Cloud computing is a system that allows companies to manage and store sensitive data and handle computing networks. Therefore, a cloud architect is someone who designs the infrastructure of these services. Cloud architects are essentially information technology (IT) professionals who ensure every process is secure and safe in the cloud databases. 

There has been an increasing number of data breaches and digital attacks that make companies vulnerable to such threats. Since cloud computing is a remote source used to manage data from multiple locations, it is a secure solution for companies that need to store huge amounts of data. 

Although the job sounds challenging, it is certainly one that pays. Based on our online research, a cloud architect can rake in between $150,000 to $250,000 annually, depending on their experience. A cloud architect has the option to either assume a role in a company or design their own network and offer individual services. If the nature of the job piqued your interest, read further to learn more about cloud architecture.

Required Skills

  1. Knowledge of an operating system

This is crucial if you want to become a cloud architect. Some of the operating systems you can work on include Linux, Windows, Ubix, and Solaris. Most cloud architects prefer to use Linux for its versatility, but basic grasps of any other operating system will also help. If you go for Linux, you can either use Red Hat or Ubuntu distributions. 

  1. Understand computer network systems

Computer network systems are an important part of cloud computing so if you want to build a successful career in this field, it’s crucial for you to familiarize yourself with some fundamentals such as  HTTP, DNS, TCP/IP, and IP addresses.

  1. Get to know programming languages

With the rise of technology, the proficiency of any programming language has become a must in the field, and cloud architects are not exempted. If you want to dive into this profession, you need to have a clear understanding of programming languages and script languages. Some of the most commonly used languages for cloud architects are Java and C-Sharp. However, it’ll all depend on the type of “cloud” that you’d like to use. In the case of Google App Engine, either Python or Java will work. If you’re starting from scratch, you can always opt to learn the basics of coding and programming languages through short-term coding bootcamps

  1. Firewall knowledge and other security manners

The whole function of cloud computing is to have a secure way to store data, so it is understandable that security is key when it comes to cloud architecture. Therefore, having some knowledge of security aspects and being able to understand security manners such as firewalls is very important if you want to become a cloud architect.

Types of Platforms

Now that you’ve learned the basics and the general overview, it’s time to get the credentials needed to become a cloud architect. However, this step will depend on the platform you’ll want to work on. There are three main platforms for cloud computing—Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Most of these platforms offer a certificate, but you need to go through several tests. There are bootcamps that offer training to specifically prepare you for these tests. Here we’ll show you some of the main topics and challenges you’ll face in each test:

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

This test was created to validate your ability to create and design a fault-tolerant system on this platform. There are multiple questions and challenges to prove you’re a master at the AWS platform. It is highly advisable for you to take the practice test first before the official one. The passing mark is 66 percent so if your practice test score is 55 percent or less, you’ll know that you’d need more practice.

Microsoft Azure

The Microsoft Azure certification test validates your expertise in design, networking, storage, and security on the platform. To get your certificate, you’ll need to pass two tests—the AZ-300 and AZ-301. The first exam will test your ability to work with Azure while the second one is more related to design. Here are a couple of things you will be tested on in the test:

  1. The ability to design and configure a Microsoft Azure infrastructure. This includes development, deploying, and migrating in the platform.
  1. The ability to authenticate and validate data through the platform. Since security is a huge thing in cloud computing, this step is very important. 
  1. The ability to design a business strategy and communicate clearly with your team. Since this is a very technical profession, you may always speak in technical language that not everybody on the team will understand. You need to be able to operate like a DevOps engineer—create strategies that will be successfully implemented by all team members. 

Google Cloud Platform

This is very similar to the previous one. You’ll go through several tests to prove you’re able to develop a functional, secure, and seamless infrastructure on the Google Cloud Platform. This test is a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge, so you need to be prepared. Network skills are crucial in this test, so you should know how to write GCloud commands for IAM Roles. You need to also demonstrate an understanding of firewalls and other security features. If you already have existing knowledge on the app engine and Kubernetes, you’d likely be able to pass the test smoothly.

How to Land a Cloud Architect Gig

Now that you have the knowledge and certificate to become a cloud architect, you’ll need to start looking for opportunities to land a job. Just keep in mind that the number of cloud-based companies is increasing and there are a lot of opportunities to work as a cloud architect. 

Some of the companies that you can do some research on are General Electric, IBM, Netflix, and Splunk. If you want to stand out among other aspirants, it is best to demonstrate some experience—even if it means having to go through an internship first. The most important step toward acing an interview is to let your future employer know that you’re out there, prepared and ready to work.