My company recently sponsored me to become a certified enterprise architect through the Federal Enterprise Architecture Certification Institute. It was a pretty interesting program and I thought I'd post a few thoughts here in case anyone else is considering plunking down the money and time.

The program is a mixture of in class seminars, online coursework and exams, real life exams and oral presentations. The end goal is to educate and certify that you know Enterprise Architecture (particularly FEA/FEAF and/or DoDAF) inside and out.

We had two full weeks of classes at the Virginia Tech extension campus in Falls Church, Virginia followed by two days of exams and presentations. In between class sessions we had about 15 homework team assignments, each requiring 1-5 hours of work, so we were kept busy through the months of June, July and August.

The Department of Health and Human Services was sponsoring the training with about 20 employees with 8 contractors also attending and paying their own way. This meant that the traditional curriculum was modified a bit to also cover the HHS Enterprise Architecture Framework.

We ended up taking four courses:
  • EXSP8660 Enterprise Architecture Concepts by Kathie Sowell
  • EXSP8661 Enterprise Architecture Planning by Beryl Bellman
  • EXSP8662 Enterprise Architecture Implementation by Patrick Bolton
  • EXSP8663 Enterprise Architecture Integration by Mike Tiemann

The faculty of the program are extremely experienced and their courses reflected this experience. It's hard to name a federal EA program that didn't have some work done by someone on the FEAC Institute faculty. They also brought in some speakers with case studies from DOI and the IRS' EA programs and an SOA overview by Everware-CBBI.

They have a program where you can get 16 credit hours (on the quarter system) from National University for a Master's in Engineering with an EA specialty, but I was unable to get any local universities to accept transfer credit.

Overall, the grading was a little easy but the amount of work necessary to complete the assignments was substantial. I don't know anyone who didn't end up passing.

If you're looking for a good series of courses on EA then this may be a suitable program for you, especially if you are into the federal EA space. The price tag may be a little high (~$10,000) but compare it to the costs of 2 Gartner EA conferences (~$5k) and you'll learn a lot more from FEAC.