How to Become an Azure Architect?

As an “Intelligent Cloud” business, Microsoft Azure has grown by 23% to $15.1 billion according to the revenue numbers released by Microsoft. As more and more businesses adopt the IT infrastructure based on Microsoft’s cloud platform, the requirement for Azure professionals will also rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for cloud architects will rise exponentially, opening up to more than 12,000 positions per year through 2024. At this time, getting certified as an Azure architect can be a golden opportunity. So, let’s immediately get started with the answers to all queries about being an Azure architect.

What is an Azure architect?

An Azure architect is a specialised cloud architect for developing solutions for Microsoft Azure cloud. The Azure architects understand all phases of a software project life cycle along with its detailed technical implementation, management, and team roles. The regular Azure architect is also expected to be proficient in Azure testing, development, administration, and DevOps. A responsible Azure architect is present throughout the process, right from budget and planning to backup and recovery.

Skills Every Azure Architect Should Have

Like every other job profile, an Azure architect also needs to have certain essential skills that define his or her potential to carry out the projects. Here are some of the most basic skill requirements:

  • Core Skills

      • Knowledge of programming languages like Ruby, Python, and Elixir
      • A background of IT engineering or equivalent
      • Commendable leadership skills
      • Team spirit
      • Good written and verbal communication
      • Potential to design and implement Azure cloud infrastructure
  • Advanced Skills

      • Understanding of various complex IT ecosystems
      • Getting Azure recommended certification to enhance your skills as an Azure architect
  • Understanding Various Tools

    • Coding and programming languages
    • Good handling of computers
    • Telecommunications systems
    • Understanding important tools of Microsoft Azure
    • Queueing and caching network and security system
    • API management

Apart from these focused skills, you should always make it a point to keep enhancing your awareness in the field of Microsoft Azure as an Azure architect. You will also have to learn about cloud infrastructure and its operation. So you must gain ample knowledge about Azure’s cloud infrastructure solutions like PaaS, IaaS, BCDR, OSS, Infra, etc. Also, polish your knowledge about Azure infrastructure design methodologies along with sufficient knowledge of cloud computing.

Also Read: Role-based Azure Certification Path

Why Go For Architect Jobs In Microsoft Azure?

As a cloud architect, you have the option of choosing your major platform from various cloud computing platforms. So why should you actually opt for becoming an Azure architect? We’ve already mentioned the statistics about the increasing growth in popularity of Microsoft Azure with the global pandemic of 2020 and the mass shift to online IT infrastructure. With such huge popularity, there is also an increasing requirement for Azure architects in the market. Here is a graph from Google Trends showing public interest in Microsoft Azure in the last 365 days.

How to Become an Azure Architect?
Source: Google Trends

Microsoft Azure is also one of the most competitively priced, easily scalable, and efficient cloud service providers. This is also contributing to its growing usage, and to the flourishing demand for Azure architects.

Along with your regular degree, you can highly increase your employability by getting Azure certifications. These certifications can add value to your resume and increase its credibility. If you have a look at the insight of Azure architect trends throughout the world in the last 5 years, you can be sure of finding exciting career opportunities in this field.

Source: Google Trends

How Can You Become An Azure Architect?

  • Get your degree

A background in science stream is one of the basic necessities to become a cloud architect. The most preferred way to get started is by getting a formal undergraduate degree in science that can help you gear up for the upcoming challenges of the profession. However, even if you are from another stream and have recently grown an interest in becoming an Azure architect, you can look for diploma and certification courses to establish your candidature. 

  • Earn some experience

The job of an Azure architect is not an entry-level position. It is mostly mid-level or mid-senior level career points. Therefore you must have significant experience in information technology to show for. Your leadership skills, technical skills, and team collaborative efforts also speak loudly for your potential. 

  • Get certified

Your experience will not be able to land you a job as an Azure architect alone. You must also enhance your skills with the help of online certifications and courses. There are various certificate programs that you can choose from, directly affiliated with Microsoft exams. 

Scaling Up The Potential For Better Candidature

Having a good education and experience will only give you a boost in the industry, but you have to constantly hustle to scale up your potential for being a better candidate. Some specific skills that you need to gain as an Azure architect are:

  • Great proficiency in increasing the scalability of your application.
  • A good Azure architect always focuses on resource effectiveness. This means that they can design and develop an application with minimal resources to reduce the overall resource allocation cost. 
  • Microsoft Azure has a plethora of different services, and an ideal Azure architect has a good understanding of selecting the perfect services for their projects. They should have sufficient knowledge about these services so that they can make the right choice based on the client’s requirements. 

What Does An Azure Architect Do?

Now that you understand what being an Azure architect is all about, you should also have a fair idea of the job description of an Azure architect. Their work includes:

  • Working with different automation and cloud software
  • Having ample skills to use the tools and services on Microsoft Azure
  • Commencing different application development stages
  • Designing effective solutions
  • Building, deploying, and managing applications on the platform
  • Examining the application performance and maintenance

Who Should Take The Azure Solutions Architect Expert Exam?

As already mentioned, the job of an Azure architect is not an entry-level position. The candidates for the certification have advanced experience and knowledge across diverse aspects of budgeting, governance, security, business continuity, networking, identity, virtualization, and disaster recovery. To gain expert skills in this domain, the candidates can also consider getting certification in the following Microsoft cloud technology platforms:

  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016
  • MCSA: Cloud Platform
  • MCSA: Linux on Azure

Significance Of Certification On A Career Path As An Azure Architect

There is no denial of the immense importance of certification in an Azure architect job. Apart from adding value to your resume, you can also explore your advanced potential in this field. It is an approved assurance of your experience and knowledge of Azure cloud services.

The Azure architect certification also increases your chances of being hired in the industry. So, if you want to expand your career horizons, you must hustle and strive to get certified as an Azure architect. 

Details Of The Microsoft Certified Azure Architect Expert Certification

If you satisfy all the above-mentioned criteria of becoming an Azure architect, then you can consider getting certified by Microsoft to become an authentic Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert. Before appearing for these exams, make sure that you have enough preparation in the networking, security, storage structure, and cloud computing industry. Our preparation tests can help you ace the industry knowledge before taking the certification exam. The two exams offered by Microsoft are Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies, and Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design. Note that you can go for Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design only after clearing the Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies.

As per the updated exam guide effective from July 26, 2021, Microsoft has released a general list of the skills they will measure in a prospective Azure architect.

Latest Update: With effective from March 31, 2022 AZ-303 & AZ-304 name has been changed to AZ-305

Exam AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

Implement and Monitor an Azure Infrastructure (50-55%)

  • Implement cloud infrastructure monitoring
  • Implement storage accounts
  • Implement VMs for Windows and Linux
  • Automate deployment and configuration of resources
  • Implement virtual networking
  • Implement Azure Active Directory
  • Implement and manage hybrid identities

Implement Management and Security Solutions (25-30%)

  • Manage workloads in Azure
  • Implement load balancing and network security
  • Implement and manage Azure governance solutions
  • Manage security for applications

Implement Solutions for Apps (10-15%)

  • Implement an application infrastructure
  • Implement container-based applications

Implement and Manage Data Platforms (10-15%)

  • Implement NoSQL databases
  • Implement Azure SQL databases

AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

Design Monitoring (10-15%)

  • Design for cost optimization
  • Design a solution for logging and monitoring

Design Identity and Security (25-30%)

  • Design authentication
  • Design authorization
  • Design governance
  • Design security for applications

Design Data Storage (15-20%)

  • Design a solution for databases
  • Design data integration
  • Select an appropriate storage account

Design Business Continuity (10-15%)

  • Design a solution for backup and recovery
  • Design for high availability

Design Infrastructure (25-30%)

  • Design a compute solution
  • Design a network solution
  • Design an application architecture
  • Design migrations

Salary Of Azure Architecture Experts

The attractive salary of Azure architects is also a contributing factor in its popularity. It is indeed one of the greatest accomplishments in the cloud certification industry to get the Azure Solutions Architect Expert Certification by clearing its two demanding certification exams. CIO has even included it in its comprehensive list of most in-demand IT certifications for 2021.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of Azure architects is approximately $152,142 in the U.S. This indicates an average hourly income of $73. The salary can start from as low as $132,000 and scale up to $218,000 for the top earners.

Azure Solutions Architect Salary
Source: ZipRecruiter

PayScale shows the average annual salary to swing around $119,487 in the US, but after including all the perks and benefits, the estimated salary can go as high as $188,000.

Do you know the 10 Top Paying Cloud Computing Certifications in 2021?

These figures can surely motivate an individual to become an Azure architect and start their journey towards a successful career.

Wrapping Up

Through this extensive article, we have established the growing demand and profits of being an Azure architect in 2021. This career path is full of opportunities and growth prospects.

Have you checked out the Best Performing Free Tests from Whizlabs?

Always remember that certifications carry immense value in the cloud certification industry, and with this discussion, we have tried to steer you in a feasible direction. Also, after earning various certifications assured by Microsoft, you can also increase your chances of getting a salary hike. Do check out our training courses for the Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (Exam AZ-303) and Design (Exam AZ-304) certifications.

Start your preparation now and gear up to become a successful Azure architect, by opting for a promising, future-ready career path.

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

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