Explore: Digital and tech

IT Architect

info Issues viewing the video?

Judith S

00:00:04 My name is Judith S. I’m an IT Architect and I work for IBM. An IT architect is somebody that’s delivering an IT solution that’s specifically there to make sure that the basics are in place. My job is to make sure that all of the right people that understand all the detail are talking to each other and that the whole thing comes together properly and effectively in a cost-effective way.

00:00:30 I was always going to be the first lady prime minister so that went very early on, thank you, Mrs Thatcher. I was in a number of schools. My family moved around the UK quite a lot, so I think by the time I was seven, I was already on my fourth school. But one thing that my parents were really keen on, was encouraging me to learn. My Dad was an Engineer. My Mum’s a Teacher. So it was very focused around the academic side of things.

00:01:01 I actually got my first job with IBM in 1984. I joined as a secretary. I stayed for about three months and predominantly I left because I had a choice at that point. I could either stay or I could go back and do my A levels and go onto further education. So I actually made the decision to leave IBM and go back to, actually not to school but to the local technical college to do my A levels.

00:01:28 While I was doing my A levels, it was very important to me that I was kind of self-supporting. I left school which had caused a little bit of a rift as my Mum was a teacher and was really quite disappointed that I’d chosen to leave school. So I had a job with Marks & Spencers as a cleaner. I worked in Sainsburys on the till and I had a job with a small perfume company.

00:01:54 I was always interested in things that weren’t necessarily seen as very feminine. My actual degree’s in exploration geophysics. I was the only girl on the course. That was probably harder than I’d anticipated or expected, but I actually got rejected from one of the colleges I applied to because I was a girl and they had no changing facilities for me.

00:02:17 My parents were very instrumental, just in giving me a work ethic. I’m definitely going to put a lot of this down to just my family background and the opportunities that were available just based on how we were brought up.

00:02:33 I’m doing an Open University French degree, which I’ll probably finish in about 10 years time, it’s taking me so long to do it. But I’ve pretty much been continually learning things and I think I’ll always do that. I’ve got a really good friend of mine that’s really not very well so she’s in essence terminally ill. She’s been terminally ill for about five years. She looks healthier than me but we know that there’s a, you know, there’s a limited amount of time that she’s going to be around and I think that’s changed my outlook on, you know, what’s important from a work perspective and what’s important from a personal and a home perspective. I think I’m probably much more balanced than I was 10 years ago.

00:03:18 My husband and I bought a Swedish kit house about two years ago so we’re currently starting and moving through refurbishing. So currently a lot of my spare time is spent looking at how we’re going to sort of remodel it so that it’s more attuned to how we live rather than obviously how the previous owner lived in it.

00:03:41 I actually met my husband at work and if I’d made some different decisions, I wouldn’t have met him. So I think overall no, I probably wouldn’t change anything. There are some things I could’ve change but I wouldn’t be where I am now and I very much enjoy what I’m doing today.

Judith S is an IT Architect for IBM. She makes sure everything comes together in a project. She did Exploration Geophysics at university after deciding to go back to study instead of being a secretary.

More information about IT business analysts, architects and systems designers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

82%  male 
18%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Workers in this unit group provide advice on the effective utilisation of IT and design IT systems in order to meet the business objectives or to enhance the business effectiveness of the organisation.
Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification, although entry with other academic qualifications and/or significant relevant experience is possible. There is a variety of relevant vocational, professional and postgraduate qualifications available.
  • Liaises with internal/external clients in order to analyse business procedure, clarify clients’ requirements and to define the scope of existing software, hardware and network provision;
  • Undertakes feasibility studies for major IT developments incorporating costs and benefits, and presents proposals to clients;
  • Communicates the impact of emerging technologies to clients and advises upon the potential introduction of such technology;
  • Provides advice and assistance in the procurement, provision, delivery, installation, maintenance and use of IT systems and their environments;
  • Examines existing business models and flows of data and designs functional specifications and test plans for new systems in order to meet clients’ needs;
  • Researches, analyses, evaluates and monitors network infrastructure and performance;
  • Works closely with clients to implement new systems.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Computer programming, etc 31893
Head offices, etc 11620
Financial services 10261
Legal & accounting 8839
Retail trade 8024
Auxiliary  services 6385
Telecommunications 4721
Warehousing, etc 3740
Public admin. & defence 3173
Information services 3139
Employment status

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: