When the sick at Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital got worse despite the efforts of a team of specialists, the call went out for Dr. Gregory House.

When a new app or program fails to work the way it’s supposed to, that’s when you call in a solutions architect.

Like Dr. House, a solutions architect solves problems others can’t — without the acerbic personality of the TV doctor.

But unlike House, solutions architects do their best work before the patient — the project — is sick.

“A solution architect looks at the big picture when technological decisions are made by an organization,” weeding out the pieces that don’t contribute enough to accomplishing the overall objectives of the development project, explains the IT trade association, CompTIA.

Companies may call the job by different names, depending on the primary focus. Software architect, security architect, technical architect are a sample. All share broad responsibilities. CompTIA says they work with business leaders, translating business problems into tech solutions in a way that is clear to both developers and laymen. In that role they may:

  • Design computer and information systems for specific needs
  • Recommend and integrate software and hardware
  • Analyze current systems architecture making recommendations for improvement
  • Organize development efforts and select team members
  • Communicate effectively with staff and clients.

The job requires a deep knowledge of systems and development, CompTIA says. “Most companies hiring a solution architect are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or something in the engineering field.”

The IT services firm Onix-Systems suggests having at least 8 years’ experience working in different IT areas. Serving as a project manager is highly desirable as it shows you have the ability to work with a team, meet deadlines and communicate effectively.

Technical prowess alone is not enough. The ability to communicate effectively and clearly – and empathetically, says Onix-Systems – that makes for a successful solutions architect.

According to CareerExplorer, “Solution architects tend to be predominantly investigative individuals, which means that they are quite inquisitive and curious people that often like to spend time alone with their thoughts. They also tend to be enterprising, which means that they are usually quite natural leaders who thrive at influencing and persuading others.”

The combination of advanced technical skills, business know-how, outstanding communication skills and management acumen is a rare enough combination that companies pay well for the right talent. The average base pay for a solutions architect is between $110,000 and $115,000.

If you’re a solutions architect or you have the background and interest in the role, send us your resume. You can also search our current jobs listings.

If you’re an employer looking to fill a solutions architect position, call us at 212.683.1988. Our recruiters are specialists who can help you tailor your requirements to get exactly the right person for your organization and your team.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


IT Workers Saw Big Pay Bumps Last Year

Seven in ten IT professionals got raises last year, pushing the average base for non-managers to $83,500 and to $146,000 for those in senior positions.

The average percentage increase for non-managers, according to the 2020 IDG Insider Pro and Computerworld IT Salary Survey was 4.7%. Managers at all levels average between 4.2% and 4.3%.

Tech professionals with certain specialized skills saw increases in the double-digits. The report said security professionals averaged 11.2% and those in enterprise application integration got 11.3%.

The majority of respondents to the Insider Pro / Computerworld survey (55%) said the raises were standard annual increases; 20% attributed them to cost of living increases while 30% said the raise was tied to their job performance. Web developers, among the lowest paid of tech workers got an average 11.1% boost in their base pay last year. With bonus — $10,491 on average – their total compensation averages just shy of $70,000.

Contract workers too enjoyed pay hikes. Though the survey had only 102 responses from contractors, 92% said they got a bump. Salaried contractors reported earning a new annual base of $97,742. Those on an hourly contract are averaging $125 an hour.

According to the report, “CIOs took home the most flush paycheck — a total of $202,224 in total compensation, on average. CTOs pulled in an average of $192,561 annually while the mean pay for chief information security officers (CISOs) was $167,780.”

Considering the average pay increase for all private, non-farm workers last year was 3.1%, it’s no surprise the Insider Pro / Computerworld survey found 60% of IT professionals satisfied or very satisfied with their compensation.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash