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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Certification & career path to Solution or Enterprise Architect

    Hi guys,

    Just to give you a quick overview, I'Ve a background technical project delivery and Sales engineering. I've ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE productivity and many other irrelevant certs.

    I'm currentlly a presales specialist and my goal is to reach the Entreprise architect position but I'm thinking my best chance might be the Solution Architect with my current career path.

    I might tackle TOGAF down the line in a few years.

    Any advice or certifications that I should look into ?

    Thanks.

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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Do a search on this forum for Togaf. Quite a bit discussion on this.

  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    SOA, TOGAF, Zachman Framework, FEAF

    Strong understanding of the full stack.......

    I work directly with our architecture team and these guys and gals have the certs mention above. Mainly SOA and TOGAF.......

    HTH
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    I just started a class on Enterprise Architecture as part of my grad program, and on the second slide of the intro deck, there's this remark from the professor: "EA is business focused but IT aware; it is strategic first – then tactical". The first lecture then went on to provide these nuggets of information:

    EA expectations
    • Optimize, across the enterprise, the often fragmented legacy of manual and automated processes
    • RE-position the IT environment such that it is responsive to change and supportive of the business strategy
    • Effective management and exploitation of information through IT capability
    • Provide a strategic context for the evolution of IT systems in response to constantly changing needs of the business environment
    • Bridge the gap between Business and IT

    With that, I think it might be worth it to clarify your desires... If you want to be an Enterprise Architect, then TOGAF/FEA/Zachman are going to be your frameworks of choice, and you'll need to be as knowledgeable of business concepts as your are of IT concepts. The focus here is more on strategy and how IT/IS can be leveraged in to competitive advantage.

    If you're looking for a more technically inclined role that takes advantage of the MCSA/MCSE-type certs, then you're looking for an IT architect role. Here, you'll be in charge of implementing the systems that EA dreams up to advance some capability that the business desires. The aforementioned focus here is on implementation and is a more tactical role.
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  6. Cyber Donkey
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    #5
    I would really do some deep thinking and research on this if I were you, and ask why do I want XYZ title. There are many different grades of "Architect" New Business architects or sales architects range from roles that do pre-sales technical briefs and high level planning, all the way to guys that do detailed RFP response, specifically the latter takes place a lot in public sector.

    As others mentioned some roles are more technical and others are more business centric, a role sort of like mine that would be called "Chief Archiect" or managing principal has a good mix of business and technical, I manage a team of technical principals, so I do a little of both, maybe 75% management and 25% tech.

    TOGAF is something I see around a lot, no one mentioned it, but I will VMware VCDX is a design level cert, albeit vendor specific, maybe worth doing a little research on. Cisco also has a design cert. maybe those are options if you are wanting to stay technical.
    Last edited by slinuxuzer; 08-30-2017 at 03:23 AM.

  7. Junior Member
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    #6
    Originally Posted by dmoore44
    I just started a class on Enterprise Architecture as part of my grad program, and on the second slide of the intro deck, there's this remark from the professor: "EA is business focused but IT aware; it is strategic first – then tactical". The first lecture then went on to provide these nuggets of information:

    EA expectations
    • Optimize, across the enterprise, the often fragmented legacy of manual and automated processes
    • RE-position the IT environment such that it is responsive to change and supportive of the business strategy
    • Effective management and exploitation of information through IT capability
    • Provide a strategic context for the evolution of IT systems in response to constantly changing needs of the business environment
    • Bridge the gap between Business and IT

    With that, I think it might be worth it to clarify your desires... If you want to be an Enterprise Architect, then TOGAF/FEA/Zachman are going to be your frameworks of choice, and you'll need to be as knowledgeable of business concepts as your are of IT concepts. The focus here is more on strategy and how IT/IS can be leveraged in to competitive advantage.

    If you're looking for a more technically inclined role that takes advantage of the MCSA/MCSE-type certs, then you're looking for an IT architect role. Here, you'll be in charge of implementing the systems that EA dreams up to advance some capability that the business desires. The aforementioned focus here is on implementation and is a more tactical role.
    Thanks for the details. I really appreciate it.

    As of now, I fit pretty much the IT Architect role but I'm looking to evolve into an enterprise Architect. I will do my best to get in an entry level position to gain valuable experience and then get the appropriate certs.

  8. Junior Member
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    #7
    Originally Posted by slinuxuzer
    I would really do some deep thinking and research on this if I were you, and ask why do I want XYZ title. There are many different grades of "Architect" New Business architects or sales architects range from roles that do pre-sales technical briefs and high level planning, all the way to guys that do detailed RFP response, specifically the latter takes place a lot in public sector.

    As others mentioned some roles are more technical and others are more business centric, a role sort of like mine that would be called "Chief Archiect" or managing principal has a good mix of business and technical, I manage a team of technical principals, so I do a little of both, maybe 75% management and 25% tech.

    TOGAF is something I see around a lot, no one mentioned it, but I will VMware VCDX is a design level cert, albeit vendor specific, maybe worth doing a little research on. Cisco also has a design cert. maybe those are options if you are wanting to stay technical.
    At this point, I'm more or less looking a couple of years ahead and evaluating what is the next step for my career.

    The reason why I think I can be an Enterprise Architect is that I'm in a presales technical role right now and a big part of what I do is help IT Directors & Managers create a compelling business case to why they should get funding for a solution, ho does it fit the business requirements and how it will impact the business productivity. And of course, I understand that an Architect role is way more than that

    I am looking forward to possibly learn more about it and take the appropriate steps for the years to come.

  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Sounds like your are a Business Analyst.
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  10. Junior Member
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    #9
    hahaha it's part of what I do.

    I'm more of a Sales Engineer / Delivery Manager.

    I touch on SLAs, SOWs, service contracts and I also handle product demonstrations and deployment for customers.

  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Gotcha.

    SLA's, SOW, RFP's, Presentations...... That sounds more like it
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    It might help to get CAPM/PMP to add to the list of future certifications.
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  13. Junior Member
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    #12
    Originally Posted by stryder144
    It might help to get CAPM/PMP to add to the list of future certifications.

    I looked into it last year and I wasn't really sure that it would make that much of a difference for me. For some reason, I was convinced that PMP was for project Managers only. Now, I'm realizing how stupid that logic was.

    At the time, I had all the requirements to go for PMP. I might probably give it a shot next year.

  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    Sorry for coming off sounding brash, but why would you get a PM cert when you want to be a enterprise architect, or solutions or integration etc....... (Architect).

    Get the TOGAF or SOA and call it a day. There are several reasons this is the right play. Terminology alone, when crafting your resume and explaining your task / role you'll pick up on dialog provided from these methodology/frameworks. This alone will help you out exponentially when it comes to securing the position. It will also help you fill in the gaps as you become more aware of what you don't know you don't know.

    How in the Sam Hill is a PM certification going to help with your effort?
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Great thread so far...thanks guys.

  16. Junior Member
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    #15
    Originally Posted by DatabaseHead
    Sorry for coming off sounding brash, but why would you get a PM cert when you want to be a enterprise architect, or solutions or integration etc....... (Architect).

    Get the TOGAF or SOA and call it a day. There are several reasons this is the right play. Terminology alone, when crafting your resume and explaining your task / role you'll pick up on dialog provided from these methodology/frameworks. This alone will help you out exponentially when it comes to securing the position. It will also help you fill in the gaps as you become more aware of what you don't know you don't know.

    How in the Sam Hill is a PM certification going to help with your effort?


    I agree that it is not related directly.

    However looking at some job postings, they require PMP sometimes.

    I guess it is more of a way to filter candidates.

  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    Originally Posted by Azt7


    I agree that it is not related directly.

    However looking at some job postings, they require PMP sometimes.

    I guess it is more of a way to filter candidates.
    Well heck I've seen an architect job once requiring A+, you might as well pick that baby up as well!!!
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  18. Junior Member
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    #17
    Originally Posted by DatabaseHead
    Well heck I've seen an architect job once requiring A+, you might as well pick that baby up as well!!!


    On a more serious note, I will probably go for SOACP and then TOGAF. If I have some free time and nothing to do, PMP might be on the board.

    Along with A+

  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Smart move going for SOA. Which one are you going for, Architect? (I hope)
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  20. Junior Member
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    #19
    Originally Posted by DatabaseHead
    Smart move going for SOA. Which one are you going for, Architect? (I hope)

    For now, I will go for the entry level Professional. If I can touch the right areas of the business at work., I will go for the Architect down the line.

    I don't want to be one of these guys with a high level cert and no relevant background / experience for it.

    Over the next few months, I'm going to study the market to assess the demand for Architects and we'll see what happens.

  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    Does the title matter that much? Currently, I work up and down the entire stack as a CSO but my title lacks the 'O'. Still I get paid more than the average 'O' level executive?

    In the end I never got to hung up on titles and just refer to myself as 'security', skipping the pretentious professional titles used by professional (licensing) organizations like Engineer or Architects. We are analysts and technicians but understand their is no good language for what we do today.

    File under title inflation.

    - b/eads

  22. Junior Member
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    #21
    Originally Posted by beads
    Does the title matter that much? Currently, I work up and down the entire stack as a CSO but my title lacks the 'O'. Still I get paid more than the average 'O' level executive?

    In the end I never got to hung up on titles and just refer to myself as 'security', skipping the pretentious professional titles used by professional (licensing) organizations like Engineer or Architects. We are analysts and technicians but understand their is no good language for what we do today.

    File under title inflation.

    - b/eads
    I totally agree .

    Like you, my current job title represent only a fraction of what I actually do and I get paid way more than a regular person at that position.

    My post was using the terms to help relate the positions to the relevant certifications.

  23. Senior Member
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    #22
    Unfortunately that's just not real world. Your title is your brand or at least part of it so it most certainly does matter. While an over inflated title, such as director of desktop support is about as stupid as it comes, so does an TRUE architect called a Business Analyst......

    Nothing pretentious about right sizing your title to your daily duties. In fact it's called being smart......
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  24. Junior Member
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    #23
    Originally Posted by DatabaseHead
    Unfortunately that's just not real world. Your title is your brand or at least part of it so it most certainly does matter. While an over inflated title, such as director of desktop support is about as stupid as it comes, so does an TRUE architect called a Business Analyst......

    Nothing pretentious about right sizing your title to your daily duties. In fact it's called being smart......
    Definitely agree with your point. I always found funny how there's what a job title / description is and then there is what the day to day really is. And there's a salary gap too which I'm not even going to go into.

    It's one of the reasons why I'm definitely requesting a promotion this fall to have the full-fledge proper title to match what I actually do on a daily basis.

  25. Senior Member
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    #24
    Originally Posted by Azt7
    Definitely agree with your point. I always found funny how there's what a job title / description is and then there is what the day to day really is. And there's a salary gap too which I'm not even going to go into.

    It's one of the reasons why I'm definitely requesting a promotion this fall to have the full-fledge proper title to match what I actually do on a daily basis.
    Same here, in 9 more months, 1 year I am going to ask as well. Looking for an associate architect title AT LEAST.
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  26. Are we having fun yet?
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    #25
    Get some Azure/AWS cloud architect certs
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