📚 Top 15 certifications for enterprise architects
If you’re planning a career as an enterprise architect, certifications are a great way to validate your enterprise architecture (EA) skills. As an enterprise architect, you’ll be responsible for developing the IT strategy for a business that keeps business goals in line with IT goals. Companies rely heavily on technology, so IT is now a foundational part of any strong business strategy. These certifications test your EA skills, knowledge, and abilities working with frameworks, tools, software, and best practices.
Whether you want to focus on cloud, applications, software, or other areas of enterprise architecture, one or more of these 15 certifications will help strengthen your resume.
Top 15 enterprise architecture certifications
- AWS Certified Solution Architect
- Axelos ITIL Master certification
- Certified Pega Robotics System Architect
- Certified Pega System Architect certification
- CISSP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSIP-ISSAP)
- EC Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
- Google Professional Cloud Architect
- ITIL v3 Master certification
- The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)
- The Open Group TOGAF 9 Certification
- Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification
- Red Hat Certified Architect
- Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA)
- Virtualization Council Master Infrastructure Architect
- Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect
AWS Certified Solution Architect
The AWS Certified Solution Architect exam covers building an architectural design solution based on customer or client requirements, delivering best practices for implementation and overseeing the long-term management of an EA project. You’ll need hands-on experience with all AWS computer, networking, storage, and database services to pass the exam. The exam covers topics such as how to deploy, manage, and operate workloads on AWS, implement security controls and compliance requirements, identify the right AWS services to meet technical requirements, and knowledge of topics such as AWS Management Console, Command Line Interface (CLI), and more. You won’t have to take a course to pass the exam, but Amazon recommends at least six months to two years of hands-on experience using AWS before you attempt the exam. You can also download practice exams and training materials directly from Amazon to help you prepare for the exam.
Certified Pega System Architect certification
The Certified Pega Systems Architect certification is designed for developers and other technical staff members who want to learn how to develop Pega applications. It’s an entry-level certification on the path to the Systems Architect certification path from Pega Academy. The certification path includes two more levels of certification with the Senior System Architect and Lead System Architect exams. The Senior System Architect covers topics such as application development, case management, data and integration, user experience, reporting, performance, security, and mobility. The Lead System Architect exam covers Pega platform, application, data model, user experience, security, reporting, asynchronous processing, work delegation, deployment, and testing design.
Cost: $175 per exam
Certified Pega Robotics System Architect
The Certified Pega Robotics System Architect certification is designed for systems architects and software developers interested in improving their skills with robotic automation and workforce intelligence. The certification covers the fundamentals of robotic automation, process flows, terminology, and the core building blocks of the Pega Robo Studio software. The course covers 15 modules with 10 challenges to help teach you how to “integrate robotic automations with Windows and web applications” and how to test your solutions with debugging tools. The exam covers topics such as case management, data and integration, security, DevOps, user experience, application development, reporting, and mobility.
CISSP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSIP-ISSAP)
The CISSIP-ISSAP certification is designed for professionals with a Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSIP) certification who want to add a concentration in architecture. You’ll need to have your CISSP certification in addition to two years of experience working with one or more domains in the CISSP-ISSAP common body of knowledge (CBK). The certification validates your ability to develop, design, and analyze security solutions and to give risk-based guidance to help senior management meet business goals. The exam covers knowledge domains such as architect for governance, compliance and risk management, security architecture modeling, infrastructure security architecture, identity and access management (IAM) architecture, application security, and security operations architecture.
EC Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
The Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA) certification from EC Council is specifically designed for government and military agencies, with a focus on security and compliance. You’ll need to earn your CEH certification and be employed by a government or military agency or be a contracted employee of the government before you can take the CNDA course. It’s similar to the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and it’s intended for individuals who are trusted by their employer to “undertake an attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods as a hacker,” according to the EC Council.
Google Professional Cloud Architect
The Google Professional Cloud Architect certification demonstrates your abilities working with Google Cloud technologies. The certification is designed to validate that you have the necessary understanding of cloud architecture and Google technology, and that you know how to design, develop, and manage secure, scalable, dynamic solutions to drive business objectives. The exam covers topics such as how to design and plan cloud solution architecture for security and compliance, manage cloud infrastructure, analyze and optimize business processes, and oversee the implementation of cloud architecture. There are no prerequisites for the exam, but it must be taken in-person at an official testing center location.
ITIL 4 Master certification
ITIL is a popular IT management framework used by enterprise architects to help manage service processes. If you work in an ITSM environment with the ITIL framework, the ITIL Master Certification from Axelos is useful for demonstrating your aptitude in service management. The certification validates that you have the necessary skills and abilities to apply ITIL principles, methods, and techniques in a corporate environment. To earn the certification, you “must be able to explain and justify how you have personally selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods, and techniques from the ITIL Framework” and demonstrate your practical experience. Therefore, the exam is different for every candidate based off their own personal experience with ITIL in their careers. To qualify for the ITIL Master, you need at least five years of experience in ITSM in a leadership, managerial, or higher management advisory role. You’ll also need to earn the ITIL managing professional and ITIL strategic leader certifications before you can move onto the ITIL Master exam.
Cost: Exam fees vary by vendor
The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA)
There are three levels of Open CA certification: Certified (Level 1), Master (Level 2), and Distinguished (Level 3). Unlike other certifications, you won’t have to take a course or pass an exam to earn your Open CA certification. Instead, it’s a program that requires applicants to “demonstrate skills and experience against a set of conformance requirements through written applications and peer reviews,” according to The Open Group. The certification is targeted at business, digital, enterprise, and solutions architects. You can use the online self-assessment tool to determine your potential qualifications for the first two levels of certification.
Cost: $1,250 with an annual renewal fee of $175 and recertification every three years for $250
The Open Group TOGAF Certification
TOGAF is one of the most used frameworks for enterprise architecture, which makes it a useful certification to add to your resume. The TOGAF certification is a globally recognized and vendor-neutral certification that will demonstrate your skills using the TOGAF framework to implement and manage enterprise technology. It’s offered through The Open Group and there are two levels of certification: the TOGAF 9 Foundation (Level 1) certification and the Level 2 certification, which you can take once you pass the first exam. There are also three new certifications designed to tie in the latest version, TOGAF 10, which was released earlier this year. This includes the TOGAF Enterprise Architecture Foundation or Practitioner certifications and the TOGAF Business Architecture Foundation certification.
Cost: $360 per exam
Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification
Offered by the Cloud Credential Council (CCC), the Professional Cloud Solutions Architect certification is designed for technology, application, system, and enterprise architects, as well as cloud strategy consultants and senior developers. The certification course covers ITaaS, cloud computing and service management, customer requirements, implementing cloud technology and evaluating cloud solution architecture. It’s targeted at technology, application, system, and enterprise architects as well as cloud strategy consultants and senior developers. There aren’t any requirements to take the exam, but it’s recommended that you earn your Cloud Technology Associate and TOGAF 9 certifications first.
Cost: $495 for the self-study materials and an exam voucher
Red Hat Certified Architect
The Red Hat Certified Architect certification includes the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), Red Hat Certified Enterprise Microservices Developer (RHCEMD), and Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer (RHCJD), which is the highest certification tier. To reach each level of certification, you’ll need to pass a handful of certifications on the systems administrator path or developer path. With the number of certification options, you can customize your certification path for your career by focusing on specific skills and technologies. The cost of each course varies depending on the subject matter and your location, but they run anywhere from $1,500 to around $4,000.
Cost: Fees vary depending on the course and location, but you can purchase a year-long learning subscription for either $5,500 or $7,000, depending on how many course credits you want.
Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA)
The Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) certification demonstrates your knowledge, skills, and ability to design and build solutions on the Salesforce platform. You’ll first have to earn your Certified Application Architect or Certified Systems Architect certifications before you can move onto the CTA exam. To earn your Salesforce CTA certification, you’ll also have to pass the Technical Architect Review Board exam. You’ll be provided with hypothetical situations, be given customer requirements, and then be asked to design an architecture solution. You have two hours to prepare and then four hours to present to the judges, including time for breaks.
Cost: $200 per exam and an additional $6,000 to pass the Technical Architect Review Board exam
Virtualization Council Master Infrastructure Architect
The Virtualization Council offers four certifications for popular virtualization products. Although the certifications focus on products from VMware, Microsoft, Xen, and Virtual Iron products, the exams are vendor neutral. The Virtualization Council is made up by a group of “industry-leading experts who have joined forces to create an organization which can offer an independent route to certification.” Membership is free, and the council focuses on offering certifications in four of the biggest virtualization platforms currently available. Each exam covers a specific enterprise architecture platform, so you can pick and choose the tools that align best with your career.
Cost: $125 per exam
Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect
The Zachman Framework is a popular matrix-style framework that helps organizations manage and oversee enterprise architecture. The Zachman Certified Enterprise Architect certification scheme includes four levels of certification: associate, practitioner, professional, and educator. The associate level exam focuses on the fundamentals of the Zachman framework and teaches you how to apply framework concepts to real-world scenarios. The practitioner and professional level exams further build off the associate-level exam, introducing how the methodology can be used to produce architecture models and implementation models. At the educator level of certification, the exam focuses on those who wish to create and teach curriculum based on the Zachman Framework concepts. Certification is offered via virtual workshops, either self-paced or instructor-led.
More on advancing enterprise architecture:
- What is an enterprise architect? A vital role for IT operations
- 7 traits of successful enterprise architects
- The dark secrets of enterprise architecture
- Top 18 enterprise architecture tools
- Why you need an enterprise architect
- Enterprise architects as digital transformers