Software Architect

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

DiplomaMaster's-level diplomaDurationFull time: 15 months

A flexible online program

Imagine starting a brand-new career at any time! Can’t commit to full-time? No problem, study at your own pace.

Real-world projects

Acquire the most relevant skills by completing 12 projects based on those required in your future career.

Individual learning support

Benefit from weekly mentoring sessions with an expert in the field.

Master's-level diploma

Leave with a professional qualification and benefit from our hired or refunded guarantee.*


Software Architect

DiplomaMaster's-level diplomaDurationFull time: 15 months

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
  • You will need to provide a certificate not older than 2 years to demonstrate a minimum level of English B2.

    Certificates accepted:

    • English Diploma from a secondary institution (private or public) or an accredited higher learning institution
    • Linguaskill minimum score: 160
    • BULATS minimum score: 60
    • TOEIC minimum score: 785
    • IELTS minimum score: 6.5
    • TOEFL iBT minimum score: 88
    • Cambridge FCE / CAE / BEC HIGHER / BEC VANTAGE minimum score or grade: B or 160
    • Certificate from a language center demonstrating a minimum level of B2 (including the number of training hours completed and the company signature or stamp)

    Don’t have one of these certificates? Find out where to take an exam.

  • Access to a computer (PC or Mac), headphones, a microphone, a webcam, and a good internet connection for mentoring sessions (3.2 Mbps upload and 1.8 Mbps for download). You can use an internet speed test to find out like High Speed Internet. In addition, to master the skills on this path, you will need to:
    • Have at least 16 GB of RAM and 100 GB of storage space available on your computer;
    • Have administrator rights to your computer in order to install required programs.

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 online training educational establishment, declared as such by the French authority ‘le rectorat de l'Académie de Paris’.

  • Once you’ve completed your training program, and subject to a jury validating the required elements, you will receive the professional certification "Expert en développement logiciel", registered to the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP) from France compétences. This certification is a Master’s-Level diploma (European Level 7) on the EQF (European Qualification Framework).

  • If you intend to continue your studies at another institution after this training program, contact that university or school in advance to learn their entry requirements for equivalency and/or credit transfer.

  • If you have at least 1 year of professional experience in this profession, you can earn this professional certification faster with the Validation of Acquired Experience (VAE). Learn more(in French)

Hired or refunded guarantee

  • You find a job in the 6 months following the date of validation of your last path project.

  • Otherwise, we guarantee the reimbursement of your tuition.*
    See more details


Software Architect

DiplomaMaster's-level diplomaDurationFull time: 15 months

A teaching method based on practical experience.

  • Acquire key skills for your future career with real-world projects.

  • Make progress with the support of an experienced professional.

  • Acquire concrete know-how and demonstrate it with a portfolio.

Detailed projects and skills

project 1

Step Into the Role of a Software Architect

Set yourself up for success in your path. Find out what you are going to learn and get to know your mentor. You will also define your learning goals in this first project!
Duration20 hours
Skills acquired in this project
  • Prepare for your training
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
  • Map out technical risks and limitations for the project
  • Justify the value and feasibility of a technical projet
  • Assess enterprise architectures for relevance and suitability in supporting business needs
  • Propose a preliminary technology stack for the application solution
  • Catalogue the technologies and functionalities of an existing infrastructure
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
  • Recommend products and services in support of the architecture designs
  • Monitor the market for architectural solutions supporting optimization
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
  • Define the structure and behaviour of applications and their interactions
  • Devise maintainable digital system architectures for online, cloud or mobile platforms
  • 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
  • Recommend an optimal delivery roadmap
  • Ensure maintenance of operational stability and security via system implementation plans
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
  • Justify architectural solutions to stakeholders in the context of business strategy
  • Define logical and physical system solutions via client-facing architecture documentation
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 risk mitigation strategies associated with the architecture
  • Implement architectural design governance frameworks
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
  • Support development teams to deliver architecture implementations according to a roadmap
  • Determine necessary development tasks and their distribution among team members
  • Ensure continuous improvement of practices and code
  • Coordinate development team resources based on skill requirements
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
  • Ensure the conformity of the final deliverables with product requirements
  • Ensure the application of continuous integration practices during implementation
  • Develop a fully-tested PoC to validate implementation choices to stakeholders
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
  • Justify decisions to stakeholders when reconciling conflicting business requirements
  • Adapt an architecture solution & its documentation according to changing constraints
Expert en développement logiciel

One-to-one learning support

  • Benefit from weekly individual mentoring sessions with an expert in the field.

  • Progress rapidly through projects thanks to their expertise in sharing know-how.

The OpenClassrooms community

  • Count on our solid student community to give you support 24-7.

  • Share your doubts or queries with a comprehensive network of students, mentors, and graduates.

Pay for your path

Monthly subscription: The flexible, customizable option

For everyone.

  • Flexible start date and study schedule

  • Non-binding subscription: Stop at any time

  • The faster you finish, the less it costs

  • Hired or refunded guarantee*

€500 per month

Approx. 15 months

Start application

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Got a question? Our team is here to help you from Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Central European Time.

*Subject to the conditions set out in the Terms of Service

Training program last updated on Jul 27, 2022