My advice is to learn to draw lots of cylinders and arrows and understand the difference between application and data architects. There are many fakes and posers out there, who are application developers dressed as data architects. Many applications people tend to chase the data architecture positions because they pay handsomely and the market is saturated with application people. The clients seeking data architects also see unqualified people posting and/or interviewing for their positions. Applications architects tend to treat databases as a persistent layer with no real thoughts as what happens in the data base. In contrast, a data architect sees application as a simple presentation layer and focuses solely on what happens in the data layer and believes that most successful and solid designs are always data centric. Clients looking for a data layer want the latar! So learn the I/O, Storage, Indexing, Structures, Tools, SQL, Functions, DBA utilities, SQLPLUS :) and forget you were ever an application programmer!!