Comparing Solutions Architects to Technical Architects
A career as a solutions architect or technical architect may appeal to individuals with strong technical skills and analytical abilities. Although both careers involve ensuring networks operate efficiently, they specialize in different areas. A solutions architect focuses on an organization's overall needs, while a technical architect focuses on a specific area. The main similarities and differences between the two jobs are outlined below.
|Job Title||Education Requirements||Median Salary (2017)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)**|
|Solutions Architect||Bachelor's degree||$113,559||6% (Computer Network Architects)|
|Technical Architect||Bachelor's degree||$110,211||6% (Computer Network Architects)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Responsibilities of Solutions Architects vs. Technical Architects
Solutions architects and technical architects both develop and implement methods to streamline operations. A solutions architect conducts complex research to determine trends that may impact an organization's operations. In contrast, a technical architect oversees the execution of specific solutions that align with an organization's application goals.
A solutions architect specializes in overseeing technical forecasts to assist management in strategic planning. Job responsibilities may include analyzing current issues and recommending solutions, creating and managing a team to develop best practices, and determining information technology architecture and ensuring it aligns with overall business needs. Solutions architects will need a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or business. They can work for a variety of organizations, including healthcare agencies or professional services firms. Interested individuals can pursue membership in professional organizations like the Microsoft Association of Practicing Architects. The organization is comprised of information technology architects and offers members the opportunity to connect with global colleagues.
Job responsibilities of a solutions architect include:
- Creating an architecture implementation plan and developing a risk assessment on related applications
- Overseeing the process for choosing buy or build technology solutions
- Managing processes like requirements gathering, project intakes, and prioritization
- Conducting post-execution reviews of installed applications to ensure effectiveness
A technical architect collaborates with solutions architects and an organization's end users to determine business needs and their importance and developing implementation costs and timing. Technical architects work for a variety of organizations, including information technology consulting firms and professional services firms. Job duties can involve evaluating business needs and providing recommendations on application designs, analyzing design specifications and validating them with technical development personnel, and collaborating with technical personnel to ensure streamlined application implementation. This career requires a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, or management information systems.
Job responsibilities of a technical architect include:
- Communicating design overviews to executive and technical management
- Instructing organizational stakeholders on potential threats in order to gain support for information technology strategies
- Guaranteeing application designs support the overall technological strategy
- Working with key personnel on recommendations for the information technology investment strategy needed to support application designs
If you would like to become a solutions architect, consider a career as a computer analyst, as both career involve working with an organization's overall technological infrastructure. Individuals interested in a career as a technical architect may be interested in working as a software developer, since both careers involve application design.