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Software Architect: Job Info & Career Requirements

Nov 14, 2019

Career Info for Software Architects

Job Title Software architect
Job Duties Make system design choices during the development of programs and apps for computer and mobile use, ensure designs are robust and technically sound, update programs and apps as necessary
Education Bachelor's degree
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 21% (software developers)
Median Salary (May 2018)* $105,590 (software developers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Software Architects Job Description

The term software architecture refers to the organization and structure of a system which in itself provides a foundation on which software can be constructed. Quite simply, it is the process of putting together a collection of interacting components into a system to accomplish a specific function. Software architect job requirements include designing the structure of these components to meet the needs of the end user. This process involves researching the needs of a client, designing the most appropriate architecture and then providing security and system updates to keep the software (usually an app or program) up to date, functional and fit for its purpose.

A software architect must have the necessary broad and technical knowledge to be able to perform the role described above alongside strong analytical skills, good communication and organizational skills. They will also need to be good problem-solvers and have a creative mind.

How To Become A Software Architect

Software Architect Education

The first step on the road to becoming a software architect is to graduate from high school where students should particularly focus on math and computer science classes. Next, aspiring software architects should complete an appropriate undergraduate software architect degree such as a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, software development, or similar. Schools offering software development programs will cover subject areas such as:

  • Computer architecture
  • Operating systems
  • Software design
  • Data structures
  • Digital design
  • Engineering statistics

Degrees such as these may also be available online which can provide more flexibility. Students who wish to further their education and qualifications may opt to obtain a master's degree in a computer programming or software development, which may open up more senior software architect opportunities later on.

Continuing Education and Training

Software architects will also need to learn skills and acquire knowledge associated with the field they become employed in. For example, if they are working for an insurance company, they will need to have at least some basic knowledge of the industry so that they can properly design software to meet the needs of that industry. As a software architect's career progresses, they can move up to more senior roles where they oversee the entire software development process within an organization.

Software Architect Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2018 the median salary for software developers was $105,590 per year with some developers in systems software positions earning a little more at $110,000. The top 10% of software developers earned in excess of $161,290.

The BLS also predicts that, for the period from 2018 to 2028, job growth for software developers will be at 21% which is significantly above average for job growth in the U.S. Job growth for software developers specializing in applications is forecast to be particularly strong at 26%.

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