Solutions architect

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Solutions architects lead teams that design and develop new computer systems for clients.

Salary Range: £37,000 to £70,000

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How to become a solutions architect

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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University

You’ll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification in computing.

Relevant subjects include:

  • computer science
  • software engineering for business
  • programming
  • software development
  • cloud computing

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

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Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More information

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Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you’ve got a high level of technical expertise.

It’s also useful if you have experience and understanding of the industry you want to work in, for example banking, retail or cloud computing.

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Career tips

You’ll typically need knowledge of service design principles, agile development, and IT industry standards and regulations.

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to have an industry certification like Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

Further information

You can find out more about working and training in computing from The Chartered Institute for IT and Tech Future Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • maths knowledge
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • persistence and determination
  • knowledge of English language
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks may include:

  • learning the client’s business strategy and needs
  • developing solutions to meet those needs
  • assessing the strengths, weaknesses and costs of various options
  • providing solutions advice and suggestions
  • developing an action plan showing how any preferred option will work
  • making sure the new solution meets industry regulations, like security
  • working on the changeover from an existing system to a new one
  • making sure the new solution works with other systems and platforms in use

Working environment

You could work at a client’s business or in an office.

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Career path and progression

You could progress to senior or lead solutions architect then move on to an enterprise architect role.

You could also take up broader IT project management jobs, strategy planning or consultancy.