Information Technology Architect Kaihoahoa Hangarau Pārongo

Information technology (IT) architects analyse an organisation's IT needs, recommend solutions and oversee their delivery and implementation.

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IT architects may choose to become certified through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.

They may also take certification exams such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF).

IT architects may do some or all of the following:

Analyse business needs and recommend IT solutions

  • analyse organisations' business needs and use of information technology
  • provide detailed information about costs and benefits of various IT solutions
  • recommend suitable solutions including systems, programs and hardware 
  • create architectural plans which outline the structure of new applications.

Oversee the design, build and implementation of new applications

  • oversee the development and building of new computing solutions
  • oversee teams who test, review and fix any problems with new systems
  • ensure that people understand how to use new systems, including developing training plans and manuals.

Physical Requirements

IT architects spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).

Useful Experience

Useful work experience for IT architects includes:

  • work in a software development role
  • computer systems management experience
  • general business and project management experience.

Useful basic work experience includes:

  • work in entry-level IT jobs such as information technology helpdesk/support technician
  • on-the-job training through IT internships and graduate recruitment programmes
  • hacking experience gained through study or hacking conferences.

Personal Qualities

IT architects need to be:

  • able to lead others
  • able to work through problems logically and methodically
  • good at analysis
  • creative and adaptable
  • able to work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • skilled at oral and written communication, with good presentation skills.

Skills

IT architects need to have knowledge of:

  • computing trends and new IT technology
  • how IT can be used in a business strategy
  • how to estimate project costs
  • how to understand and analyse their client's business.

Conditions

IT architects:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may have to work evenings and weekends to meet project deadlines
  • usually work in offices, but may travel locally to meet clients and work on projects
  • may travel nationally or overseas to attend seminars and conferences.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include digital technologies, maths and English.

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.

Information about Gateway and other work experience programmes

Information Technology Architects can earn around $120K-$200K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Information Technology Architect are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for information technology (IT) architects varies depending on experience, responsibility and where they work. 

  • IT architects usually earn between $120,000 and $165,000 a year
  • Chief IT architects and IT architect managers can earn more than $200,000. 

IT architects working as contractors usually earn between $110 and $200 an hour.

Sources: 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', July 2021, 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021.

IT architects may progress to set up their own consultancy business, or move into roles such as chief information officer, information technology manager, or project manager.

Years Of Training

3-5 years of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become an information technology (IT) architect. However, you usually need:

  • a tertiary qualification in a computer-related field such as information systems and/or a tertiary qualification in a business-related field
  • at least 10 years' experience in information and communication technology, such as software development or data analysis, including work in a senior position.
Information Technology Architect