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Big data has made its way into almost all of today’s industries. It’s been a driving force behind the success of many organizations. However, to take advantage of data, companies and organizations need data architects.

Data architects come up with blueprints and models for data management systems. Read on to find out how to become a data architect, including job requirements, education options, and career outlook.

What Is a Data Architect?

Data architects are data scientists who design data management systems. This includes the ideas, strategy, and implementation of data migration across several projects. These professionals need to have a comprehensive understanding of data and how to acquire and use it.

A data architect’s duties and tasks will vary from organization to organization. In smaller organizations, they act as database designers with fewer administrative duties. Data architects in larger organizations work with a team of administrators and analysts to set and manage standards for data use.

How Does Data Architecture Relate to Data Science?

Data architecture is a specialization within data science. Data science combines all the best practices of computer science, computer engineering, data analysis, information technology, and business.

Data architecture, meanwhile, enables data scientists to use or manage data for organizational needs. To function at the highest level, data scientists are dependent on the existence of proper data architecture. Although it is not as common as data analysis or data management, data architecture is vital to data science.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Data Architect?

Becoming a data architect can take five or more years because data architecture is regarded as a senior job position. For this reason, it would be best if you have a few years of experience working in a related field. You should also have a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, or maybe even a master’s if you want to get a great data architect job.

Most companies require a comprehensive understanding of databases, programming languages, and development tools. Knowledge of the data science applications of Python and SQL is especially important. Learning these skills can take a few weeks with a boot camp or a few years with a degree.

Where to Study Data Architecture

You can study data architecture at a few different types of schools, depending on your career goals. With that said, your goals should include earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Data Science, or a related field.

If a degree is not an option for you, you can explore more places to study. For instance, you could learn the basics of data architecture at a coding boot camp, where programming languages like Python and SQL are taught. It all depends on your personal preferences and financial status.

Data Architecture Community Colleges

Community colleges normally offer associate degree programs. Associate degrees usually last two years. You can find many institutions offering programs in information technology, computer science, or other related fields. This shorter option can help you decide whether or not data architecture is for you.

Data Architecture Universities

Most employers prefer hiring employees with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. A Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science or Data Analysis can give you a strong understanding of databases. This type of program lasts four or five years. On completion, you will be eligible to apply for entry-level jobs.

Data Architecture Coding Bootcamps

Coding boot camps are short, immersive programs that run for a few weeks or months. You might not find boot camps for data architecture, but there are many programs for data-related topics. You should consider attending a data science boot camp to equip you with the skills you need.

Data Architecture Online Courses

Online courses are a great option if you want to acquire a specific set of skills. Online courses usually have flexible payment options and flexible study schedules. This makes them perfect if you already have a full-time job. You could join a data science or data architecture-related online course.

How to Become a Data Architect: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Become a Data Architect: A Step-by-Step Guide

The best way to become a data architect is by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program and getting professional certificates. If that’s not an option, consider attending a data science coding boot camp.

Either way, you should follow the steps below to become a data architect.

Get an education

Acquiring the technical skills related to this field is the first step to becoming a data architect. You can achieve this by becoming a data science major at a college or university. If that is not an option, consider one of the best data science boot camps or a community college.


Careers in data science are often demanding. After getting the technical skills you need, you should practice staying ahead of the game. One way you can accomplish this is by working on side projects to give you practical experience.

Complete an internship

Most employers prefer hiring candidates with some form of experience working in a related position. Internship programs are a great way to gain work experience. Most universities and colleges offer internship programs as part of the coursework.


A job market is a competitive place. You should get to know people in the industry to find job opportunities. Try attending data science or data architecture events and meetups. You will meet people who could unlock doors for you in the job market.

Apply for jobs

Once you have the skills and experience you need, all that is left is to start applying for jobs. Create a resume that highlights your accomplishments and talents, and write cover letters for every position.

Entry-Level Data Architect Job Requirements

Most employers prefer hiring entry-level candidates with a bachelor’s degree. For this reason, you should pursue a bachelor’s degree above any other program. You can also try getting a Master’s Degree in Data Science if you want to move up in the field.

To get a job as a data architect, you need to have technical skills in SQL, Python, and general database software.

Data Architect Salary and Job Outlook

According to PayScale, the average salary of a data architect is approximately $120,000 per year. However, this will depend on your skill level, employer, and location. With more education and experience, you can get a job that pays even higher.

Example Data Architect Job Interview Questions

  • Have you ever been part of a company’s project to improve the existing data architecture? If so, walk us through your involvement in the process.
  • What are some of the common issues that architects face when using open source technology?
  • How do you troubleshoot database issues?
  • What is the difference between a primary key and a foreign key?
  • How do you keep up with all the news and trends in data?

What Does a Data Architect Do?

A data architect provides support for a host of database-related functions. These include creating user accounts, tuning database performance, designing tables and procedures, and planning backup, recovery, and server capacity.

A data architect has many responsibilities on the job. Below are some of the most important duties and tasks of a data architect.

Creates and Maintains SQL Code

Structured Query Language, also known as SQL, is used to manipulate data stored in a database. It allows data architects to access data in relational database management systems. As part of their job, data architects are expected to create and maintain existing code in SQL Server.

Organizes and Develops New Data Models

Data modeling refers to the creation of models that store data in a given database. While data architecture has a lot to do with data infrastructure, data architects are also expected to design, develop, and organize data models for new applications.

Works with System Architects and Software Architects

System and software architects work with teams to transform data architecture into reality. They often help advise the design and structure. As a data architect, you are expected to work with both system and software architects to meet organizational goals together.

Essential Data Architect Skills and Certifications

Essential Data Architect Skills and Certifications

Data architects have a wide set of technical skills that are essential to their duties. To prove your skills as a data architect, you should try to get certifications. Below are some essential data architect skills and the relevant certifications.

Data Architect Skills

Microsoft SQL

Regardless of your specific areas of expertise, you will need a fair comprehension of SQL databases. Microsoft SQL Server is a database management software system used by many companies across the world. For this reason, you must learn SQL and develop strong SQL skills.


Oracle is an ideal relational database management system used by over 80 platforms. Oracle is scalable with many useful architecture features, so it is an easy choice for most companies. As a result, they prefer hiring employees who are skilled in Oracle database service architecture.


Knowledge of programming languages like Python is essential to working as a data architect. Python scripting refers to a series of automated tasks set as commands in files that have executable features. This can help you work faster and get more done as a data architect.

Data Architect Certifications

IBM Certified Data Architect - Big Data

This certification is designed specifically for data architects. The exam covers a long list of skills, so you should have extensive prior knowledge before you try to get certified. There is only one exam, and it consists of multiple-choice questions.

Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP)

Data management is an essential concept of data architecture, so this is a good certification to have. The Certified Data Management Professional certification costs $300. You will get a certificate and badge after completion. You can use the badge on your resume and LinkedIn account.

Salesforce Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer

You can get this certification if you have over five years of experience working on data-centric solutions. You also need two more years of experience working with Salesforce. Designed for data architects, the exam covers essential concepts like data modeling and large data volume considerations.

Reasons to Become a Data Architect in 2021

There are plenty of reasons to consider a career as a data architect. For one, there are numerous employment opportunities with the recent increase in data collection and analysis. Not only that but data architects are reasonably paid. It is one of the highest-paying jobs not only in data but in all of tech.

If you have a knack for working with data, computers, and programming languages, you should consider a career as a data architect.

Data Architect FAQ

What is the difference between a data engineer and a data architect?

A data engineer creates various models for large-scale data applications. On the other hand, a data architect designs architecture for other data professionals.

How much do database architects make?

According to PayScale, the average total salary of a data architect is around $120,000 per year. However, this will depend on your skill level, employer, and location.

How do you become a data architect?

The best way to become a data architect is by acquiring the technical skills associated with data architecture. You can achieve this by getting a bachelor’s degree.

Where do data architects work?

Data architects work in many industries that utilize big data. These include many different types of companies, from wine estates to electric companies. Data architects can also work as freelancers who take on different projects.

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