Windows is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear of Microsoft. However, it benefits IT professionals in many other ways. Microsoft certification is one crucial method that helps them showcase their skills to gain employers’ attention. In addition, this certification provides an excellent learning opportunity by connecting Microsoft professionals worldwide.
Although many companies provide cloud-computing certifications, Microsoft is the leading cloud service provider with nearly 29% market share. Therefore, getting this professional certification can help people land their dream job.
Microsoft certification is an excellent way to upgrade your knowledge and skills required for working on Microsoft products.This definitive guide covers all the essential information about Azure Microsoft certification, such as its levels, how to prepare, the process of recertification, etc.
What is Microsoft Azure Certification?
This certification validates the technical skills of a professional required to perform specific tasks for roles that use Azure software. Although Microsoft offers over 250 certifications to IT professionals, Azure is the most sought-after course.
It has a total of 4 certifications that demonstrate a candidate’s different expertise levels. Therefore, to earn each certification, professionals need to proceed in a sequential manner. Moreover, depending on the exam level, candidates need to pay $ 99 to $165 as an examination fee.
Microsoft Certification Categories
Typically there are three Microsoft course levels, namely fundamental, associate, and expert. People with zero or limited knowledge of cloud-computing need to qualify at the fundamental or beginner level to proceed to the next level. This includes either the associate or expert level because to take expert level tests, qualification of the associate level is not a prerequisite. However, to take the most advanced Azure certification, i.e., Speciality Certification, it is necessary to get primary certifications.
Following are the different Microsoft certification levels and their exam details:
1. Fundamental level
It is the basic certification program, and it consists of one exam. Currently, candidates can enrol into Microsoft online courses that provide training for the following certifications:
- Azure AI Fundamentals
- Azure Data Fundamentals
- Azure Fundamentals
- Microsoft Azure Compliance, Identity, and Security Fundamental
2. Associate level
This is the second level of Microsoft certification, and it requires candidates to pass two exams. At this level, IT professionals get the option to choose from thirteen different exams according to their expertise. These include the following:
- Azure Administrator Associate
- Azure AI Engineer Associate
- Azure Developer Associate
- Azure Database Administrator Associate
- Azure Security Engineer Associate
- Azure Network Engineer Associate
- Azure Data Scientist Associate
- Security Operations Analyst Associate
- Identity and Access Administrator Associate
- Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate
- Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate
- Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate
- Azure Data Engineer Associate
3. Expert level
Once professionals get either the fundamental or associate level certification, they can go for the expert level Microsoft certification training. It consists of three programs, and each one includes two exams. The expert level certification includes the following programs:
- DevOps Team Responsibilities
- Azure Solutions Architect Expert
- Cybersecurity Architect Expert
4. Specialty certification
To increase expertise in a specific domain, Microsoft offers this certification in addition to the above three programs. There are a total of five specialty options for IT professionals, such as:
- Azure IoT Developer Specialty
- Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty
- Azure Connectivity Specialty Support Engineer
- Cosmos DB Speciality
- Azure SAP Workloads Specialty
Steps to get Microsoft Professional Certification
To gain the Microsoft certification, candidates need to take the following steps:
- Select a certification program: As there are multiple certifications available to professionals, the first step includes selecting a program according to one’s career goals. Another way to select a program is to evaluate the job posting and go for the certification, which is highly demanded.
- Join training courses: There are multiple Microsoft certification courses that prepare candidates for each certification. You can join any of these courses according to your schedule and financial feasibility.
- Participate in practice exams: This is one of the best ways to test your preparedness for the exam and work on improving your weaknesses.
- Recertification: To remain updated with technological advancement, professionals must retake the certification renewal exams. For this, Microsoft sends an email to its certified professionals six months before the expiry date. Following this, professionals can take the exam to keep their certificates active.
As It is well known that Microsoft certifications help job candidates showcase their skills and gain employers’ attention, so for most people, it is the best choice for their careers. However, to thrive in the global job market, it is vital to select the most demanding certification program and prepare thoroughly to earn the certification by scoring good marks.