Cloud Architect: Degree & Career Path

A career as a cloud architect may appeal to individuals with strong technical skills and an interest in the latest technology solutions. Read on to discover the details for this profession.

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Career Definition of Cloud Architects

Cloud technology consists of a variety of computing services, such as storage, servers, and software. Cloud architects specialize in developing and implementing an organization's cloud services, including cost optimization and security policies. A primary focus is ensuring that content on the cloud is always available and secure for users. These architects can work for a variety of organizations, including information technology service providers, and may travel as needed to meet with clients. Cloud architects usually work full-time in an office environment.

Specific job duties for cloud architects will vary depending on the type of organization. General job responsibilities for cloud architects can include creating automated scripts, defining parameters for cloud architectures, and collaborating with colleagues to ensure a streamlined transition to the cloud. These architects may be responsible for developing work processes and recording them. Cloud architects may also be responsible for creating automated systems utilizing open source technologies. Cloud architects could interface with customers, as well as sales managers, to handle pre or post execution services. These architects could also be asked to provide reports on successful cloud deployments.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Excellent technical abilities, strong interpersonal skills, effective project management skills, and strong analytical abilities
Median Salary (2018)* $128,849
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 6% (Computer Network Architects)

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

Required Education

Individuals will need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related discipline to work as a cloud architect. Some employers may desire a master's degree. A strong background in scripting and programming languages will be beneficial. Interested individuals can seek membership in an industry organization like the Cloud Computing Association (CCA). The organization aims to encourage both service providers and end users to utilize cloud technology.

Required Skills

Excellent technical abilities are the most vital asset for cloud architects. Relevant technical skills and knowledge can include the following: cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS); databases like MySQL; Java; open source technologies like Redis and Docker; and OpenStack. Cloud architects should have strong interpersonal skills in order to collaborate with colleagues or assist customers. These architects should also have effective project management skills in order to implement and monitor multiple cloud systems. Cloud architects will need strong analytical abilities to evaluate an organization's technical needs and select the right applications to meet them.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect statistics on cloud architects; however, they estimated a 6% job growth for computer network architects during 2016-2026. This growth is about as fast as average compared to all occupations. In January 2018, PayScale.com reported a median annual salary of $128,849 for cloud architects.

Related Careers

Those interested in working as a cloud architect may want to consider one of the careers profiled below. Positions include a computer systems administrator.

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