Although the popularity of the IT sector is as common knowledge, what isn't so well known are the challenging and rewarding roles available for the IT stars that can fix, build or design pretty much anything.
So if you are a computer whizz with great organisational skills then a career as a technical architect (or IT systems architect) will suit you perfectly.
So, what will I actually be doing?
As a technical architect you'll work as part of a team to deliver innovative, cost-effective and efficient IT solutions to an organisation.
You daily duties will include:
- Identifying an organisation's needs
- Agreeing plans with the client
- Discussing the best products and systems with the client
- Explaining plans to designers and developers
- Producing progress reports
- Dealing with problems as they arise (the path to IT never did run smooth)
- Advising clients on future developments
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The nitty gritty
The hours you work depend on the size of the project. While some days you'll keep regular office hours, you may on occasion have to work late or weekends to ensure the project hits a deadline. As with most jobs, communication is key too, as technical architects often go out to meet clients, suppliers or other departments.
If you want to get your teeth into more IT, technical architect you can move up to senior technical architect. If that's not enough you could specialise in certain types of projects or even became an IT consultant or IT strategist.
Money, money, money
This job is for those who’ve already earned their stripes in the world of IT. Salaries reflect this and technical architects can earn between £40k and £80k per year.
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The good points...
"Having a major influence on the technical direction of a project or programme from the outset," says technical architect Nick Rozanski.
...and the bad
"Not being able to make people understand the wisdom of your ideas (or maybe just not having good ideas)."
Is there study involved?
Being a brainy box will help in this job as a degree in maths, computer science, business information systems or software development will give you a strong advantage. Knowledge of current technologies is important as well as some experience in programming, support and design.
IT is a fast-moving world where technology is constantly evolving and it’s important that you are up to date with the changes in technology. Bodies such as the British Computer Society and e-Skills UK offer a variety of courses to keep you in touch and at the top of your field.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Interested in the job but still unsure if you've got the skills or personality type to match? Well if you tick some of these boxes you've got nothing to worry about.
- A lateral thinker
- Tactful and diplomatic
- Have strong knowledge of the latest IT systems, legislation and best practice (time to swot up if you don't)
- Good at meeting deadlines
- Ability to keep cool under pressure
- Strong communicator
- Good problem solving skills
- Can communicate complex technical ideas in a straightforward way