I hope all is well. So, you want to become an architect? That is a GREAT "next step" as a potential career path, but one that you have to plan carefully for if it is going to position you to continue to grow, and be challenged by what you do.
There are several KEY DECISION POINTS that you have to consider, as noted below: (make a list, or gather your thoughts and answers in order to proceed)
You currently are a Systems Engineer. What is/are the technologies that you spend the most time with and feel that you are "MOST AWESOME" on?
You currently are a Systems Engineer. What is/are the skills that you spend the most time with and feel that you are "MOST AWESOME" on?
Are there areas outside of your answers to Q1 and Q2 above that you feel you are lacking? have always wanted to acquire, but for whatever reason(S) have not? in a perfect world would like/love to have?
You need to then take ALL of this information and make some decisions about where you are, where you can be easily as a result, and where you may want to be, even if it may require a change in direction, focus and resources to get there.
For instance, Let's say for a moment that you are a Systems Engineer that answers Q1 by saying that you are MOST AWESOME on Windows Servers (2012 R2 & 2016), you are also REALLY STRONG on SQL Databases and Web Services, along with Directory Services.
Let's say that in answer to Q2, you would say that you are MOST AWESOME in policy based management of endpoints and in imaging and deploying of physical and virtual infrastructure.
Let's also say that you answer Q3 by saying that while you are comfortable with basic networking, you have always felt that a more formal grounding in networking via a Cisco certification such as the CCNA would be a good thing to have.
The next step is to figure out what a solution architect role would potentially look like:
a. inside of your company
b. in another company that you may be interested in working for if you were to apply for a job
c. in a technology area that you would want to be working in/with, even if it is not one that you are currently involved with
In terms of "a" above, you should be able to work within your current organization to figure that out, IF there is already a defined job role/description. If not, you could look at the most senior job role/description in I.T. as it stands currently, perhaps the C.I.O or C.T.O role, and combine that with the elements of the Systems Engineer job role, and you would get close to a description that would make sense.
You may have to remove some of the more MANAGERIAL SPECIFIC elements of the C level job descriptions depending on how the role is defined, but Architects have to be comfortable with things like budgets, risk management, project and portfolio management, and vendor relationships/management.
In terms of "b" above, you would want to take a look at the company's technology stack as well as job roles/descriptions that are available to get a good sense of what the role would look like and the skills you would need.
In terms of "c" above, you could do something similar to what you would do for item "b", just expand your search to multiple companies in different industries, and you would create a composite of the role based on what you find across the various companies you examine.
Now, you would take ALL of the information that you have gathered from everything above, and you would have to narrow down your focus to a specific technology stack/vendor and area of focus. For example, you may decide that you want to be a Microsoft centric solution architect, focusing on Cloud and Virtualization. As a result, you would want to pursue the following certification:
Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
You can see all of the required skills and exams that support this certification here:
You would do the same for whatever vendor/ technology combination that you wanted to pursue.
Once you have that figured out, you can look at our library and see whether we have shows available to support you as you pursue your path.
We also have our Career Coach available for you to ask questions of, and they can help you to map all of these options out and figure out what path(s) will make sense for you.
Please feel free to follow up with me directly if you have additional questions as you do your research and start to make decisions. My direct e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Luck !!!