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Cloud Architect Job Description

According to a recent report, the global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from a value of $445.3 billion in 2021 upwards to $ 947.3 billion, by the year 2026; this is estimated at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16.3%. This is impressive, and hence tells us the impact of cloud computing in all facets of the economy. 

It is, for this reason, you will hear of many cloud computing-related jobs such as “Cloud Architect.” This is not a buzzword, but a cloud job description, whose roles and responsibilities we will be outlining in this article. 

We will also outline and give an understanding of what a Cloud Architect does, analyze the skills and certifications necessary to become one, and outline some of the types of jobs that are available if you decide to take on this career path

First off, where does Cloud computing architecture come from? This essentially refers to both the components and subcomponents required for successful cloud computing.

The components consist of a front-end and back-end platform, a cloud-based delivery, and a network that enables the various aspects to talk to each other seamlessly. These are what makeup what we call the cloud computing architecture. The solution’s design associated with cloud architecture is based on architectural procedures and methods developed over a period of 20 years. 

This is where the profession of Cloud Architect comes in.

A Cloud Architect is expected, among other roles, to convert the technical requirements of a project and outlay them into the architecture and design that will guide and inform the final product. 

Cloud Architects also bridge the gaps between complex and technical business problems and the solutions provided by and in the cloud. He or she also works hand in hand with other members that make up the TechOps teams – which include developers and DevOps engineers – to provide and ensure the implementation of the right custom technology or technologies to solve organizational needs effectively.  

Roles and responsibilities of a Cloud Architect 

Roles and responsibilities of a Cloud Architect

Do you want to start building a career as a Cloud Architect?  Here are roles and responsibilities to help you define what first steps you can take to begin your career journey. 

A cloud architect is responsible for overseeing a company’s cloud computing strategy.

The responsibilities that come with the role include:

  • Cloud adoption plans, where you estimate and anticipate cloud infrastructure costs and meeting budgets.
  • Cloud application design involves the modelling and design of the application as a suite of services (or functionalities).
  • Cloud management and monitoring: Here they are tasked with IT monitoring systems, privacy, and developing incident response procedures. 
  • Oversee application architecture and deployment in cloud environments:  including public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
  • Act as consultants for their organization: they need to stay up to date with the latest trends and issues, whether the company is already using cloud services or is planning to migrate to the cloud.
  • Understand legal aspects of cloud computing: such as negotiating cloud SLAs, and contracts and working in tandem with the legal and procurement departments to ensure the smooth running of services

Key skills required to become a Cloud Architect 

Should you be thinking of jumping into the role of a Cloud Architect, you will be required to have already gained some strong background knowledge in cloud computing or a similar technical role. Some initial study or work to gain experience is recommended in the below areas before you can comfortably take on the role of a Cloud Architect.

  • Networking development and administration skills: You will be required to have a fair amount of aspects such as TCP/IP, IP addresses, HTTP, and DNS. Therefore ensure that you gain some practical knowledge of these concepts before accepting a role as a Cloud Architect.
  • Operating systems: It is key to gain a fairly good knowledge of at least one operating system: these include Linux, Unix, Solaris, Ubuntu, and/or Windows. Preference is for any Linux operating system such as Red Hat or Ubuntu. If you have gained some industry experience as a system admin or architect in the handling of the famous more utilized operating systems then you will have an upper hand.
  • Understand different cloud systems such as Azure/AWS/GCP
  • Computer programming languages: Five Programming Languages are recommended for any aspiring Cloud Architect to learn including Python, Golang, Ruby, Java, and ASP.NET. A minimal understanding of programming or scripting languages may not be a must, but you will definitely need it when building and automating using scripts.
  • The use and implementation of tools and platforms including but not limited to Hadoop, Spark, Kafka or Kubernetes, and SQL/NoSQL databases.
  • Security is everything: Since everybody is moving to the cloud, this also makes it a premium target for hackers and other rogue tech users. Having good knowledge of cyber security in the cloud is paramount and compulsory. Therefore as a skilled Cloud Architect, you will be required to have some initial knowledge of some basic security concepts, such as firewalls, etc.

What is the difference between a Cloud Engineer and a Cloud Architect? 

Confused about the role of a Cloud Architect and a Cloud Engineer? Well, they both work within the cloud-based computing systems industry and require comparable training and years of experience because their tasks are similar in many ways. 

As a first thing, Cloud engineers take on all aspects of any cloud-based system and therefore work to ensure Cloud Architects have access to properly designed cloud-based servers, where the architects would then focus on creating the system designs.  

Cloud Architects are therefore designers of the cloud system and must have a clear understanding of the needs of their company and how cloud computing would be utilized. The system developed will meet customer needs using programming languages, such as Python, SQL, and JavaScript.

Cloud Engineers on the other hand are tasked with the cloud-based computing systems infrastructure and they thus provide documentation that details and outlines the design of their systems. They are required to have a deeper and wider role as they work on both computer hardware and software simultaneously. They would also need excellent knowledge of different operating systems and programming languages, such as Python, and be familiar with different operating systems.

Table of roles

Cloud EngineersCloud Architects
Meeting with managers and clientsManaging the transfer of data from traditional to cloud-based services
Construction of cloud-based serversInstalling and configuring of software
Managing and overseeing the roles and responsibilities of cloud architects and other related rolesMaintaining cloud-based services
Assessing the business’ software needsCreating operating procedures and processes
Ensuring security and robustness of the cloud-based systems and programsIdentifying, mitigating and correcting problems
Testing and QA of systemsPreparing well documented production and migration schedules

What qualifications do you need to become a Cloud Architect?

Maybe before we address the above, it’s also important to ask whether it’s necessary to have a Bachelor’s degree or whether a Data Analyst certification is enough.

Well, employers ideally prefer candidates who have undertaken a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Electronics, or Telecommunications. This is mainly because the candidate that has gone through university would have gained a sizable and all-rounded basic knowledge of programming, computing, and networking. Some organizations, however, take into consideration relevant work experience or a Master’s degree in Engineering.

However, with the growing need for more skills and the presence of Cloud certifications, some companies do not require one to have formal education to become a Cloud Architect. Courses such as the ALX Nanodegree Programme: Become a Cloud Developer will help you start off by learning the fundamentals of cloud development and deployment with AWS. From here, one then builds different apps leveraging microservices, Kubernetes clusters, and serverless application technology. This 3-month, the 10-hours-per-week course will give you a good entry into the Cloud Architects sphere. 

However, it is important that you gain a solid understanding of cloud computing, including the various cloud deployment models, cloud service models, and cloud deployment architectures. This also includes a good understanding of the cloud service provider market, as well as the various cloud service providers and their offerings.

Salary of a Cloud Architect

These are some of the items that place a Cloud Architect on course to be among the best-paying jobs: the tools you’re qualified with, the certifications you’ve earned, and the company you work for. 

The average starting salary for a Cloud Architect is $76,500. 

Statistics from May 12, 2022, showed that the average annual pay for an AWS Cloud Architect in the United States is $154,156 a year which translates to approximately $74.11 an hour, $2,965 per week, or $12,846 per month. 

 A Payscale 2022 salary research details that Cloud Architects can expect to earn a base pay between $80,000 and $167,000 per year. This however depends on a variety of factors, such as education, location, skills, and experience. 

Job Outlook for Cloud Architects 

Here are some of the job titles to look out for as a Cloud Architect: 

  • Cloud Data Architect 
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Architect
  • AWS Solution Architect Professional
  • Senior Cloud Security Architect         
  • Amazon Web Services Solution Architect
  • Azure Cloud Solution Architect
  • Cloud and Strategic Programs Architect
  • Healthcare Interoperability Cloud Solutions Architect
  • Cloud Architect (Disaster Recovery)

Recap 

So, what now? You can be one of the latest skilled cloud practitioners who are migrating companies from local to cloud operations.

Furthermore, with the advent of Covid-19, more roles are going to the cloud and allowing people to work from home while accessing, building, and maintaining very robust cloud computing systems. 

If you want a course to help you kickstart your career journey as a Cloud Architect, sign up today and begin learning. Later on in your career, you can become part of the eligible candidates to work for some of the companies currently harnessing big data such as Amazon Web Services, Google, General Electric, IBM, and Splunk among others.

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AUTHOR
Manno Notermans

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