Through a unique arrangement between Kent State University and the Enterprise Architecture Center Of Excellence, undergraduate students can earn certification as Enterprise Architects.
The first group of students earned the enterprise architect certification in December 2012. Enterprise architecture is a professional area of practice that assists enterprises in designing solutions to achieve their current and future business objectives.
Samuel B. Holcman, chairman of the Pinnacle Business Group Inc. and managing director of the EACOE, said the arrangement with Kent State is exciting because of the school’s multidisciplinary approach to the topic.
“These students gained a set of transferable skills that will make them extremely valuable to organizations,” Holcman said. “But while enterprise architecture is of interest to people around the world, work in the field from an academic standpoint is very thin. We believe academic institutions such as Kent State can bring discipline to this, with the university becoming the foremost authority in the world. We think that this program should become a model for other educational institutions to follow.”
According to Holcman, the driving issue leading to increased attention to enterprise architecture is complexity.
“The business and technological needs of modern organizations are extremely complex,” Holcman said. “The analogy I like to give is, if you’re building a rowboat, you don’t need much architecture. If you’re building a cruise ship, you better do a lot of planning and architecture before you get out the hammer and nails.”
Adjunct Professor Dana Baer taught the enterprise architecture course at Kent State. She is an EACOE-certified enterprise architect fellow and also is employed by Pinnacle.
According to Baer, Kent State students were able to not only study enterprise- architecture theory, but also how to actually conduct an enterprise-architecture project, and practice techniques and procedures performed in organizations around the world.
Clinton Wright is a junior at Kent State majoring in digital sciences, and he is now an EACOE-certified enterprise architect.
“I enjoyed the course and thought that it helped me to understand more of what enterprise architecture is,” Wright said. “The group case study was very beneficial to learning the material because it was a hands-on activity, and by meeting with the group and working through the case study week-by-week, myself and other members in my group agreed that we understood the material better after applying it to our own work.”
First-year digital sciences student Douglas Flower agrees with Wright’s assessment.
“Enterprise architecture really brought to light the importance of analyzing the needs and goals of a business model at a deeper level in order to improve prioritization,” Flower said. “From a managerial perspective, enterprise architecture should be an essential tool for any business looking to drive down unnecessary costs and narrow the focus of their vision.”
Robert Walker, director of Kent State’s School of Digital Sciences, is excited about the first set of students gaining their enterprise architect certification.
“Our undergraduate program provides a unique blend of technical and design skills, and this cutting-edge course on enterprise architecture makes our undergraduate students even more valuable in the workplace,” he said.
Walker also stressed the value of Kent State’s graduate certificate and master’s programs.
“These online programs are the perfect opportunity for working professionals to gain academic credentials in enterprise architecture, and our graduate course is also grounded in the EACOE methodology.”