What Is a Cloud Architect? And How To Become One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As cloud strategies are becoming vital and complex, cloud architects help organisations ensure a cost-effective transition to the cloud. A cloud architect is a growing and lucrative career that requires technical knowledge, educational background and a specific skill set. If you are passionate about helping businesses create a secure cloud environment, it may be an optimal career to consider. In this article, we define what a cloud architect is, list their typical job responsibilities and explore their salary, along with the skills and steps required to become a successful cloud computing professional.

What is a cloud architect?

A cloud architect is an IT professional who designs, manages and builds cloud computing architecture in an organisation. A cloud computing architecture includes front-end platforms, storage, delivery, servers and networks required to manage the cloud infrastructure. These professionals are responsible for cloud application design, adoption plans, management and monitoring of cloud infrastructure. Because of the wide adoption of cloud computing, these cloud architects can work in manufacturing companies, technology companies, design firms and any other organisation that uses this technology.

As this job does not involve hardware and focuses on remote technologies, cloud architects often enjoy a flexible schedule or remote work. These professionals work with many other IT team members, including database developers, information security managers and quality assurance professionals, to ensure proper designing and monitoring of cloud infrastructure.

What does a cloud architect do?

Cloud architects manage an existing cloud database and develop new cloud-computing solutions to help organisations become efficient. Here are some day-to-day responsibilities for this job role:

  • Translate project-specific requirements into cloud structure that support the needs of the organisation

  • Create the cloud strategy and manage the adaption process

  • Design and improve existing cloud technology

  • Build and coordinate cloud architecture

  • Work with the IT team to ensure cloud privacy and security

  • Respond and troubleshoot technical issues related to cloud architecture

  • Identify leading cloud architecture solutions to meet organisational goals

  • Integrate new applications in the cloud environment

  • Conduct migration to bring tools and other elements in the cloud environment

  • Communicate with customers to identify their cloud needs and incorporate cloud solutions that address those needs

  • Articulate complicated cloud reports to management, business stakeholders and IT development partners

Is cloud architect a good career?

Yes, cloud architect is a good and rewarding career because it is a high-demand job that offers a competitive salary and allows you to progress in your career quickly. Cloud architects are highly skilled professionals because they use their knowledge and experience to create a durable, secure and scalable cloud infrastructure. These professionals work in an ever-evolving field where employment needs are abundant, making it a fast-paced career.

Work environment of cloud architects

Cloud architects usually work full time with an organisation. They spend a major part of their workday working on technical applications. While most of their job involves working in an office setting, they may visit the client's location to understand their business requirements. Most of the time, these architects complete their job-specific duties during standard business hours, but they may address workplace issues after hours.

Like other IT roles, these architects work in a collaborative and fast-paced work environment where they strategise with the IT team to build, design, maintain and secure the organisation's cloud infrastructure. For a successful career in this job role, you may sit and work on computer applications for long periods.

Average salary of a cloud architect

The average salary of a cloud architect is ₹19,00,000 per year. This salary may vary depending on the hiring organisation, skills, experience, qualification and job location. Some cities pay a higher salary to cloud computing professionals than others. For instance, a person who has a master's degree and has vast experience in this job role may earn a higher income than a recent graduate who is just starting their career.

Skills of a cloud architect

As being a cloud architect is a technical role, the role requires both hard and soft skills. Some important skills to master are:

Hard skills

Here are some important hard skills to learn:

  • Proficiency in one operating system: You may work in different technical environments. This requires an in-depth understanding of the operating system and knowing how Linux, Unix, Ubuntu or Windows works can be helpful.

  • Networking: To create a scalable and secure cloud-based solution, having an in-depth understanding of networking concepts is essential. Some terms like VPN, DNS, TCP, IP, HTTPS and CDN are important for a fruitful career as a cloud architect.

  • Data storage: Cloud computing platforms provide many data storage options to create a cloud. A good cloud architect knows how and when to use each storage option. A thorough understanding of data storage can help you compare and analyse price, performance and capabilities so you can select a suitable option to store data.

  • Programming language: Cloud architects require knowledge of programming or scripting languages to fulfil all job-specific responsibilities. Languages like Python, Perl, Ruby, Java, .Net or C# are popular among these IT professionals.

  • Security: Creating a secure cloud environment is paramount. So, working knowledge of firewalls and identity and access management (IAM) is often a prerequisite of this job role.

Related: Similarities and Differences Between C++ and Java

Soft skills

Some common soft skills desired for this job role are:

  • Communication: Often, cloud architects work with other IT professionals and business stakeholders. Strong verbal and written communication can ensure they convey information accurately and effectively.

  • Willingness to learn: No two projects are the same for a cloud architect because they work in a wide variety of technical scenarios and environments. Being open to learning and accepting each project's unique requirements can help these professionals provide suitable guidance to customers.

  • Attention to detail: When designing and creating a cloud environment, cloud architects consider numerous details. Having strong attention to detail ensures they create a secure and scalable cloud that functions as per requirement.

  • Time management: Excellent time management skills help plan your day and prioritise tasks. By effectively managing your time, you can meet customers, understand their requirements and design architectural frameworks without missing a project deadline.

  • Leadership: Cloud architects may lead a team of IT professionals, including those who assist them in working within the cloud environment.

How to become a cloud architect

To become a cloud architect, follow these steps:

1. Complete your 10+2

You require at least a bachelor's degree to become a cloud architect and the first step is completing your higher secondary or 10+2. During school, focus on subjects like computer science, math and science. If your studies permit, consider an internship or part-time job in a company offering entry-level IT positions.

2. Earn your bachelor's degree

Earn a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, electronics or communications. While a bachelor's degree is desirable, some colleges cover cloud computing in their syllabus and coursework. Focus on getting admission in colleges that teach virtual storage, data centre computing, backup and recovery methods and network infrastructure. During your final year, consider getting an internship to have an in-depth understanding of this job role.

Related: 20 Best Computer Science Jobs in India (With Salaries)

3. Gain experience

Before becoming a cloud architect, it is helpful to have some experience in IT services. Working as a technical expert or technical contributor can improve your hard skills before transitioning to cloud architecture. You can even consider spending one or two years in a managerial position to develop your decision making and team management skills.

4. Pursue your master's degree

While a post-graduate degree is not mandatory, employers often prefer candidates with a master's degree in computer science or related fields for many senior-level roles. Having a master's degree can increase the likelihood that a manager considers you for a promotion at work. You may also feel more confident in your abilities because of the enhanced knowledge you possess from your studies.

5. Get certification

The field has several certifications you can obtain, often through a product vendor or specific software. These certifications increase your skill set and help you showcase your skills to a hiring manager. Some certification programs focus on cloud architecture, while others may focus on specific cloud platforms. Here are some popular certifications to consider:

  • Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Expert

  • IBM Certified Solution Advisor

  • Google Cloud Certified Professional Architect

  • CompTIA Cloud + Certification

  • Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA)

Related: Azure Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

6. Create a CV and apply for a job

The last step is creating your CV, mentioning your educational qualification, experience and certification. Using Indeed's job portal, apply to different jobs based on your interest and qualification. When applying for a job, tailor each CV based on the job description and include keywords to make your CV applicant tracking system (ATS) compliant.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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