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Cloud Architect Vs. Structural Engineer

Cloud architects and structural engineers both design and build, but the final products, salaries, and career outlooks for those in these two professions are vastly different.

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Comparing Cloud Architects to Structural Engineers

When a company wants a cloud server to keep data or allow for interoffice communication and workflow, they hire a cloud architect. When a city wants a new bridge, however, they hire a structural engineer. Learn more about these careers below.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Cloud Architects Bachelor's Degree $101,210 (Computer Network Architects) 6% (Computer Network Architects)
Structural Engineers Bachelor's Degree $83,540 (Civil Engineers) 11% (Civil Engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Cloud Architects vs. Structural Engineers

Cloud architects do not actually design buildings, but they do create the computer code to build a cloud system. Structural engineers, on the other hand, do develop ideas for buildings and parking lots. Though technology develops and changes quickly, cloud architects want their systems to last, which is also a key concern for structural engineers and the infrastructure they design. Additionally, people in these careers strive for safety, whether that applies to information or individuals. To complete a project according to a client's safety requirements and specifications, both professionals are expected to work on teams.

Cloud Architects

These technological professionals can work for big name phone companies or websites, as well as other companies that offer users the ability to save information and images in a cloud system. Additionally, they can work to integrate a cloud server in an office setting. First, they observe the working environment and determine what the company will need to be efficient. To make suggestions to management for upgrades in the cloud software, these architects should be aware of the latest technological advances. They may study computer science to gain some of this knowledge.

Job responsibilities of a cloud architect include:

  • Determining the size of the cloud storage capacity, depending on the needs of the company and the users
  • Patching bugs in the code for the server as necessary
  • Creating a plan to protect the information in the cloud and keep it private
  • Installing necessary hardware, such as network drivers, to make the cloud accessible

Structural Engineers

Structural engineers may consider details like wind, traffic, and weight when they design and build buildings and bridges. They use complex physics during this design process. Another task for structural engineers is to decide what materials (concrete, steel, or even wood) will be needed. Based on their designs, they must then estimate how much the entire project will cost, including any permits that may be necessary for the build. During the build, structural engineers may do a great deal of traveling between sites to keep a project on schedule and work closely with contractors.

Job responsibilities of a structural engineer include:

  • Understanding survey reports and maps to analyze the scope and size of the project
  • Visiting proposed locations to determine if the ground will provide a strong foundation
  • Remaining updated on current government regulations
  • Completing investigations on older buildings and roads to determine their structural integrity

Related Careers

Those curious about a career as a cloud architect should also research a job as a database administrator, since both work with protecting information. Some interested in a career as a structural engineer could also find fulfillment in becoming an architect, because both design infrastructure.

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