To become an architect consultant, professional qualifications including training and certifications are necessary. The exact career path to follow depends on where someone wants to practice and what kind of work she plans to perform. The term “architect consultant” can refer to two very different jobs, one having to do with information technology and the other focusing on the design and implementation of buildings, landscaping, and other built environments.
In the case of someone who wants to become an architect consultant in information technology, training usually requires at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or related fields. It can also be useful to receive certification in specific programming languages, systems, and protocols. Practical experience can be very valuable, and many architect consultants have a background in the computing and technology industry before they start to provide services.
This information technology professional may meet with the executives of a company to discuss the goals for the company and what it does currently to learn more about its information technology needs. He should take this information into account when he designs the information technology architecture for the company or works with a team of personnel on the company's IT. After he completes training to become an architect consultant he can work as a freelancer or under a company umbrella.
The other type of architect consultant offers assistance and advice with the design process when people develop new built environments. To become an architect consultant, it will be necessary to go to architecture school, finish several years of practical work under supervision, and apply for certification as an architect. With these skills, the architect can provide consulting services. Many architects work for architecture firms to develop experience and skills before they start consulting work.
An architect who completes training to become an architect consultant may need to meet continuing education requirements. They can include retesting for certification periodically, taking workshops and classes, and attending conferences with other architects. Architects who work for a consulting firm may be sponsored by their employers for continuing education activities. Others will need to cover these costs on their own.
The career path in either case can be long. It may take seven years or more before an information technology professional or trained architect can offer consulting services. Many choose to develop skills in a particular area of practice so they can be more marketable to clients and have a chance to compete for major contracts that call for specialty training.