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The best job in America is... enterprise architect

Glassdoor releases top-ranking jobs for 2022, based on jobholder feedback, salaries and number of openings. EAs could potentially be in stressful situations, doing a lot of handholding of both tech and business teams. But it's all good.
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Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributor on

Information technology jobs made the top tier of the best jobs in America this year, and coming out at the very top were enterprise architects. 

EAs ranked first on the list, complied by Glassdoor, based on the ratings of jobholders and average salaries reported. Average EA salaries are currently $145,000 a year, and job satisfaction rating averages 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5. Glassdoor estimates that about 14,000 openings exist for EAs.  

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Photo: Joe McKendrick

Pretty interesting for what could potentially be a stressful job, having to shuttle between tech and business teams, providing translation services each way, and having to plan out roadmaps for the next three to five years while attempting to please everyone. Most of all, trying to please the senior executives who want to know why the organization isn't "digitally transforming" fast enough. Oh, and then keep explaining why the roadmap needs to be followed, and trying to convince departments to stop straying in their own technology directions. In other words, days filed with explaining and handholding.

At the same time, perhaps no one could be in a more exciting position these days; helping organizations oversee their oversee their historic transitions to the digital world. It means understanding the power -- as well as limitations -- of technology and building a better company, a better place to work, and better world for customers. This means helping to reshape and remold businesses, understanding their needs, clearing out obsolete or sluggish processes; and energizing the roles of many both in business and IT with new ways of working and engaging with customers. 

For those who aspire to move into EA roles, CIO's Sarah White provides a nice summation of the role:

"An enterprise architect is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of an organization's IT networks and services. As an enterprise architect, you will be responsible for overseeing, improving and upgrading enterprise services, software and hardware. You will also need to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies and keep an eye out for any software, services or hardware that might improve business processes."

"The enterprise architect role requires complex thinking and strategizing to ascertain which legacy systems can be updated, what software or hardware can be replaced and which services or products will support business operations across each department. Enterprise architects work across the organization, determining the needs of a range of business units and processes. It's a role that requires strong communication and analytical skills to ensure that business units have the right tools to be successful."

Full-stack engineer followed in second place, and data scientist third. It's also interesting to see DevOps engineers so satisfied with their roles -- which involve just as much explaining and handholding as EAs. I would be curious where software or technology entrepreneur would fall on the list, but perhaps that's too stressful to contemplate.

Here are the top 20 jobs in the Glassdoor ranking:

  1. Enterprise Architect (Average salary: $144,997; Satisfaction rating: 4.1 out of 5)
  2. Full Stack Engineer ($101,794; 4.3)
  3. Data Scientist ($120,000; 4.1)
  4. Devops Engineer ($120,095; 4.2)
  5. Strategy Manager ($140,000; 4.2)
  6. Machine Learning Engineer ($130,489; 4.3)
  7. Data Engineer ($113,960; 4.0)
  8. Software Engineer ($116,638; 3.9)
  9. Java Developer ($107,099; 4.1)
  10. Product Manager ($125,317; 4.0)
  11. Back End Engineer ($112,384; 4.2)
  12. Cloud Engineer ($118,999; 4.0)
  13. HR Manager ($91,502: 4.3)
  14. Business Development Manager ($89,496; 4.2)
  15. Information Security Engineer ($116,919; 4.1)
  16. Physician ($155,400: 3.9)
  17. Corporate Recruiter ($77,700; 4.4)
  18. Salesforce Developer ($98,972: 4.2)
  19. Marketing Manager ($90,748; 4.1)
  20. Consultant ($90,748; 3.9)

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