Microsoft Azure Certification Path: The Essentials

Microsoft Azure Certification Path: What You Need to Know

If you want to get ahead in your professional life and become an asset to your company, getting Microsoft Azure Certified this year is a good idea. As most business solutions and processes have moved to the cloud, upgrading your skillset is a professional boost.

In this article, you will learn the essentials when it comes to Microsoft Azure Certification.

Why should you be Microsoft Certified?

As technology continues to evolve and processes innovate, certain know-how and skills are required by the industry. This is most evident in IT professionals as IT solutions continue to upgrade as technology progresses.

Getting certified will also look good on your resume — helping you land jobs or move to a higher pay grade.

Microsoft certification is standardized all over the world as well, which means that getting certified will surely put your skills and technical knowledge on a global level.

What is Azure certification?

Microsoft Azure certification provides the required knowledge and skills for candidates to enhance their proficiency in IT streams that work in tandem with Azure services.

You can be trained on any Microsoft Azure courses either with help from an instructor — or self-paced via modules online. Microsoft also provides an extensive resource library to help you reach a higher level of understanding, or assist you in preparing for exams.

Choosing which Microsoft certification path you will undertake will require some careful thinking on your part, especially since taking the exam to be certified requires money, time, and dedication to study.

This is why it is imperative that you know the direction of where you want your skills to be enhanced or know what role you will play within your company to fully maximize your productivity.

What are the levels of Azure certifications?

While there are Azure certifications for various levels, getting certified requires you to progressively take the certifications. This means that if you want to get the best certifications, you must first be familiar with the fundamentals and associate certifications.

What are the levels of Azure certifications?

1. Azure Fundamentals Certifications

The Fundamental courses focus on helping you gain an understanding of key concepts of Azure. This includes the core services it offers, cloud systems, how data is handled, and AI concepts.

Below are just some certifications that Microsoft offers:

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

Azure Fundamentals is the first course to take for candidates of the certificate. The course covers cloud services and how they are implemented within Azure.

It provides an overview of how Azure systems work and prepares candidates for other Azure role-based or specialty certifications.

Other details:

  • Exam cost: $99 USD
  • Target candidates: Anyone who wants to get into Azure

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals

This certification is intended for candidates beginning to work with data in the cloud. It focuses on foundational knowledge of core data concepts and how they can be implemented using Microsoft Azure Data Services.

Candidates should be familiar with the concepts of relational and non-relational data, and different types of data workloads such as transactional or analytical.

Other details:

  • Exam cost: $99 USD
  • Target candidates: Database Administrator, Data Analyst, Data Engineer

Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals

This certification is an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of common Machine Learning and AI workloads and how to implement them on Azure.

Cloud systems and services are highly compatible with running AI and Machine Learning in comparison with hardware-based resources.

While the course is intended for candidates who may or may not have data science or software engineering experience, general knowledge or experience of programming will greatly help the candidate.

Other details:

  • Exam cost: $99 USD
  • Target candidates: AI Engineers, Data Scientist, Developers

2. Azure Associate Certifications

Associate Certifications are for candidates who want to start specializing. From the fundamental certificates, there are a lot of different certificates and specializations that candidates can choose from.

This includes:

Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate

The course focuses on honing your management skills when it comes to being an Azure admin.

Some responsibilities included in the course are implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment among many others.

Having at least six months of hands-on experience as an Azure administrator and a strong understanding of Azure Fundamentals is a great plus when undertaking this course.

Other details:

  • Cost: $165 USD 
  • Target candidates: Administrator
  • Prerequisites: Azure Fundamentals (optional)

Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate

This course is mainly geared towards those who work with SQL databases on Microsoft SQL Servers. It handles a lot of topics that will assist you in understanding Database Administration in Azure

This includes topics like planning and implementing data platforms, monitoring and optimizing operational resources, implementing a secure environment for database services, and many more.

While not a requirement, a good grasp of Azure Data Fundamentals will benefit you greatly.

Other details:

  • Cost: $165 USD
  • Target candidates: Database Administrator
  • Prerequisites: Azure Data Fundamentals (optional)

3. Azure Expert Certifications

These certifications are designed for those who wish to demonstrate their expertise in computing, networks, security, and administrative management while handling Azure Systems.

Courses under Expert Certification require an expansive knowledge of how Azure Services work.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

The architecture of networks, storage, infrastructure operations, data platforms, serverless applications, API Integration, migration, business continuity, and disaster recovery in Azure are some of the many modules that you can learn in this course.

Responsibilities for candidates that take the course include, but are not limited to, advising stakeholders and translating business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable cloud solutions.

This course has two exams before you can get a certificate for it.

Other details:

  • Cost: $165 USD (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies), $165 USD (Microsoft Azure Architect Design)
  • Target candidates: Solutions Architect
  • Prerequisites: Azure Fundamentals (optional)

Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert

The course mainly focuses on enhancing expertise regarding working with people, enhancing processes, and technologies to continuously deliver business value.

Candidates for the certification are expected to have finished either the Azure Administrator Associate course or the Azure Developer Associate course to fully grasp the concepts in this course.

Other details:

  • Cost: $165 USD
  • Target candidates: DevOps Engineer
  • Prerequisite certifications: Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate

How to get started with Microsoft Azure Certification Path?

Getting Microsoft certified requires you to really sit down and think about which certification you must take. It’s important to think about what role you will play in your organization and to reflect on what skill to learn to become more equipped and professionally competent.

While not all certificates are listed in this article, you can check out all available courses on Microsoft’s Azure website. You can also copy & paste this URL on your address bar: azure.microsoft.com

That’s it! For more questions regarding Azure Certification (as well as other related products), drop them down in the comments section below or reach me directly through my contact page.

About Ryan

As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage the Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments.

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