Skills||Logical and critical thinking skills, collaborative nature, ability to take initiative and anticipate client needs|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$109,020 (computer network architects)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||6% growth (computer network architects)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information architects need a broad skill-set including familiarity with design software and HTML coding, in addition to expertise in communication planning. Degree requirements range from associate's to master's, depending on the size of the employer and their needs. The area of study has been less important than the degree because few schools offered information architecture or related degrees. As the field has grown, more have begun to offer such programs, whose graduates are very attractive to employers. Certificate programs at community colleges are also well-acknowledged ways for all information technology professionals to stay current with ever-changing technology, according to the Information Architecture Institute.
Information architects must be extremely logical, focused and detailed-oriented. They should also have a collaborative nature and be able to ask the right questions to determine client objectives in order to minimize the number of revisions required to complete a project.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that jobs for computer network architects may grow 6% for the decade of 2016-2026. In May 2018, the BLS reported that these workers made a median annual salary of $109,020.
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options within this field include:
Computer Systems Analyst
Often having a bachelor's degree in information or computer science, these analysts may also have programming and advanced information technology skills. They study organizations' computer systems and look for ways they may operate even more efficiently. Average employment growth of 9% was anticipated in this field by the BLS from 2016-2026, and an annual median wage of $88,270 was paid to computer systems analysts in 2017.
Computer Support Specialist
Although some positions require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate may be sufficient for some computer support specialist jobs. In general, these workers give advice and help to others who are using computers. Those referred to as computer 'network' support specialists assist information technology (IT) employees, while those called computer 'user' support specialists help anyone having issues with their computer.
In general, the BLS predicted faster than average job growth of 11% for these specialists from 2016-2026, with a similar outlook for the user support specialists during the same time period. As of 2017, the BLS reported annual median salaries of $62,340 for network support specialists and $50,210 for user support specialists.