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Software Architect Jobs – What to Know Before You Apply

software architect jobs

Whether they are designing a new building, bridge, or software application, all architects need to understand the business drivers behind the project they are working on. Software architects, like construction and landscape architects, help define the project’s end goal, technical standards, quality standards, and critical steps.

Today, software architect jobs require extensive technical knowledge of the software development lifecycle, software package capabilities, business requirements, soft skills, and a deep understanding of information technology infrastructures.

Are you interested in architecting the next game-changing application for the healthcare, financial, or robotic industry? Becoming a software architect could be your next career milestone.

This article will help give you some direction and insight into software architect jobs, including their responsibilities, skills needed, and salary ranges. 

Software Architect Job Responsibilities

Software architects (SA) work with project management teams to create new products or innovate existing products, all while conforming to current software design specifications. Software architects focus on several things, including driving software design standardization for their organization.

Software architects and tech leaders work together to create and improve the software development process by defining the overall strategy.

The Importance of Software Architecture Foundational Code Elements

Most software development projects will only succeed with solid, proven design and planning. Software architects need to account for several critical success factors in their design, including:

  • Software performance expectations
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy considerations
  • Proposed infrastructures (cloud, hosted, or on-premise)
  • Cybersecurity integrations
  • Testing and validation steps
  • Off-the-shelf and open-source library integration and support considerations
  • Protocols, APIs, and ports for application use considerations

Without these elements defined architecturally, most software development efforts go over budget or fail.

Software Architect Essential Skills and Experience

It’s important to develop both technical and soft skills as a software architect. Below are some of the most important skills to have as an SA.

Coding Skills

One of the most critical elements of software architecture is deciding which software code should be used to develop the project at hand. Many software architects will select a specific library for several projects instead of separate ones. They’ll often weigh the pros and cons of each software library selection in their design considerations. This library could include Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce.com packages. The architect will then align with these libraries to coincide with the talent within the organization to leverage these packages.

Organizational Skills

Having organizational skills and experience in preliminary system analysis is also a vital attribute for all hands-on software architects. This attribute is also valuable to the software architect to assist with career progression and supporting future projects.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

It’s important for software architects to be able to communicate effectively with non-technical individuals.

Developing interpersonal skills helps when someone goes wrong with a new application. Often technical people use too many tech terms when describing a problem with an application. Many of the consumers of the software platform need clarification and are often frustrated when an architect or support engineer tries to explain the issues to them. The development of non-technical, interpersonal communication skills helps all parties work together to help solve application problems, together.

Interorganizational Communication Skills

One skill every software architect should master is the ability to communicate across all departments within their organization, not just the IT department. SA efforts to architect software solutions transcend organizational boundaries and impact departments like HR, Finance, Supply Chain, and even the Board of Directors. In this role, you must be able to effectively communicate technical concepts to any member of the organization.

Reporting and Presentation Skills

Software architects will need solid presentation skills to help communicate their design to several internal and external stakeholders. Many of these stakeholders will become consumers of these new applications. Architects soliciting their feedback will help users adopt the new platforms.

Additional soft skills, including creating non-technical diagrams of the software project and details around the business strategy, also go a long way with future application consumers. If they understand better what the new application is doing to help make their work life easier, they will likely adopt the solution with less resistance. 

Aligning Talent with Architecture

Keeping experienced talent is a challenge for any organization. And hiring and retaining software engineers or architects is no exception. Organizations have much to gain from retaining SA talent. When organizations can retain their talent, they can better align their software library preferences as well as their architecture design.

Retaining talent with experience in the top software libraries often drives an organization to adopt more open-source libraries. This in turn allows the organization to draw from talent pools where open-source experience is more common and less costly.

What are the Average Salary Expectations for a Software Architect?

Senior software architects earn an annual salary of up to $162,000. Entry-level positions for software architects start at close to $115,000 per year. 

Software Architect vs. Software Engineer: What are the Differences?

Software engineers write high-level source code, create the proof of concepts, and program the APIs to transform business needs into functional software. Software architects help define coding standards, provide architecture diagrams, and determine the preferred programming languages.

A software architect’s technical skills involve analyzing and designing applications, while software engineers implement plans, add functions, test, and repair.

Both the software architect and the software engineer share similar problem-solving skills. Both teams will share their respective technical knowledge of product configuration, operating systems, and recommendations for changes to the application architectural diagrams.

Knowledge for Today and in the Future

Software architects are needed in every industry. Their ability to blend cybersecurity, cloud infrastructure, application enhancements, automation, and quality assurance design makes them critical resources for every CIO, CISO, and CTO.

CIAT software development degree programs help future software architects develop the foundational knowledge necessary for a successful career.

Interested in learning more? Book an appointment today to connect with one of CIAT’s expert Admission Advisors who will help you start your professional development journey.

Take the first step.

Building a strong coding portfolio takes hard work and dedication. Whether you’re just starting in the field or advancing your career, learning how to create an education plan that aligns with your career goals saves you time and money. This also delivers the most significant return on your investment.

Career Planning

You’ve chosen an education plan with a goal in mind, and now you’re focused on making the most of your educational resources to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success in the job market. The most impactful recommendation we give to all new CIAT students in the tech field is not to wait until graduation to start their IT career planning. When you begin your career planning steps from day 1 of your program, you graduate career-ready and are more likely to find your first job quickly, with competitive salary ranges.

Let us help you achieve your career goals.

When landing your dream job, CIAT supports its students every step of the way – ensuring you graduate with more than just a degree. Our IT career services team focuses on both your professional and personal development to help prepare you for a career in web development, mobile app development, information technology, cybersecurity, networking, and more.

Get certified, earn your degree, and start your path to a new career with:

  • Personalized career coaching
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  • Resume building
  • LinkedIn profile optimization
  • Mock interview practice
  • Job placement support
  • Dedicated job board
  • Specialty career-building workshops
  • Technology career fairs and employer “meet and greets”
  • Work study and volunteer opportunities

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