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How to Become a Enterprise Architect

        posted by , August 14, 2012

So you want to be a Enterprise Architect? Here are the 8 steps that will get you there.

1. Confirm it's right for you

Enterprise Architecture is a difficult profession that's demanding in more ways than one:

it's highly political

requires a great deal of general knowledge about business and IT

requires highly tuned soft skills

There's nothing worse (from a career perspective) than getting into a field that doesn't match your personality, abilities and interests. Consider it carefully before taking the jump.

2. Get some experience

Enterprise architects are generally senior IT staff. You need experience in several of the following areas:

solution architecture

IT architecture

data architecture

business architecture

security architect / analyst

project management

IT management

business management (e.g. operations management)

Enterprise Architecture has a broad scope — so it's best to get experience in as many areas as possible.

3. Learn TOGAF inside out

Take a TOGAF course and pass the certification. TOGAF provides a comprehensive view of enterprise architecture. It's important to learn enterprise architecture by the book first — later when you're an experienced EA you'll be able to break many of these rules.

4. Learn the business

Enterprise architecture is far more business aligned than most IT professions. It's important to understand your industry from a business perspective. Ideally, it's good to have business experience in multiple industries.

5. Become an IT leader

Enterprise architecture requires leadership skills. It's important to gain experience leading before stepping into an EA job.

6. Find a mentor

Engage the EA department at your company and try to find a mentor.

7. Ask for EA work

If you want something you need to ask for it. Enterprise architecture teams are often overloaded with work. If you ask, your organization's EA team might have some work for you.

8. Land the job

If you've gained all the experience you need it's time to land an EA job. Be sure that you have required the experience to answer questions like these.

If you've been diligent in your preparations it should be a breeze.

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