Enterprise Architects


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take as many computer science classes (database management, programming, computer security, etc.) as possible in high school to prepare for this demanding career. You should also work on developing your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills by taking courses such as business, philosophy, mathematics, and social studies and participating in leadership positions on clubs and sports teams. Enterprise architects must be excellent communicators, so be sure to take writing, speech, and English classes to develop these skills.

Postsecondary Education

Enterprise architects need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, database management, or another IT-related field. Some employers require enterprise architects to have master’s degrees in one of the aforementioned fields or in IT management or business management. A few schools offer master’s degrees in enterprise architecture. For example, Pennsylvania State University offers a master of professional studies in enterprise architecture and business transformation.


A growing number of colleges and universities offer certificate programs in enterprise architecture. For example, Pennsylvania State University offers a graduate certificate in enterprise architecture to students who complete the following classes: Enterprise Architecture Foundations, Enterprise Modeling, and Enterprise Information Technology Architecture. Contact schools in your area to learn about available programs.

Other Education or Training

Professional associations, online learning platforms, tech companies, and colleges and universities provide in-person and online learning opportunities that help aspiring enterprise architects explore the field and current practitioners expand their knowledge base and prepare for certification or re-certification examinations.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Voluntary certification is available from tech companies and industry organizations. Those who are certified typically earn higher salaries and have better job prospects than those who are not certified. Most certification programs require applicants to meet educational and experience requirements and pass an examination. Here are some popular certification credentials for enterprise architects:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional
  • Dell Cloud Architect-Cloud Infrastructure and Services
  • Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence various certifications
  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
  • (ISC)² Information Systems Security Architecture Professional
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • The Open Group various certifications
  • Red Hat Certified Architect

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

This is not an entry-level position. You will need a minimum of five years of experience in lower-level enterprise architecture positions or in a career (such as system administrator, network administrator, solutions architect, product owner, or database architect) that involve some architecture-related duties in order to qualify to work in this field. Some employers require 10 years of experience in lower-level positions.

Enterprise architects must have top-notch information-gathering and analytical skills in order to expertly assess their employer’s current and future data and technology management needs. They need to be strong communicators and effective listeners in order to gather information from top management about their needs, as well as talk to lower-level workers to understand the challenges they encounter when accessing and sharing data and using technology. The perceptions of managers and executives and line-level workers about the same topic can be very different, so it’s important that the architect has the tenacity and interviewing and analytical skills to find the truth in any situation.

Once they have assessed these needs, architects must effectively detail the business benefits of a particular type of enterprise architecture and explain how using it will save the company time (sending information between departments faster than in the past, for example) and money. They also must be able to explain it to front-line workers (who may need to be convinced that the new approach will make their jobs easier, rather than more complicated). As a result, architects must be strong communicators, but also have excellent powers of persuasion, patience when answering questions about the new architecture, the ability to explain complicated technical concepts to non-technical individuals, skill at negotiation and reaching a compromise, and enthusiasm for the new architecture. Other important traits include leadership ability; excellent organizational, time-management, and project management skills; and proficiency in systems thinking, strategic thinking, and IT governance and operations.

Enterprise architects do not need to be experts in every type of technology, but they should have extensive knowledge of common hardware and software, as well as a familiarity with cloud computing, computer security, DevOps, Agile methodologies, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.