As a technical architect you have an important role as the project manager overseeing various IT assignments that are aimed at improving a business. It is your responsibility to make positive that all strands of the project run smoothly and come together as planned at the finish when the project goes live.
The kinds of projects you might oversee could range from planning the structure of a large-scale patients records database for the NHS to the redesign of a shop's online shopping site.
You will spend plenty of time liaising with people from all backgrounds - from management to designers and programmers in the IT department - to make positive the project meets the needs of the organisation and the individuals who are going to make use of the new technique.
Your role will therefore vary from project to project but the core set of tasks you will cover include:
Identifying the organisation's needs
Breaking down massive scale projects in to manageable chunks
Working out which IT products to make use of based on cost benefit analysis and research
Agree designs with the client
Describe to designers and developers what is necessary and overseeing the progress
Producing documents that monitor progress and be positive the quality of the project
Advise the client on managing future It needs
Skills and interests
There is seldom a dull moment in the life of a technical architect. It is an fascinating, varied and challenging role and you will need to be a jack of all trades to be successful. You will need to:
Be lovely with clients/operational managers - listening and providing answers
Have strong issue solving skills
Have lovely communications skills
Build a lovely rapport with clients/operational managers and colleagues
Be tactful and diplomatic
Be lovely at gathering and assimilating information
Have a lovely knowledge of technical applications and be willing to keep up to date
Have a lovely knowledge of quality standards, legislation and best practice
Be adaptable and able to prioritise
Be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
Think ahead and anticipate issues, issues and solutions
You will need to work your way up the IT food chain to make it as a technical architect.
Although the actual job does not need in-depth technical knowledge (the people you manage will often have much greater expertise than you in positive areas), it is important that you understand what technologies are out there (Java/J2EE, SQL, SAP, Oracle and C#) and what they do.
That is why you will usually need a degree or postgraduate award in subjects like computer sciences or computer engineering, information management systems, application development or business information systems.
Employers look favourably on systems development, analysis, programming or testing experience as a lovely springboard to success so it is common to start in one of these roles and work your way up.
The IT industry is booming so there's plenty of great opportunities out there. There's IT jobs all over the country although London and the South-East have the lion's share. Employers include not only the specialist IT consultancies but also public service organisations, Government departments, financial institutions and utility companies.
Taking a look at your future prospects, you would most likely be promoted to a more senior architect's role, or go on to specialise in projects for positive industries. A jump even further ahead could see you become a top IT consultant or IT strategist.
It is not a job for someone fresh out of university so the beginning wage reflects your experience and position on the IT career ladder. You could earn between £30,000 and £50,000 per year, and between £55,000 and £80,000 when you become a senior architect.
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