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Choosing an enterprise architecture certification can be confusing as there is no set global standard for certification, and the correct course to choose can depend on factors such as the specific requirement of the architect for their chosen career.
The Open Group, responsible for the highly successful and well-recognised TOGAF (the open group architecture framework), offers a basic certification, the Open CA. This gives acceptable industry credit to those who may be qualified by experience and understanding of systems and processes, but have no official paperwork to prove their skills.
The Open CA can be applied for directly through The Open Group or through the Accredited Certified Professionals. This is an excellent way for candidates to validate their knowledge and skill set in such a way as to have a concrete proof to offer to prospective employees. Once the Open CA has been approved it remains in place for three years, and then can be renewed by means of an abbreviated evaluation.
Zachman offers three levels of training, Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect (Level One) and Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect Professional (Level Two) are dedicated to giving the architect training in the full range of architecture, from framework to methodology, increasing the skill set with each successive level.
The third level, Zachman Certified – Enterprise Architect Educator, is a qualification to allow architects to teach and instruct applicants in the Zachman Framework.
As far as foundation enterprise architecture certification is concerned, TOGAF and Zachman offer a wide general knowledge and understanding of all the processes, features and considerations involved in enterprise architecture.
TOGAF is the best known enterprise architecture certification and, as such, it is requested as a qualification in up to 80 per cent of all IT jobs. There is some debate, mainly within the industry, about the difference between having knowledge of architectural framework and having evidence of competence as an architect. To those outside the industry it is generally assumed that a competent architect will have the necessary knowledge and understanding of architectural framework, so it is perhaps too fine a point to belabour at length.
EACOE – Enterprise Architecture Centre of Excellence
An up and coming performer in the enterprise architecture stakes is the Enterprise Architecture Centre of Excellence, known as EACOE. Their accreditations are also beginning to be widely acknowledged as being satisfactory proof of knowledge and skill. EACOE offers four levels of certification: Enterprise Architect, Senior Enterprise Architect, Distinguished Enterprise Architect and Fellow.
Pragmatic EA offers a more simplified form of enterprise architecture, one that is perhaps better suited to real business needs and real life application than the other more academic and cerebral forms of enterprise architecture. Their course is, as evidenced by the name, pragmatic and down to earth. As with EACOE there are four levels of certification offered by Pragmatic EA: Practitioner, Professional, Consultant and Trainer.
About the author: Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.