Iasa Global provides several ways to explore the field. First, check out the What is IT Architecture? section (https://iasaglobal.org/itabok/what-is-it-architecture) of its Web site to learn about IT architecture career paths (including solutions architects), read a glossary of commonly used terms, and access other resources. If you’re a full-time college student, consider participating in its IT Architecture Competition, in which student teams devise and present an end-to-end architecture solution for a real-world business problem. Additionally, the association offers a discounted membership category for college students, as well as a free membership category for those who just want to explore the field. “Free” members receive access to an online membership directory and the organization’s virtual library, the opportunity to attend networking and social events with fellow architects, and discounts on e-books, videos, and print publications.
Other ways to explore this career and develop project management experience include reading books about the field (such as IT Architecture For Dummies, by Kalani Kirk Hausman and Susan L. Cook), talking with solutions architects about their careers, and taking on management roles in school clubs and other organizations.
Iasa Global defines the role of IT architects as “the technology strategist for the business…[who has] a broad understanding of technology that spans programming and development of custom applications, the infrastructure environment that the solution must reside in, and the operational environment that provides support.” Solutions architects (SAs) are specialized IT architects who devise “big picture” plans and strategies on how technology and IT professionals in various disciplines will be utilized to solve business problems (e.g., upgrading antiquated online customer service systems, addressing security breaches and implementing security infrastructure to avoid future problems, etc.) and launch new products and services. Before they begin a project, they ask questions such as:
Once these and other questions are answered, the solutions architect gets to work on the project. Job responsibilities for solutions architects vary by employer and project, but most SAs perform the following duties: