What Is an IoT Architect?
IoT, or the Internet of Things, is the technology of connecting any device to the Internet and to other connected devices. This can include smart sensors, phones, appliances, cameras, wearable technology, and cars. An IoT architect sorts through all the data transmitted between networks from the various machines and gadgets used every day by millions of people. IoT architects help organizations fix business problems by designing IoT solutions. They are also responsible for creating and communicating the IoT concept, message, and architecture.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||IoT data management, communication, leadership, varied technical skills|
|Median Salary (May 2018)*||$109,020 (for all computer network architects)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||6% (for all computer network architects)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
An IoT architect position will require at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or information technology. Florida International University offers a Bachelor of Science in the Internet of Things, making this the only specific IoT degree in the U.S. There are quite a few training and technology organizations that offer IoT courses and certifications, such as Microsoft and Cisco. DAMA International and the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTC) are professional organizations that offer networking opportunities, as well as certification and access to educational conferences. Since this field is so new, those who have earned certificates or taken coursework will stand out to potential employers.
An IoT architect needs to stay up to date on IoT businesses, data governance, and good data practices to provide better security and performance in this advancing technological world. This is where professional organization membership and continuing education through courses and conferences are helpful. The technical skills required are varied. Proficiency in programming; data management; programming languages such as Java, Python, or CSS; embedded systems; network topologies; transport protocols; cloud computing; stream processing; analytics; and application development. An IoT architect cannot just rely on their technical skills, however. They will be working closely with business leaders to resolve business problems, so communication and leadership skills are a must.
Career Outlook and Salary
Considering the great amount of machines and gadgets that transmit data between networks, IoT architects are needed to sort through all of this data. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of all computer network architects is estimated to grow 6% from 2016 to 2026, which is close to the average for all occupations. There is growth specific to IoT but the industry is still considered new. However, research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts an IoT market size of $1.2 trillion in 2022. The BLS also reports that the median salary for all computer network architects in May 2018 was $109,020.
Below are a few careers related to that of an IoT Architect.