When it comes to running a modern organization, perspective and adaptability are absolutely key. The burgeoning role of IT given technical-minded managers a far more crucial role to play, and as businesses expand, diversify and incorporate new technology they must also be prepared to amend their infrastructures quickly and efficiently. Continuing on with old practices simply because they work can leave a company swimming in place, making them an easy target for circling competitors.
In this environment, enterprise architecture has become a vital corporate discipline. An ‘enterprise architect’ has the job of creating business ‘architectures’: holistic representations of how a business operates, including its IT infrastructure, key actors and interconnected departments. These blueprints can offer a range of benefits, including the ability to see where changes will be required in order to facilitate major updates to an organization’s infrastructure.
The Open Group Architecture Framework, or ‘TOGAF’, is one of the world’s most popular enterprise architecture practices. Originally based on the ‘Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management’ (TAFIM), it has been expanded and developed over the course of more than two decades. Nowadays, you can find practitioners in virtually every industry, all utilizing the TOGAF terminology, methodology and framework.
While organizations can vary significantly in terms of size and structure, TOGAF is generic enough to be adapted and utilized by virtually anyone. A TOGAF-certified architect can even create an ‘architecture repository’ to be used for integrating and reusing key designs, models and baseline data for future usage. In other words, TOGAF can be used to create unique assets for individual businesses which can then be reused, helping to foster an environment of continuous improvement.
Of course, as nice as this sounds, the terms and practices behind enterprise architecture are hardly self-explanatory. Students taking a TOGAF certification course will want to know whether there are benefits for them as well as their employers. Could studying the framework provide a boost to your earning potential? What about your career?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at exactly how gaining a TOGAF certification can benefit individuals.
Highly valued skill set
TOGAF-certified enterprise architects are able to simplify complex technical processes and architectures, making them simpler to understand even for non-technically minded managers. This can help organizations to make decisions with a far more informed sense of perspective, allowing them to save time, money and resources in planning and implementing key architectural changes.
With such significant benefits for businesses, enterprise architects have become highly valued. Pursuing a TOGAF certification can provide an excellent stepping stone for a career in enterprise architecture, especially when students are able to gain experience in applying the theory behind the framework to their day jobs.
Here are just a few of the roles that a TOGAF certification can qualify you for:
- Portfolio management
- Architecture strategy
- Governance committees
- Technology lifecycles
- Architecture review boards
A common terminology
TOGAF has a growing global community of certified practitioners, all utilizing the same basic concepts, framework and terminology. This common language is vital for understanding the benefits of TOGAF, as it enables simply communication and collaboration between certified architects, even between different companies and industries.
The TOGAF terminology can also create networking opportunities. Meeting and working alongside fellow practitioners, even on a TOGAf certification course, can help students to make valuable contacts for later on in their career.
A common hangup of corporate certification courses is that potential students almost always have to juggle learning with full-time work. This can make it difficult to find the time to become qualified, especially with courses that demand classroom attendance.
Luckily, the TOGAF certification program is fairly flexible. Students begin with the Foundation (Level 1) modules, which cover the basics of TOGAF including the Architectural Development Method (ADM). Passing the Foundation exam will then allow them to move on to the Certified (Level 2) examination.
While the certification exams are by no means easy, they allow students to stagger their studies. Good e-Learning’s TOGAF 9.2 courses even offer months of access, practice exams and mobile-device compatibility to help students go at their own pace, fitting in studying whenever they have the time.
Good career investment
Becoming certified in TOGAF can provide an excellent springboard for you to take the next big jump in your career. Payscale currently puts the average salary for employees with a TOGAF certification at $131,000. Even certified enterprise or IT architects who lack experience often earn over $80,000 a year.
That sounds incredible, but how much does it actually cost to become TOGAF-certified? With Good e-Learning, you can choose a course covering both Level 1 and Level 2 for less than $1,000 (and with FREE exam vouchers to boot!)
As we said previously, TOGAF certifications are in high demand. If you can study TOGAF while working on a job that lets you apply the standard in practice, you could become an extremely valuable candidate in a relatively short amount of time.
Experience is vital, but in the current employment landscape, clear qualifications can also matter for a lot. The right certification can verify your abilities and impress potential employers, helping you to reach an interview stage where you can wow them your knowledge and experience in person.
When it comes to enterprise and IT architecture positions, very few standards are more highly regarded than TOGAF. As a vendor-neutral framework, it can also open up opportunities across multiple industries. In other words, while TOGAF may be standardized, it can still make you stand out!
TOGAF is about more than just technology architecture or information system architecture; it also incorporates aspects of business and economics, making it an excellent resource for aspiring managers.
Remember, TOGAF is all about perspective. Being able to develop a holistic perspective of a complex organizational structure can help actors to weigh different perspectives from interconnected departments. TOGAF can thus help managers to make more informed decisions, while the ensuing benefits can do wonders for their employability.
Unlike courses at college or university, there are no prerequisites to studying TOGAF. While some background knowledge of enterprise architecture will certainly be helpful, students can start a Foundation level course without having to gain other certifications beforehand.
Because of this, TOGAF can be an excellent starting point if you are unfamiliar with enterprise architecture. Foundation courses provide a clear introduction to the framework, and if you want to progress quickly you can even take a combined package.
How much does gaining a TOGAF certification cost?
The cost of studying for a TOGAF certification depends on exactly what you want to get out of your course. Are you completely new to the framework? Do you want to become fully certified? If you already have a certification in a previous version, are you after a bridging course to get your knowledge up to date with the latest release?
Browse our selection of award-winning Enterprise Architecture courses below to find out exactly how much it will cost you to become a certified practitoner and progress your career!