What Is TOGAF? (And How To Earn Certification)

Updated July 21, 2022

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a great certification for IT professionals and architects as it verifies their ability to simplify complex technical processes and positions them for rapid career advancement. In this article, we discuss what a TOGAF certification is, its four areas of specialization, how to earn certification and identify several jobs that use the skills you master through this certification.

What is TOGAF?

TOGAF is a framework and methodology for developing enterprise-level software. It provides an approach for designing, planning, implementing and governing enterprise IT architecture. This high-level, systematic approach is designed to reduce errors, maintain timelines, maintain budgets and align IT with business units. The current standard is identified as “TOGAF 9.”

TOGAF specializations

TOGAF is based on four areas of specialization called architecture domains. They include:

  • Business architecture: This domain covers business strategy, organization, governance and business processes.

  • Data architecture: Data architecture documents the structure of local and physical data assets as well as any related data management resources.

  • Applications architecture: This domain provides a blueprint for deploying individual systems. It includes the interactions among application systems and their relationships to business processes.

  • Technical architecture: This domain is also known as technology architecture and describes the software, hardware and network infrastructure that is necessary to support mission-critical applications.

TOGAF 9 certification exams

The Open Group has developed three tests regarding certification. Depending on the certification, you must pass one or more tests.

TOGAF 9 Part 1

You have one hour to answer 40 questions in a multiple-choice format. A score of at least 55% (22 or more accurate answers) is required to pass.

This exam is offered at Pearson VUE test centers or online with an authorized proctor. There are no prerequisites and you can prepare with The Open Group self-study guide or an accredited training course.

TOGAF 9 Part 2

This exam has eight complex scenario questions with gradient scoring for the top three answers per question. The exam is open-book (the reference book is built into the exam). You must achieve a score of at least 60% to pass the exam.

This exam is offered at Pearson VUE test centers or online through an accredited training organization. To prepare, you can take an accredited training course.

Business architecture Part 1

This exam has 30 simple multiple-choice questions to answer in 45 minutes. There are no prerequisites and you can prepare with an accredited training course. This exam is offered at Pearson VUE test centers or online with an authorized proctor.

TOGAF certifications

The TOGAF for People Certification program provides a clear path for professional development. There currently are four certifications available from The Open Group. Please note the certification program summary carries a disclaimer that “it is not intended to validate the ability of Candidates to use the TOGAF standard effectively in practice, nor to determine whether Candidates are competent IT or Enterprise Architects.”

  • TOGAF 9 Foundation: This certification is for professionals who have a basic understanding of the TOGAF 9 standard and is designed to verify their knowledge of the terminology, structure and basic concepts. You must pass the Part 1 test to earn this credential.

  • TOGAF 9 Certified: This certification is for professionals with a deeper understanding of the TOGAF 9 standard and who can analyze and apply their knowledge in the development of an enterprise architecture. You must pass Part 1 and Part 2 tests to earn this credential.

  • TOGAF Business Architecture Level 1: This certification is for professionals who understand and use business modeling, TOGAF business scenarios, information mapping and other processes to develop a business architecture based on TOGAF standard 9.2. You must pass the Business Architecture Part 1 exam to earn this credential.

  • TOGAF Essentials 2018: This certification is for professionals who know and understand changes introduced in the TOGAF Body of Knowledge in 2018. You must take at least three hours of training and answer 20 multiple-choice questions. Once you complete the training element, you will be invited by The
    Open Group to take the online assessment. To earn this credential, you must be TOGAF 9 Certified.

Related: Q&A: What Is the Value of a TOGAF Certification?

Types of jobs that use TOGAF

Here are some of the most common types of jobs that benefit from the skills you learn through a TOGAF certification:

1. Business analyst

National average salary: $74,124 per year

Primary duties: A business analyst is responsible for analyzing an organization and documenting and improving its systems and processes. Their primary duties include evaluating business processes, anticipating the requirements, uncovering areas for improvement and creating and implementing solutions.

They also conduct ongoing reviews or processes and optimization strategies and work closely with clients and managerial staff. They are responsible for prioritizing initiatives based on business needs and requirements.

2. Project manager

National average salary: $74,831 per year

Primary duties: A project manager is responsible for planning, executing, monitoring and closing projects. Some of their primary duties include defining the project scope, goals and deliverables, allocating project resources and managing the budget, tracking deliverables and presenting progress reports to key stakeholders.

Related: Types of Project Management Certifications

3. Process engineer

National average salary: $84,780 per year

Primary duties: A process engineer is responsible for developing, installing and monitoring the equipment and processes that turn materials into a product. Their primary duties include developing, configuring and optimizing processes from inception through execution. They assess processes, take measurements and interpret data, develop best practices and innovative solutions to improve production rates and product quality and perform risk assessments.

4. IT architect

National average salary: $114,449 per year

Primary duties: An IT architect is responsible for designing and maintaining computer networks. Their primary duties include using computer design software to model and test network plans, simulate adding new hubs, changing routers or making other modifications. They may also act as managers and take responsibility for assessing budgetary needs.

5. Software architect

National average salary: $134,760 per year

Primary duties: A software architect is an IT professional who designs and develops software systems and applications, making high-level design choices and dictating technical standards.

Software architects are responsible for identifying business requirements, designing the entire system based on those requirements, choosing the system architecture and individual components at a high level, choosing technologies for the implementation of each component and writing project documentation.

Related: 36 Enterprise Architect Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

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