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Systems Architect

Career Overview

system architect as a career

Large organizations in the 21st century are very complex, with numerous systems, which inter-relate with one another. The role of a Systems architect also called as a software architect is committed to the design, construction and maintenance of the data systems that organizations use to help drive communication and productivity. He is like a conductor who coordinates the various specialists who act on the information systems to ensure their proper operation. Their expertise is not just technical, as they have to transform the Information systems into a development and strategy tool. With a good mix of computer science or information technology, paired with core engineering skills like requirements gathering, specifying, developing and testing makes you a powerful combination to become a Systems Architect.

A Systems Architect usually has the following responsibilities:

  • Analyze the current system (operating systems, hardware, software, networks)
  • Map the Information Systems
  • Overall design - the blueprints which provide the map
  • Integration constraints - rules and constraints for all components going into the solution
  • Customization for individual customer needs - understanding and recommending the best customization based upon the customer's needs (which include anticipation of their needs and explaining it in layman terms)
  • Adherence to standards whenever possible - to maximize the future investment value and minimizing costs
  • Inform and advise management on the technological and organizational impacts of the new IS

Salaries and Job Outlook*

Median Annual Pay INR 4.5 lacs - 7.5lacs per annum
Number of Jobs
Projected Growth Rate

Systems architects have a broad range of skills, which allow them to move into management by leading a computer department or an information systems branch. There are a number of different but related career paths for System Architect specialists, such as Enterprise Architect, Data Architect, Information Architect, etc .Some System Architects are also in charge of the entire Enterprise Architecture but in larger organizations this is typically the responsibility of a Enterprise Architect. Therefore the job outlook for such professionals is never limited or conventional. The above table mentions the industry standards of annual pay, job growth and number of jobs generated.

As with most highly skilled positions, system architect's salaries tend to increase proportionately with skills and responsibility and depending on the characteristics of the organization and the complexity of its information systems. Compensations are therefore always at the top range. The average annual salary earned by a Systems Architect may range in between INR 4.5 lacs p.a to 7.5 lacs p.a.

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor's degree in computers or information systems

Most aspiring system architects need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. While no particular training course is required for a system architect position, an education in a computer-related field can certainly help.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Analytical Skills
Communication Skills
Problem Solving Skills
Time Management Skills

Career Opportunities

As a systems architect you are basically responsible for designing a system, maintenance and construction of data systems and also get to amalgamate different systems hardware and software to generate a devise that is user friendly. A systems architect contributes to the next generation technical roadmap and development, is also responsible for evaluation and implementation of the latest available technologies and develops concepts and designs for the next generation systems.

A wide variety of organizations need systems architects and they can find themselves working for IT software application programming and design firms, IT networking companies or consulting services organizations working on complex projects.

Government departments

Systems Architects can work for the designing of supercomputers in government agencies and departments or build new business tools such as phone applications.

Healthcare industries

Systems architects may find work in health care sectors as clinical analysts. They may also help design and build large scale electronic healthcare systems.

Software telecommunications

The skill sets possessed by systems architect can help them move to related careers such as software telecommunications, systems analyst or solutions architect.

Top Companies

  • Dell
  • NetApp
  • Nvidia
  • Deloitte
  • Intel
  • Capgemini
  • Toshiba
  • Pegasystems
  • Techmahindra

Interview: System Architect

“Knowledge is the key. One has to be a continuous learner to succeed in the field of software architecture and engineering.”
Ajit Kulkarni