Talk to enterprise architects about their careers. Ask your computer science teacher or school counselor to help arrange an information interview or job shadowing experience.
Participate in student competitions to develop your problem-solving and analytical skills, and meet people with shared interests. SkillsUSA is a national membership organization for middle school, high school, and college students who are interested in pursuing careers in technical, trade, and skilled service occupations. It offers several computer-related competitions. Visit http://www.skillsusa.org for more information. There are also competitions at the state and local levels.
Join the Technology Student Association, which provides students a chance to explore career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, enter academic competitions, and participate in summer exploration programs. Visit http://www.tsaweb.org for more information.
Attend IT-themed summer exploration programs at colleges and universities to explore computer-related careers, experience what’s its like to live and learn on campus, and have some fun. Both in-person and online programs are available. Some are free, and some require a program fee (but may offer scholarships to offset some or all of the cost of participation).
Enterprise architects assess how an organization’s data should be stored, managed, and shared and how its technology (hardware, software, networks, databases, etc.) should be managed and enhanced, and then create roadmaps that provide instructions and guidance on how to improve existing systems and operations. To do so, they develop an enterprise architecture plan using an EA framework such as the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture, Open Group Architectural Framework, Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, or SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework. They also use EA software to organize data, catalog IT assets, run test scenarios, create visualizations, prepare reports, and facilitate inter-departmental communication. Other responsibilities include developing EA policies, guidelines, and standards; maintaining appropriate controls and documentation to ensure compliance with company standards and regulatory requirements; and continuously assessing existing EA architecture to ensure peak performance, while also evaluating new business software and hardware to determine if newer products are a better match for their employer’s evolving short- and long-term strategic, organizational, and technology-based needs.
At some employers, the enterprise architect is not only responsible for creating new enterprise architecture, but also for keeping everything (computers, servers, data storage devices, etc.) running smoothly and protected from cyberattacks. At other employers, database administrators, network administrators, computer security professionals, and other IT workers handle these tasks.