TOGAF is an important certification for IT professionals and those that manage computer systems and networks. Created by The Open Group, TOGAF stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework. Basically, it’s an architecture framework that makes complex processes easier and enables greater mobility for IT professionals in their careers.
TOGAF certification is itself based on four areas of specialization, also known as architecture domains. They all fit under one unifying framework and methodology intended to make the development of enterprise-level software more straightforward and manageable by those responsible for doing the work. In addition to designing, planning and implementing enterprise-level IT architecture, TOGAF also speaks to the seamless management of those same systems, reducing errors and issues as well as budgets, and aligning everything with general business interests.
TOGAF Certification Specialization
As we mentioned, a TOGAF certification is based on four different specialization areas. They are business architecture, data architecture, applications architecture and technical architecture. Each are intended to support and get the most out of your IT resources while rewarding the best and brightest with ideal career advancement options.
- While there is inevitably some overlap, TOGAF certification training in business architecture is primarily concerned with overall business strategy and processes, including general organization and governance.
- The second specialization area is known as data architecture, or the structure of data assets and any associated data management resources.
- The third TOGAF certification specialization area is applications architecture, which allows IT professionals to deploy different systems within the overall framework, as well as governing how different applications interact and how it fits into the overall business processes.
- Lastly, technical architecture is all about the software, hardware and general network infrastructure that is needed to support the demands of the business.
Like many other types of certifications, TOGAF certification starts with study and ends with certification by way of an exam. There are currently two levels of certification — one that’s based more on a working knowledge of TOGAF and another that illustrates a deeper level of understanding and ability. The first is referred to as a TOGAF 9 foundation while the second is known as a TOGAF 9 certification. IT professionals are advised to pursue TOGAF 9 certification training while executives and those in auxiliary roles may benefit from a TOGAF 9 foundation.
But before you can take the exam, you’ll have to enroll in a TOGAF course. Note that like other professional certifications, you can certainly take the exam without any prior study, but those that enroll in a TOGAF certification program are bound to have greater success. There are actually two different exams, and each exam must be passed either separately or together before you can receive your full TOGAF certification.
The first TOGAF exam is made up of 40 multiple-choice questions from the Level 1 learning format. In order to receive a passing grade, candidates must answer at least 22 questions correctly (55 percent). As mentioned, students are free to take the exam at any time with either self-study or an accredited TOGAF certification training course. Generally, those that take a training course tend to do better and report greater success on the exam than those that don’t, but it’s up to you.
Once the first exam is passed, a candidate has achieved an entry-level qualification of TOGAF foundation — and they don’t have to take the second exam if they’ve achieved their desired certification level. That said, for those that want full TOGAF certification, the second exam is mandatory and is made up of eight complex scenario questions from the Level 2 learning format. Each answer is scored on a scale of one to five, where a correct answer receives five points, a second-best answer receives three points and a third-best answer gets one point. To pass, a candidate needs to score at least 60 percent.
Luckily, the second exam is open-book, so you can have your reference materials with you. But you’ll need to have a strong working knowledge of the concepts and materials, so it’s not like you’d want to take the test blind and hope to work your way through it. Most candidates will enroll in an accredited TOGAF certification training course online, though The Open Group also provides study guides and other materials to enterprising DIYers.
If you already know that you want full TOGAF certification, that means taking and passing both exams. But instead of taking the exams separately, you can take both together, passing each exam and receiving your TOGAF certification at the end. If, however, you don’t manage to pass both sections, you’ll have to retake the exam. If a candidate takes the exams back to back in this manner, a failure on the first exam and a pass on the second exam will still mean you need to retake both in order to receive your full TOGAF certification.
For those that are looking to get their TOGAF certification, Conexiam offers online and on-demand TOGAF certification for TOGAF Level 1 and 2 with year-long access to instructor-led online courses and Conexiam’s enterprise architecture community.