May 14, 2019
Computer architecture is a field of work that’s not as complex as it might sound. Despite the name, it’s mostly about the rules and protocols by which different hardware and software are joined, interact, and network together. The science of how computers work is ruled by this architecture, which also determines with components are able to work with which.
Computer architects are those who have an expertise in this science. In many cases, they research and find the components that interact and work together as desired. However, they also design and implement new technologies and programs to work with existing architectures.
The term computer architecture refers primarily to how software, hardware, and network technologies come together to create computers and systems. As the word architecture implies, it’s about how these different technologies are built on top of and support one another. To put it simply in relation to that, computer architecture is about building computers and knowing which components work better together.
However, computer architecture also relies on a few key skills and knowledge bases. Primarily, it relies on system design, instruction set architecture, and microarchitecture.
This refers to the hardware components of computer architecture. Computer architects need to have an in-depth knowledge of CPUs, data processors, multiprocessors, memory controls, and direct memory access. They need to be able to understand their specifications and how well different components work together.
This refers to the functions and capabilities of the CPU. Computer architects are expected to know how CPUs make software run, which means a knowledge of programming language, processor register types, data formats, and more.
This refers to how data paths are integrated into the computer, such as disk drives and hard storage drives. As such, computer architects are expected to have an in-depth knowledge of data processing.
Computer architects are considered mid-to-high level roles in IT and computing teams. As such, those studying or training to become a computer architect (or computer network architect) should already have a BS in computer science, information systems, engineering or the equivalent fields.
Most computer architects come from a computer science-related field, with the experience in network security and database design crucial to their work. As such, these classes teach aspiring architects what they need to know about different technologies and networks and how they interact with each other.
A Master’s of Business Administration with a specialization in information systems is another commonly chosen path to becoming a Computer Architect. This is thanks to the wide range of both computer and business-related courses that the program entails.
Besides the relevant education, Computer Architects are expected to have around five years’ experience in working IT systems before they’re considered qualified enough. Certifications such as a Network+ certificate can help demonstrate the skills needed to land a Computer Architecture position, as well.
As tech-driven as the world has become, the demand for computer architects has skyrocketed over the past couple of decades. To put it simply, if we need computers, we also need computer architects. The field has become competitive as of late, but there is still expected to grow in available positions in the next eight years.
The demand for computer architects has decreased a degree due to the rise of Cloud computing, but many businesses are still building their own systems and networks. To do that, they need computer architects.
To see an example of some of the computer architecture roles out there, the experience expected of you, and the roles and responsibilities, take a closer look at FieldEngineer.com. Simply search for computer architecture jobs to see the kind of opportunities currently out there.
The pay you can expect as a computer architect varies greatly depending on your experience and expertise in different technologies. According to PayScale.com, the average annual salary is around $114,000 per year.
There is a lot of further career specialization available for those working as computer architects as well. In most cases, the natural career progression is to a computer and information systems manager role. These are professionals who find the needs of companies and provide and implement the hardware, software, and networks needed to fulfill those needs.
Many go on to become IT project managers, high-level employees who manage the IT division of an organization. They organize teams of computer and network specialists to improve and iterate on existing IT systems.
Other computer architects may choose to become programmers who write the codes that define how computers and software function. Others become database administrators. These are professionals specializing in encryption software used to keep resources protected from unauthorized access.
If you already have the qualifications, certifications, and expertise it takes, then you might want to start looking for a computer architecture job. Computer architects are highly in demand, and sites like FieldEngineer.com can help you find the job opportunities suited directly to your skills.
Upload your resume and let the relevant offers come directly to you. If you prefer a more proactive approach, use FieldEngineer.com to search directly for Computer Architect jobs and get in touch with employers. Our comprehensive communication dashboard makes it easier to pin jobs, manage offers, negotiate contracts, and stay in touch with employers you’ve connected with.