How to Become a Cloud Architect
Essential Education, Skills, and Job Interview Prep
Cloud technologies are becoming increasingly popular, especially in 2021. They allow companies to store information on a remote online server instead of an on-site server. This has increased the demand for cloud architects.
A cloud architect is an information technology professional who uses the best cloud infrastructure, tools, and management techniques. If you want to get this job, you should earn certifications like Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect. Read below to learn more about how to become a cloud architect.
What Is a Cloud Architect?
A cloud architect is a computer science professional who builds cloud systems. A cloud architect’s role is also to oversee cloud management, create computer networks, and develop security policies to protect data.
The cloud architect should also be able to develop front end and backend cloud architecture. The server-side, or backend, of the system is where everything is stored, whereas the frontend is the user interface.
Cloud Architect Salary and Job Outlook
Today, almost every company uses cloud services. The demand for computer architects is growing faster than in other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Computer network architect job opportunities are growing at a rate of five percent by 2029.
PayScale estimates that the average salary of a cloud architect is $128,418. However, the salary ranges from as high as $167,000 or as low as $88,000. Even in the world of tech, this is a very high salary.
Entry-Level Cloud Architect Job Requirements
To work as a cloud architect, you need to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field. You should also have experience in designing and implementing complex IT operations in different companies. You should also be able to work with database management and cloud administration.
How to Ace Your Cloud Architect Job Interview
To ace your cloud architect job interview, you should prepare in advance. Think about the company’s infrastructure and needs. Some companies will need a larger storage capacity than others. You should also be ready for any question they might ask to measure your real-world technical skills.
Common Cloud Architect Job Interview Questions
- What does serverless mean?
- How do you perform a migration process to a cloud system?
- How do you use an API Gateway?
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in cloud environments?
What Degree Should I Get to Become a Cloud Architect?
To become a cloud architect, you should earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or IT. A degree in data science may help you land a job as a cloud architect as well. Some companies do require you to have a master’s degree, as this is a high-level position. Others may require you to be a certified cloud architect.
Associate Degree in Computer Science
With an Associate Degree in Computer Science, you will obtain the entry-level programming skills necessary to work in the IT field. Remember that to become a cloud architect, you need to have some experience in the tech industry.
An associate degree is a great starting point to build a career in cloud computing. However, you will need to further your career with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degree in Cloud Computing
The most common path to becoming a cloud architect is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Cloud Computing. This program will provide you with fundamental skills like software design and computer network management.
Another option is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, which will provide you with database management skills. You will learn about data centers, data structures, and programming languages. Later on, you can develop other cloud computing skills, like system administration and Amazon Web Services (AWS) techniques.
Master’s Degree in Cloud Computing
A Master’s Degree in Cloud Computing is a graduate degree that prepares you for cloud management challenges. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, this will help you develop your specialty.
You will learn about research methods, big data, cloud computing, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and many other fundamental skills like cloud SQL you’ll need for your career. As well, a master’s degree provides you with more career opportunities.
Cloud Computing Doctorate Degree
A cloud computing doctorate degree is the highest educational level you can achieve in this profession. With a PhD in Cloud Computing, you will receive more career opportunities and a higher salary, so it is an excellent career move. Keep in mind that most PhD holders move into academia and research positions.
What Does a Cloud Architect Do?
A cloud architect sets up cloud infrastructure to develop security policies and troubleshoot technical issues. They have many responsibilities on the job. Below you can see each duty in detail.
Sets Up Cloud Architecture
Cloud architecture components include databases, API management, and computer networks. A cloud architect’s responsibility is to set all those components in a streamlined system. You may use the Google Cloud platform or a different one depending on the job.
Creates Cloud Networks
A cloud architect should create cloud networks to have control and visibility of all cloud-based applications and devices. This consists of connecting each service to create an orchestrated data system. This way, employees will have access to an entire company’s database from different locations.
Develops Security Policies
Another responsibility that cloud architects have is to protect the data by implementing security policies. They should constantly be creating strategies to improve the security in the system. They might also work with cyber security engineers to accomplish this.
Evaluates Cloud Applications
Cloud architects are also responsible for evaluating the performance of cloud applications, including hardware and software. This way, they can promptly solve any type of issues that lead to data leaks or weak points in the network.
Migrates Data to The Cloud
Most companies start with an on-site server, so cloud architects are in charge of migrating the data to the cloud system. This process can be either long or moderately short, depending on the amount of data the company has.
Essential Cloud Architect Skills
A cloud architect should have certain skills such as database management, big data management, programming, and data security. You should also be proficient at other practical skills like DevOps and quality assurance.
Database management is the process of organizing, storing, and retrieving data. It is a fundamental skill in the IT department. This process allows companies to control and oversee data manipulation across multiple departments.
Cloud migration is another vital skill you should have to become a cloud architect. It consists of moving the dataset from on-site servers to the cloud system. It could also refer to transferring data from one cloud to another.
Cloud architects should be competent in information security fundamentals. They should be able to protect the cloud system by implementing risk tests and security mechanisms.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is a discipline that consists of building apps that simulate human behavior. AI is used in cloud infrastructure to automate and optimize workloads and other tasks like making corrections in the system without human intervention.
How to Become a Cloud
Architect: A Step-by-Step Guide
Cloud architecture is a career that requires a lot of preparation and experience. You will need to have career training in computer science and spend some time in an IT-related job position. Check out the following guide to learn the steps to become a cloud architect.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a cloud architect is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Remember that it could be in computer science, IT, or cloud computing. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science will give you the fundamental skills for cloud architecture. However, getting a specialization in cloud computing will help you become a skilled cloud architect.
Gain Some Work Experience
Cloud architecture is usually not an entry-level position. Therefore, you will need to have some work experience to be able to be hired. You can start by working in other IT departments such as database management or data security to put your skills into practice.
Once you have the skills and experience needed for this profession, you can advance your career by getting certified. Three certification providers can validate your cloud architecture skills, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services.
For the Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification, you will need to have three years of experience in the IT industry and pay the exam fee of $200. This exam lasts two hours, and it’s available online or in person.
The Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect certification is one of the leading certifications in the market since it is one of the most commonly used platforms. It consists of two exams that measure your platform knowledge and your cloud design competencies. They are called the AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams.
AWS is another popular cloud systems platform. This company also provides a credential called AWS Certified Solutions Architect. It measures your cloud architecture skills in a 130-minute exam. The certification cost is $150.
Create Your Technical Resume
Before applying for jobs, you should try to create a technical resume or portfolio to show projects that demonstrate your cloud architecture skills. Try to highlight those that show your database management and data security skills.
Start the Job Search
Now you should be ready to start the job hunt. Remember that the type of job you get will depend on your specialization. Some companies work with AWS, while others could use Microsoft Azure, so they might prefer to hire a candidate with one of those particular skills.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Cloud Architect?
It can take between four and seven years to become a cloud architect. Some companies will accept candidates that only have a bachelor’s degree, while others will prefer those with certification. A bachelor’s degree takes around four years, and you will need two to three more years to earn a certification.
Keep in mind that you will add a couple of years more if you pursue a master’s degree in cloud computing or another related field.
Should You Become a Cloud Architect in 2021?
Yes, you should become a cloud architect in 2021. Cloud architecture is an in-demand field with great compensation. If you’d like to get a leading role in the tech industry and you enjoy working with cloud systems, this career path might be for you.
You should only know that this profession requires you to have a certain level of experience and education. Therefore, you should be patient and consistent during your journey of becoming a cloud architect. Once you have the right skills, you will be able to get a great job in tech.
Cloud Architect FAQ
Does Cloud Architect require coding?
Although it is not a skill you will need to use every day, you should understand programming languages like Python or SQL. You eventually will have to develop web applications that work with databases, and that’s when your programming skills are helpful.
Which cloud is easiest to learn?
Most cloud architects say that AWS is the easiest cloud platform to use because the procedures are very straightforward. You can eventually learn other ones like Azure or Google Cloud Service, but AWS is a great starting point.
How much does a cloud architect earn per hour?
According to Salary.com, the average cloud architect hourly rate is $72. However, it ranges from $62 to $81, so it’ll depend on your competencies, the company, and the state where you’ll work.
Can a cloud architect work from home?
You can do certain tasks from home, but you can’t work 100 percent remotely. Sometimes you will have to troubleshoot problems in the hardware and software operations inside the company.