Educating Enterprise Architects in a Time of Technological Upheaval

enterprise architecture programs

The job of the Enterprise Architect (EA) has never been harder, making it a necessity to embrace continuing education.

Fortunately, options abound, ranging from events produced by Forrester and Gartner, as well as workshops by entities specific to the industry, such as the Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence.

And then there’s Penn State University and its Center for Enterprise Architecture (CEA), the leader among higher education entities when it comes to educating future and current EAs.
As we progress through the new year, we thought this would be a good time to interview Dr. David J. Fusco, Assistant Teaching Professor, CEA Member and Penn State College of IST Director of Masters Programs.

Question: Tell me about the EA Center and its mission in relation to PSU as well as the greater EA community?
Answer: Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology Center for Enterprise Architecture provides a focal point for research and education in enterprise architecture. Launched in January 2011, Penn State’s Center for Enterprise Architecture bolsters the college’s efforts to develop and deliver academic curriculum that keeps pace with the emerging practices, tools and theories driving business transformation. The center collaborates with industry partners on research projects that design and extend emerging EABT practices beyond the classroom as a viable
strategic resources for organizations.

Q: How has the Center evolved in recent years in terms of what it provides to the EA community?
A: The Center has continued to focus on strong feedback from its members, drawing on current EA practices, challenges, and research-driven solutions to help organizations overcome the challenges they face as technology continues to change at an extremely fast pace.

Q: What areas of expansion do you see for the Center in 2018?
A: In 2018, the Center plans on expanding its membership to include a more holistic base, representing a diverse set of companies, non-profit, and business-focused individuals.

Q: How have you seen the EA profession change in your tenure at the Center?
A: EA has always been a critical, value-added component of an organization, and as technology has become a strong digital disruptor, executives look to EA and Business Transformation as a way to leverage technology while focusing on strategic business needs. EA has never been more important as right now to the success of meeting business goals.

Q: Are you surprised that Higher Ed hasn’t taken a more proactive role in preparing tomorrow’s EAs? And why?
A: Since 2012, Penn State has offered an advanced Enterprise Architecture degree and currently we are one of the only top-ranked universities offering graduate certificates and Masters of Professional Studies in EA and Business Transformation. In response to industry demands, we’ve recently added several new concentration areas of study that includes Security Architecture and Business Architecture. We also have a strong partnership with Smeal College of Business that provides a solid foundation of real-world business solutions for our curriculum. As you can imagine, offering this amount of breadth is no small undertaking for a university. Penn State is fortunate to have the leadership that recognizes the importance of EA and its value to our students. Not all institutions have the flexibility and vision to meet these needs, but we are proud that we are helping shape tomorrow’s leaders.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Students. Penn State has an international presence and because our program is online, it creates a very diverse student body. With this, the faculty engage with students from all around the world, gaining insight into their daily lives and providing a global perspective on their organizations’ challenges. It is extremely rewarding.