Data Architect Skills & Education Requirements

Research what it means to be a data architect. Read to learn more about the skills and education requirements for these professionals, and find salary information. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Data Architect Overview

In order to combine, analyze, and store data in the most effective ways, organizations turn to data architects to design proper data infrastructures. Data architects are in charge of designing the standards for data storage, integration, and procedures across an organization's systems. The table below is an overview of the skills and education required of data architects.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree preferred
Certifications Not required, but may be useful; include Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP)
Skills Needed Software engineering, mathematics, data analysis
Career Outlook (2018-2028) 10% growth (for computer occupations, all other)*
Median Salary (2019) $115,799**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

What is a Day in the Life of a Data Architect Like?

In the age of internet, mobile applications, and inter-connectivity, most organizations operate on a network of software and databases which must integrate and share data with one another. The main role of a data architect is to design databases in line with the business needs of an organization with special consideration for the performance, security, and reliability of the final infrastructure.

The process begins through in-depth conversations with staff across departments, especially those who will use the data frequently, such as software and system architects. This process involves the selection of the programming languages, security protocols, and hardware tools that best align with the needs of the organization. To protect data from system failures and other potential losses, data architects are also tasked with designing systems of backup or recovery procedures.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

Data architects must understand database design and engineering, which is why a bachelor's degree that can provide you with a background in computer programming concepts is required. Examples include degrees in computer science, information systems, information and communications technology, or related fields. Advanced degrees in the same disciplines are not required but could be beneficial.

Are There Any Certifications Required?

Certifications are not mandatory for data architects, but they are a good way of displaying competency in the technical skills required. Certifications are also a way to become a member of a group of professionals in the field, which could provide for important networking opportunities. The Certified Data Management Professional (CMDP) certification from Data Management Association International (DAMA) is a widely recognized certification. As an entry-level professional, you can get certified at the practitioner level. Professionals with 4 or more years of work experience can test for the CMDP Mastery certificate.

What Are the Skills Expected of Data Architects?

Beyond a foundation of skills in software development (including database management, metadata and development environment software), data architects should have a solid foundational knowledge in mathematics. Examples include arithmetic, algebra, calculus and statistics. Design thinking concepts are also needed of data architects as the data structures they conceive must be presented in technical plans and blueprints to other stakeholders in an organization. Experience in the analysis of data and its uses is also needed for well designed data architectures.

What Are the Potential Earnings and Career Outlook for Data Architects?

In 2019, calculated the median yearly salary of data architects at $115,799. Depending on the type of employer and experience, salaries can range from roughly $76,000 to $153,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 10% growth in job opportunities for computer occupations, all other (including data architects) between 2018 and 2028.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »