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Become A Computer Systems Architect

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Working As A Computer Systems Architect

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $94,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Systems Architect Do

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and computer system needs before setting one up
  • Install all network hardware and software and make needed upgrades and repairs
  • Maintain network and computer system security and ensure that all systems are operating correctly
  • Collect data in order to evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that one exists

Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

In some cases, administrators help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.

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How To Become A Computer Systems Architect

Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is continually changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master’s degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates knowledge and best practices required from network and computer systems administrators. Companies may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the product they use. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.

Other Experience

To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.

Advancement

Network administrators can advance to become computer network architects. They can also advance to managerial jobs in information technology (IT) departments, such as computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them.

Communication skills. Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.

Computer skills. Administrators oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment and must ensure that they all work together properly.

Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.

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Computer Systems Architect Typical Career Paths

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Computer Engineer 3.2 years
Lead Architect 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Computer Systems Architect
Internship 4.3%
Engineer 4.3%
Top Careers After Computer Systems Architect
Engineer 6.6%
Analyst 4.9%
Developer 4.9%
Designer 3.3%

Do you work as a Computer Systems Architect?

Average Yearly Salary
$94,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$68,000
Min 10%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$129,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Populus Group
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Computer Systems Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Computer Systems Architect in the United States is $94,392 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $68,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $129,000.

Real Computer Systems Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Computer Systems Architect IDC Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jun 30, 2016 $215,000
Computer Systems Architect IDC Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Jun 29, 2016 $215,000
Computer Systems Architect Populus Group Rockville, MD Jun 09, 2015 $187,830
Computer Systems Architect Populus Group, LLC Rockville, MD Oct 02, 2016 $187,830
Computer Systems Architect Technosoft Corporation Auburn, IN Apr 13, 2015 $187,274
Computer Systems Architect Rapid External Solutions, Inc. Chattanooga, TN Sep 22, 2016 $175,000
Computer Systems Architect Agreeya Mobility Inc. Houston, TX Dec 30, 2016 $155,000
SR Computer Systems Architect Mileweb Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 02, 2015 $150,000
Computer Systems Architect, Sfdc Proofpoint, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 29, 2016 $146,000
Computer Systems Architect Vertisystem Inc. Fremont, CA Apr 28, 2016 $142,064 -
$152,064
Computer Systems Software Architect Gridstore, Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 09, 2016 $138,403
Computer Systems Architect Smartgeotech, Inc. Creve Coeur, MO Jan 10, 2016 $135,000
Computer System Architect Milanchi, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 15, 2015 $131,000
Computer System Architect Milanchi, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 03, 2015 $131,000
Computer Systems and Architect Infojini Inc. Owings Mills, MD Dec 30, 2016 $95,000
Abwr Safety System Logic & Control Computer Architect GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC Wilmington, NC Feb 24, 2015 $93,600 -
$95,000
Senior Computer Systems Architect Synechron Piscataway, NJ Feb 16, 2016 $93,018
Computer Systems Architect ITC Infotech (USA), Inc. Culver City, CA Oct 01, 2015 $92,590
Senior Associate, Computer Systems Architect/Middleware DFS Corporate Services LLC Riverwoods, IL Jan 23, 2015 $92,310
Computer Systems Architect Pyramid Consulting, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 17, 2016 $92,000
Computer System Architect Pyramid Consulting, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 18, 2015 $92,000
Computer Systems Architect Smart Systems LLC Snellville, GA Sep 13, 2016 $75,000
Computer System Architect Sitek, Inc. Lexington, KY Oct 23, 2016 $75,000
Computer Systems Architect Quinnox, Inc. Atlanta, GA Aug 26, 2016 $75,000
Computer Systems Architect Gerald W. Bortolazzo Md PC Atlanta, GA Sep 09, 2016 $75,000
Computer Systems Architect Tata Consultancy Services Limited Newark, NJ Jun 11, 2015 $75,000
Computer Systems Architect Smart Systems LLC Snellville, GA Sep 05, 2015 $75,000 -
$80,000
Computer Systems Architect It Interest, LLC Atlanta, GA Sep 23, 2016 $75,000

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Top Skills for A Computer Systems Architect

  1. Architecture
  2. Customer Service
  3. Infrastructure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Skilled Solutions Architecture/ DevOps/ Management Leadership.
  • Helped integrate a newly acquired company into the corporate infrastructure.
  • Review Business requirements and write system requirements.
  • Determine system specifications and working parameters for hardware/software compatibility for new and existing complex computer systems.
  • Provided Windows, Linux, and AWS administration.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Computer Systems Architects

  1. Virginia
  2. Maryland
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Colorado
  5. New Jersey
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Georgia
  9. North Carolina
  10. Alaska
  • (1,153 jobs)
  • (476 jobs)
  • (272 jobs)
  • (450 jobs)
  • (699 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (665 jobs)
  • (679 jobs)
  • (673 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)

Computer Systems Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

77.1%

Female

15.7%

Unknown

7.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

3.2%
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Computer Systems Architect Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.1%

University of Maryland - University College

9.1%

Strayer University

9.1%

Walden University

6.1%

Liberty University

6.1%

Bellevue University

6.1%

George Mason University

6.1%

Southern Methodist University

6.1%

Renton Technical College

6.1%

Western Washington University

3.0%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.0%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.0%

Regis University

3.0%

Virginia Tech University Falls Church

3.0%

California State University - Fullerton

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Great Valley

3.0%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.0%

City University of Seattle

3.0%

Air Force Institute of Technology

3.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

23.8%

Business

15.9%

Computer Information Systems

9.5%

Management

6.3%

Electrical Engineering

6.3%

Systems Engineering

4.8%

Information Technology

4.8%

Engineering

3.2%

Computer Networking

3.2%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Education

3.2%

Information Sciences

1.6%

Drafting And Design

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.6%

Marketing

1.6%

Philosophy

1.6%

Computer Systems Security

1.6%
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Degrees

Masters

47.3%

Bachelors

32.4%

Other

9.5%

Associate

6.8%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

1.4%
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