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Data architects are essential professionals who use their expert skills in computer design to develop databases, allowing for the collection and analysis of big data. In this article, we will define the role of a data architect and outline the steps necessary to become one.

What is a data architect?

A data architect is an IT professional who holds a senior-level position in an organization. They help companies set and achieve strategic data management goals while working with data engineers and software designers to integrate new databases. Additional responsibilities include evaluating current databases and data networks, planning data models for analysis and consumption, coding data architecture, researching new data collection methods, monitoring and updating databases, maintaining database security, creating database standards, and communicating with top executives and stakeholders to assess their needs and goals.

Differences between a data architect and a data engineer

Data architects and data engineers collaborate to establish a company's data framework. The data architect envisions the complete plan, while the data engineer constructs it according to that blueprint. Data architects prepare and design the framework used by other data analysts and scientists, while data engineers assist data architects in creating the functional framework for data search and retrieval.

How to become a data architect

To become a data architect, there are several steps that must be taken. Prospective data architects need to have at least a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science, IT, or a related field. They may also gain entry-level experience by completing an internship and gaining experience in the IT field. Professional certifications, such as the Certified Data Professional or the Certified Data Management Professional, are optional but can enhance a data architect's resume. Many companies prefer data architects with a master's degree in data science or computer science.

1. Earn your undergraduate degree

To become a data architect, individuals must usually hold at least a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science, IT, or a related field. This degree program typically includes courses in web development, computer programming, systems analysis, operating systems, and technology architecture, which provide students with essential skills for data architecture.

2. Get an internship

Completing an internship in college or after graduation is a great way to gain entry-level experience in information technology and prepare for a career in the field. Interns can learn skills such as network management, application architecture, and performance management. This experience is highly valued by most entry-level IT jobs.

3. Gain experience in IT

Individuals interested in data architecture may need to gain three to five years of experience and demonstrated project success in the IT field. Programming or database administration jobs are some positions that may help them achieve this. Data architects typically hold senior-level positions in their organizations, requiring them to possess excellent creative and critical thinking abilities as well as well-honed design skills to complete their tasks and projects successfully.

4. Complete professional certifications

Professional certifications are optional but can enhance a data architect's resume and skills. The most popular certification is the Certified Data Professional by the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals. It requires 2 years of IT work experience and a bachelor's degree before taking the exam. Another option is the Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) by the Data Management Association International, which provides a general database management credential.

Conclusion

Understanding the data architect's career path may help you determine if it is a career you'd like to pursue. Data architects must possess excellent creative and critical thinking abilities as well as well-honed design skills to complete their tasks and projects successfully.

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