Information Architect Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for information architects. Get the facts about education requirements, job duties, salary and required skills to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Industrial Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Information Architect?

Information architects help organizations understand user needs and improve the accessibility of websites and databases. These professionals research their client's database platform to understand its usage and identify problems. Their goal is to increase efficiency for users by making changes to data design, helping users locate information more easily. Some information architects work as part of a time while others do not; regardless, good people skills are beneficial, as one way to learn about how an organization uses its database platform is by interviewing others who work there.

Take a look at the table below to find the general requirements for a career as an information architect.

Education Required Certificate accepted, bachelor's degree often required
Education Field of Study Information technology, library, or information science
Key Skills Ability to identify and translate user research, knowledge of metadata frameworks and templates in content management systems, strong Web analysis skills, familiarity with programming languages and platforms
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 21% (for all computer systems analysts)
Median Salary (2017)** $90,741

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Would I Do as an Information Architect?

A crucial part of your position is to analyze and gather information about an organization's database platform - such as the Web or Intranet - in order to understand how it's meant to be used. This may involve consulting with business representatives. Then, to optimize user interaction, you might relocate platform positioning or reorganize database structures to create clear and readable sitemaps, taxonomies, personas, and content matrices. Your goal is to optimize database design and make information easier to locate on a website or network. You might need to write code and otherwise work alone, or you may collaborate with a number of designers, technologists, programmers, and content strategists.

What Skills Do I Need?

To work as an information architect, you need to be able to identify and translate user research into effective human-centered design. To execute this, you must have knowledge of the metadata frameworks and templates used in content management systems, as well as strong web analysis skills. This includes familiarity with programming languages and platforms such as Microsoft WCF Data Services, ColdFusion, XHTML, FLASH, AJAX, CSS, JavaScript, and web-based Microsoft application programs such as OpenRasta. To implement changes in design, you may need some familiarity with web design software such as Adobe InDesign, Axure, or Microsoft Visio.

How Can I Prepare?

Information architecture is a field that expands as quickly as the technology around it. Courses are available at the certificate level and as part of a bachelor's or master's degree program in information technology. They provide you with an introduction to fundamental concepts in information architecture and teach you how to perform basic diagnostic tests, create sitemaps, set up wireframes, and make flow diagrams. You also learn how to operate some of the latest data-structuring programs and software, as well as how to write code.

Due to the high level of field specialization required for this position, employers may require you to have a bachelor's degree in information technology or a related field, such as library or information science, to acquire an entry-level position. This is largely to ensure that you not only have a strong foundation in liberal arts that includes some courses in business communication, but that you have a broad and advanced knowledge of the field to keep ahead of the rapid changes in technology. As updated versions of programs, platforms, and software develop, part of your responsibility as an information architect is to continue your education and research by keeping current with new program improvements, updates, and services.

How Much Will I Make?

According to Payscale.com, the 10th to 90th percentile of information architects make between $55,843 and $126,693 a year, as of January 2017. Earnings varied based on the number of years in the field. For example, entry-level information architects with 0-5 years of experience earned a median annual salary of $68,153, while information architects with 10-20 years of experience earned a median salary of $113,803 in the same year, Payscale.com reported.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer programmers write and edit computer code to instruct applications and software how to function when given certain commands. Operations research analysts help organizations identify flaws in many areas of the company through the use of mathematics and analytical skills. Computer network architects create data communication networks for companies, from small scale ones connecting computers in an office to large scale cloud-based storage. All of these positions will likely require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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