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Beyond the Top 5: More Enterprise Architect Certifications

Best Enterprise Architect Certifications 2018
By , Mary Kyle

If you've followed this series over the years, you might have noticed our 2018 lineup features an entirely new set of credentials. Absent were the EACOE's architect credentials, IASA's CITA, Open CA and the SOA architect credentials. These are still worthy credentials, but the job board numbers simply didn't support their inclusion in the top five list.

One of the surprises we found when running job board numbers concerned the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from PMI. The PMP appeared in many enterprise architect job descriptions. Although the PMP is not an enterprise architect certification per se, many employers are looking for this particular combination of skills.

Outside of our top five vendor-neutral enterprise architect certifications, which focus on more general, heterogeneous views of IT systems and solutions, there are plenty of architect-level certifications from a broad range of vendors and sponsors, most of which are vendor-specific.

The table below identifies those vendors/sponsors, names their architect-level credentials, and provides links to more information on those offerings. Choosing one or more of these certifications for research and possible pursuit will depend on where you work or where you'd like to work.

SponsorEnterprise Architect CertificationMore Information
Amazon Web ServicesAWS Certified Solutions Associate & ProfessionalAWS Certification homepage
BCSEnterprise and Solution Architecture PractitionerBCS homepage
BrocadeBrocade Certified Architect for FICONCertified Architect for FICON page
CiscoCisco Certified Architect (CCAr)CCAr homepage
Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE)
EACOE Enterprise Architect
EACOE Senior Enterprise Architect
EACOE Distinguished Enterprise Architect
EACOE Enterprise Architect Fellow
EACOE Architect homepage
EMCEMC Cloud Architect Expert (EMCCAe)
EMCCAe homepage
FEAC Institute
Certified Enterprise Architect (CEA) Black Belt
FEAC CEA homepage
HitachiHitachi Data Systems Architect (2 tracks)Training & Certification homepage
Certified IT Architect (CITA)
CITA homepage
National InstrumentsCertified LabVIEW Architect (CLA)CLA homepage
NokiaNokia Service Routing Architect (SRA)SRA homepage
OracleOracle Certified Master, Java EE Enterprise ArchitectJava EE Enterprise Architect homepage
SOACertified SOA Architect
SOA Architect homepage

These architect credentials typically represent pinnacle certifications within the programs to which they belong, and function as high-profile/high-value capstones to those programs in many cases. Membership in the group of individuals who attain such credentials is often quite small but comes with tight sponsor relationships, high levels of sponsor support and information delivery, and stratospheric salaries and professional kudos.

Often, such certifications serve as deliberately difficult and especially challenging targets for a small, highly select group of IT professionals. Earning one or more of these certifications is generally the culmination of a decade or more of professional growth, high levels of effort and considerable expense. No wonder, then, that architect certifications are highly regarded by IT pros, and highly valued by their employers.

Choosing the Right IT Architect Credential

Given the seniority and a typical number of years on the job for most certified architects – 10 to 15 years of IT experience, if not more – providing advice about choosing such a credential is like asking about the price of any extremely expensive item. That is: "If you have to ask, you can't afford it," which transmutes in this case into: "If you don't know already, think awhile longer and you'll either figure it out for yourself or give up."

These credentials will often be dictated by choices that your employer (or industry sector, in the case of government or DoD-related work environments) have already made independent of your own efforts. Likewise, most of the vendor-specific architecture credentials either make sense (or not) based on what's deployed in your work environment or in a job you'd like to occupy. Though there are lots of potential choices IT pros could make, the actual number they can (or should) make will be influenced by their circumstances.