The Open Group Certified Architect program and Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a designation that was initially meant to validate individuals’ abilities as an IT professional, specifically in the practice of IT and enterprise architecture. This program still focuses on IT-related work, but it is constantly evolving as a profession and incorporates multiple disciplines that were not part of the original program. If you’re interested in this exciting, constantly evolving career, here’s what you need to know to get started in it.
What Is The Certified Architect Program?
Open Group Certified Architect program is a certification program that focuses on IT skills as they relate to the corporate environment and enterprise architecture systems. It consists of several certification levels. The first level is concerned primarily with basic skills, including contributing as an architect.
Level 2 is “master” level, and requires you to perform independently and take responsibility for the work you do.
Level 3 is the “distinguished” level, and enables you to become a lead architect, enterprise architect, or IT architect. You are at the highest position or certification level with this type of certification.
But, the certification doesn’t come easy. It requires significant education and training. So much so, that independent organizations, like Simplilearn have devised dedicated TOGAF certification training and education programs to prepare you for the application process.
A lot of the training and education is self-study, though there are still face-to-face training systems available. The problem is that face-to-face isn’t always accessible and it’s costly when it is. And, like any other live training, you must move at a pre-defined pace.
There is no real customization here. With self-study, you get the exact same information, but you get to move at your own pace. So, if you know that certain areas will take longer for you to learn, or if you generally breeze through technical material, you won’t be held up or rushed through your training program.
An important part of the certification program is the demonstration of your abilities (your architectural method) to a board which sets standards and approves the certification. Popular methods include TOGAF7, 8, and 9, Oracle Unified Method, Rational Unified Process, Systems Flow, and UPS Solution Architecture Process. However, in all, there are 37 total accepted methods.
Any one of them can be used for your certification, or you may upload one that is not included in the list for approval. There is no guarantee that the board will approve of your method, however, if it is not in the list.
Your best bet is to use an established architecture method to start. You can always experiment later. Since the fees for the application are non-refundable, choose a method you’re familiar with and that you know you can succeed with.
While you can always resubmit an application, the process itself is lengthy, so you won’t want to do this over if at all possible.
How To Register For the Open CA Program
Unlike a Microsoft certification program, all you need to do for the CA program is register, fill out an application, pay the fee, and conduct an interview. Registration is simple. Sign up here, and then submit the initial certification information. You will need to select “new user” to create a username and password. Wait 30 minutes for the new account to become active. Finally, select “login” and log into your account.
Once in, you’ll register for the Open CA program and select “follow this link” under the “Direct Certification Route.”
Fill out the application form and create your initial Certification Record. Make sure you include information about your employer and contact details. You will then need to select a method to cite with your submission. You can also choose “other” if the method is not listed in the default list. You will be required to upload your documentation if you select “other.”
Once your method has been selected, you must pay the certification fee. Once paid, you will be notified within 10 days if there are any changes that you need to make to your application package. Once the Certification Authority has accepted, it will be reviewed and you’ll receive a phone call interview. There are actually 3 one-hour interviews conducted by three different board members. Level 2 and 3 interviews are face-to-face. After the interviews, the board will determine whether you meet the requirements for Open CA status. If you are not awarded it, you have a period of time to appeal the board’s decision.
Author Bio: Eshna Verma has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.