Software Architect

Become an expert in software development! Lead high-level architecture decisions and design complex solutions.

At your pace
~ 15 months


Job guarantee
in 6 months

Master's-level diploma

Start now

One million computer programming jobs are estimated to be created in the U.S. by 2020 - as well as 700,000 in Europe - thanks to unprecedented growth in the tech sector.

Here at OpenClassrooms, our mission is to make professional education accessible. OpenClassrooms is a global online education-to-employment platform, designed to teach the skills needed for the most in-demand jobs. We pinpoint the key skills needed to succeed in the job market and develop diplomas to train our students on those skills. That’s why we've developed a 15-month master's-level diploma designed to turn software developers into architects, which you can complete entirely online with the support of a dedicated mentor. 

What will I do as a software architect?

A software architect is an experienced software developer who is responsible for the high-level design, planning, and methodology that make the development of a software product possible. A software architect may be in charge of:

  • Communicating with clients and other stakeholders
  • Coordinating a development team
  • Evaluating the scope of a project
  • Analyzing an existing software architecture 
  • Defining the structure and behavior of applications and their interactions
  • Validating new architectural solutions
  • Managing implementation and delivery of software architecture

How much will I earn?

The world of software development offers lucrative careers, and many opportunities open up as you gain the more advanced experience required of a software architect. Here is what you might expect to earn in your career as a software architect:

  • United States

Average: $135,00
Range: $100,000-170,000

  • United Kingdom

Average: £70,000
Range: £50,000-90,000

What are my job prospects?

This path can prepare you for the following jobs:

  • Software Architect
  • Applications Architect
  • Product Architect
  • Solution Architect
  • Software Design Specialist
  • Senior Software Developer, Programmer, Engineer, or Designer
  • Tech Lead, Technical Director, or CTO (Chief Technical Officer)

Who is eligible to enroll?

Successful students will have:

  • A degree in Computer Science or 3-5 years professional experience as a developer
  • A working knowledge of the Java programming language
  • A good level of English (for non-native speakers, a CEFR level of B2, an IELTS band score of 6.5, or a TOEFL score of 80 is recommended) 
  • Access to a computer (PC or Mac), webcam, and headphones/microphone
  • Internet access

What will I learn to do?

  • Extract requirements from clients
  • Audit an existing architecture
  • Research and pitch architectural solutions
  • Analyze technical debt
  • Create an architecture roadmap
  • Define business-driven tests and architecture governance frameworks
  • Develop a Proof of Concept (PoC)
  • Address changes to scope and requirements during a development lifecycle
  • ...and more!

How will I learn at OpenClassrooms?

Our learning method is unique and revolves around two elements: professional projects and dedicated mentoring sessions.


At OpenClassrooms, learning is project-driven because that’s the fastest way to become proficient. Projects offer hands-on experience so you can hit the ground running when you start your new job.  

Want to see an example of a project? Read our blog post here.


During your path, you will be assigned a mentor who will offer one-to-one support via weekly video conference sessions. This mentor will offer guidance on your projects, help define objectives and guide you until you reach the end of your program. Our mentors are dedicated professionals who are experts in their field and have experience in sharing their know-how with our students.

Your diploma

OpenClassrooms is an official private distance learning establishment registered with the Board of Education in Paris, France that grants its own diplomas as well as those of prestigious academic partners.

Upon completion of your studies and validation of your skills by an academic jury, you will earn a "Software Architect" master's-level diploma, registered with the National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP)*.
This diploma is at level 7 on the EQF (European Qualifications Framework).

If you have questions about its equivalence in order to undertake further study, contact your university or master's program.

* Sheet available at the following address:

Your Job Guarantee

At OpenClassrooms we are committed to helping you find your ideal job. We promise.

By following the learning path "Software Architect", you’ll learn an exciting new profession with great career prospects.

What’s more, you’ll find a job within six months of graduating or we’ll give you your money back!

Find out more

Detailed projects and skills

project 1

Step Into the Role of a Software Architect

Dive into the role of a software architect, design your ideal job, and develop an action plan to get there!
Duration20 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Define a learning strategy
  • Identify the skills required for a software architect position
project 2

Define Your Project Scope and Get on the Same Page With Your Client

Your client wants to modernize their systems to optimize costs. Your mission is to synthesize your client's needs into a comprehensive client brief outlining functional requirements and a solution.
Duration60 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Communicate preliminary guidelines for the functional scope of a project with stakeholder
  • Extract project requirements from a business requirements brief or need-finding meetings
project 3

Audit an Existing Architecture to Propose a New Solution

Your huge company needs your help in shifting to a more powerful solution. It's up to you to perform an audit, assess the existing architecture, and pitch the value of your solution to stakeholders!
Duration100 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Propose a preliminary technology stack for the application solution
  • Assess enterprise architectures for relevance and suitability in supporting business needs
  • Catalogue the technologies and functionalities of an existing infrastructure
  • Justify the value and feasibility of a technical projet
  • Map out technical risks and limitations for the project
project 4

Research Architectural Solutions for Optimizing an Upgrade

Your client needs some new functionalities to keep up with their changing needs, but they've got a lot of existing architecture constraints. Your job is to figure out the best solution.
Duration80 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Assess architectural solutions to optimize deployment, operation & continuous enhancements
  • Monitor the market for architectural solutions supporting optimization
  • Recommend products and services in support of the architecture designs
project 5

Design a New Architecture for Your Software System and Scale up Your Business!

You work for a quickly growing start up whose software system needs a serious revamp! You're in charge of developing a new maintainable system architecture that can keep up with its new customer base.
Duration80 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Devise maintainable digital system architectures for online, cloud or mobile platforms
  • Define the structure and behaviour of applications and their interactions
  • Develop maintainable architecture operating models & technical design principles
project 6

Design a Cross-Platform Communication Application

You're a consultant for a major firm who needs your help to streamline and simplify the communication workflow between different departments. Time for you to manage their technical debt and pitch a successful solution!
Duration70 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Analyze the impact of existing technical debt on the scope of a new project
  • Design a coherent enterprise architecture representation via industry standard techniques
project 7

Ensure Your Project Stays on Track With an Architecture Implementation Roadmap

You're in charge of implementing a software architecture solution for a massive industrial company. Impress your team by defining an optimal delivery roadmap, all while maintaining performance and security.
Duration100 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Ensure maintenance of operational stability and security via system implementation plans
  • Recommend an optimal delivery roadmap
project 8

Define Success With a Test Plan for Your Architecture Design

You've inherited a new architecture project - only to find out that the logical and physical designs are incomplete. You've got to refine the architecture and come up with a plan for testing!
Duration120 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Define business driven tests to validate client requirements
  • Define logical and physical system solutions via client-facing architecture documentation
  • Justify architectural solutions to stakeholders in the context of business strategy
project 9

Manage Risk With Architecture Governance Frameworks

Apply your architectural designs to an existing software system. Define how manage the migration using risk mitigation strategies!
Duration100 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Ensure the implementation of technical specs for required architecture functionalities
  • Implement architectural design governance frameworks
  • Implement risk mitigation strategies associated with the architecture
project 10

Coordinate a Development Team to Ensure Efficient Delivery

Work with a development team to certify that your architecture is delivered according to your project roadmap! Coordinate team resources and provide continuous improvement of code.
Duration70 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Determine necessary development tasks and their distribution among team members
  • Coordinate development team resources based on skill requirements
  • Ensure continuous improvement of practices and code
  • Support development teams to deliver architecture implementations according to a roadmap
project 11

Get Stakeholder Buy-in With a Proof of Concept

You are a consultant and need to convince a client in a highly sensitive field that your solution is reliable and safe to roll out. Time to develop a proof of concept (POC) and make sure it's ready to use when the development teams take over!
Duration150 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Develop a fully-tested PoC to validate implementation choices to stakeholders
  • Ensure the application of continuous integration practices during implementation
  • Ensure the conformity of the final deliverables with product requirements
project 12

Manage Changing Requirements and Expectations in a Software Architecture Project

You're an external freelancer and have just finished up the delivery of a project - or so you thought! Looks like there's a small issue that's creating a huge problem, and it's up to you to solve it.
Duration150 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Adapt an architecture solution & its documentation according to changing constraints
  • Justify decisions to stakeholders when reconciling conflicting business requirements
Computer Engineering Expert

Start toward the career of your dreams

At your own pace

$500 per month

Your perks:

  • Six-month job guarantee

  • master's-level diploma

  • Flexible duration

  • Individual mentorship

  • 12 hands-on projects

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Our team is available to answer your questions about our programs or your new career path.