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Information architect: Career path, skills and experience

Learn about the career path of an information architect, as well as what type of experience is optimal for career development.

I have an IT support/technology risk background and have specialized in information risk management. I currently work in IT audit to develop wider IT and corporate governance, control and assurance experience. I have some questions:
  1. What sort of experience/skills would organizations, in particular those in financial services, look for when recruiting information architects? Or in other words, what's the best way to progress to such a role?
  2. Is this role the same as an information security architect or would it encompass other areas as well?
  3. What's the current and future demand in the financial services industry?
First, I'll state the obvious. Direct career experience in the particular niche of information architecture that you are seeking is best. However, if you'd like to be an information architect somewhere, anywhere, experience in data access and reporting, data movement, database management, data quality, data analysis and business analysis are all leverageable. Most industries, including financial services, look for some experience in the industry -- moreso for analysis positions than the more technical implementation positions. If you're not an information architect and want to break into the career, to the degree you can, focus on those skills mentioned above in your job. Just doing well at whatever job you have should pave the way to discussions of career change and management support for career change internally. Be observant. Often, good information architecture does not exist and you may have the good ideas, which will in essence create the job you want.

Information security architects are information architects, but as discussed above, there are many variations of the information architect role. You need to hone in on an area of information management.

Financial services is one of the top industries exhibiting a need for improved information architecture. Furthermore, it is an enormous industry that many people make a career in. Specializing in it is not career limiting.

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