Microsoft Azure Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Certification Path

Last updated on 25th Sep 2020, Artciles, Blog

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Microsoft Azure commonly referred to as Azure is one of the most popular cloud computing platforms provided by Microsoft to build, test, manage and deploy applications on its managed data center network using many tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.

Microsoft Azure Certifications Path

Microsoft Azure commonly referred to as Azure is one of the most popular cloud computing platforms provided by Microsoft to build, test, manage and deploy applications on its managed data center network using many tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. Azure provides different types of services such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS)and offers tools which provide users with the flexibility to use their preferred tools and technologies. Almost majority of the Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure today as it provides durable and scalable cloud storage, recovery and backup solutions for all sizes of business. One of the main reasons why Microsoft Azure is most popular because it supports varied tools, frameworks, databases, operating systems, programming languages and devices.

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Microsoft offers a wide variety of Azure certification exams and role-based certifications to help you keep pace in your career with today’s business requirements. Microsoft has made a few major changes in the existing Azure certification path where it has restructured its Azure certifications into a role-based model that will directly focus on the building of skills and knowledge aligned to job roles. The new role-based certifications are split into four tiers of designation that establish a learning path from the Fundamental level to the Associate level and then to the Expert level each of which earns you a different level of Microsoft certification; the roles are:

  • Fundamentals
  • Associate
  • Expert
  • Specialty

In this article, we will discuss these new Azure certifications Paths which will help you to choose the right Microsoft Azure certification exam, and Azure learning path.

Microsoft Azure Role-based Certification 

Azure-Roadmap

                                                                                 Microsoft Azure Role-based Certification Overview

The new Microsoft Azure exams and certifications are role-based. That means you have different exams and certification paths, depending on which role you are working.

Azure Solution Areas

Picking the right solution area is your essential starting point. There are two main solution areas of Azure certification and exams:

  • Azure Apps and Infra (Applications and Infrastructure)
  • Azure Data and AI (Data and Artificial Intelligence)

In both solution areas, you will find different role-based certifications available.

Microsoft Azure Certification Types

MS-Azure-Certification-Types

                                                                          Microsoft Fundamentals and Role-based certification

As you might have seen, the terms MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert or formerly also known as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) are going away. The new concept of certification is evolving our training and certifications away from product-focus, and more towards role-based focused.

FORMER NAMINGNEW ROLE-BASED CERTIFICATION
MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate)Fundamentals
MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate)Associate Roles
MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Engineer) orMCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer)Expert Roles

Azure Applications and Infrastructure certifications and exams

Azure-Application-Infrastructure

                                 Azure Apps and Infra certifications are mainly designed for IT professionals and developers. 

Azure Fundamentals

Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) is the new foundational level exam which is designed to demonstrate foundation-level knowledge of Azure-based cloud services. This exam is geared towards those people from sales to the developer, technical and non technical roles who are looking to demonstrate and validate their basic knowledge of cloud services with Microsoft Azure.

This is an optional exam, however it is considered as the first step in associate level and expert level Azure certifications path to validate the foundation knowledge in cloud. To obtain this certification you need to complete Exam: AZ-900 – Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Prerequisites

There are no particular prerequisites for the Microsoft Azure Fundamental exam but one should be familiar with below

  • Azure Platform.
  • Basic knowledge in Cloud Computing

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Cloud Computing Concepts (15-20% Exam Weightage)
  • Core Azure Services (30-35% Exam Weightage)
  • Security, Compliance, Privacy, and Trust (25-30% Exam Weightage)
  • Azure Pricing and Support (25-30% Exam Weightage)

Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate

The Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate certification exam (AZ-103) is used to validate the user expertise in implementing, monitoring, and maintaining Microsoft Azure solutions and cloud services related to security, networking, cloud capabilities, and storage. The candidates who are willing to take this certification must have to understand the services of the full IT lifecycle which includes administration of infrastructure services, and environments. This is the certification we recommend to most people to get started with after they have completed the Azure Fundamentals which helps everyone to understand different Azure services. As per the new updates, one needs to pass only one certification exam i.e. Exam AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator which is a substitution of AZ-101 + AZ-100 or AZ-102 exam.

Exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator is the latest version of Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-103 exam. AZ-104 exam has been available from April 2, 2020, but the AZ-103 exam will remain available until August 31, 2020. So you can take either AZ-103 or AZ-104 until August 31, 2020. This exam also acts as a prerequisite for the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert exam.

Prerequisites

  • Basic knowledge of Azure applications, Operating Systems and Cloud Infrastructure.
  • Basic knowledge of networking components and virtualization tools.
  • Knowledge of PowerShell and the Command Line Interface will be an added advantage

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Manage Azure Resources and Subscriptions (15-20% Exam Weightage)
  • Manage and Implement Storage (5-10% Exam Weightage)
  • Manage and Deploy Virtual Machines (15-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Manage and Configure Virtual Networks (20-30% Exam Weightage)
  • Manage Identities (15-20% Exam Weightage)

Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

This certification is helpful for the Azure developers with the main focus on designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud solutions like services and applications. With this focus, the certification is ideal for candidates who are good at developing services, applications, security maintenance, storage, and communications using the Azure cloud platform. It also acts as a prerequisite for the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert exam.

For the Azure Developer Associate role, you need to pass only one certification Exam AZ-203: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Prerequisites

  • Candidates should have Basic knowledge about data management, data security, and IT operations.
  • Candidate should have at least one year of experience in developing scalable solutions
  • Candidates should understand the basic concepts of Azure development and DevOps.
  • Candidate should be skilled in at least one cloud-supported programming language

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Develop Azure IaaS Compute Solutions (10-15% Exam Weightage)
  • Develop Azure Storage (15-20% Exam Weightage)
  • Implement Azure Security (10-15% Exam Weightage)
  • Monitor, Optimize, and Troubleshoot Azure Solutions (15-20% Exam Weightage)
  • Connect and consume both Third-party Services and Azure services (20-25% Exam Weightage)

Azure AI Engineer Associate

The Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate is the latest addition in role-based Azure certifications path where this certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge on Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents. The certification is suitable for IT professionals aspiring for the role of Azure AI Engineers. The responsibilities of an Azure AI Engineer would include analysis of the requirements of AI solutions alongside recommending proper tools and technologies. To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:AI-100 Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution

Course Curriculum

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Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this certification as this is an associate-level exam, however certification in Azure Fundamentals would be favorable.

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Analysis of Solution Requirements (20-30% Exam Weightage)
  • Designing AI Solutions (40-50% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementation and Monitoring of AI Solutions (25-30% Exam Weightage)

Azure Data Scientist Associate

The Azure Data Scientist Associate certificate mainly focuses on the application of knowledge in data science and machine learning for implementing and running machine learning workloads on Azure. It tests the capabilities of Azure Data Scientist on applying Azure’s machine learning techniques to train, evaluate, and deploy models that solve business problems. To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam: Exam:DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

Prerequisites

This certificate is an associate level certification exam where candidates don’t need any previous certification

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Setting up an Azure Machine Learning Workspace (30-40% Exam Weightage)
  • Running Experiments and Training Models (20-30% Exam Weightage)
  • Optimization and Management of Models (20-30% Exam Weightage)
  • Deployment and Consumption of Models (20-30% Exam Weightage)

Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate

Azure Security Engineer is the new role added in the role-based Azure certification path where security engineers are required to demonstrate knowledge on security posture, implement security controls and threat protection, protect data, managing identity and access applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of the end-to-end infrastructure. To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

Prerequisites

  • Candidate must be familiar with Microsoft Azure services, products and security controls on the Microsoft Azure platform
  • Candidate should understand the concepts of virtualization, networking, cloud N-tier architecture

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Managing Access and Identity (20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementing Platform Protection (35-40% Exam Weightage)
  • Secure Applications and Data (30-35% Exam Weightage)

Azure IoT Developer

This is another newer certification added in the list of role-based Microsoft Azure certifications. This new role requires IoT developers to learn and implement the Azure services that form an IoT solution, including data analysis, data processing, data storage options, and platform-as-a-service options. The job role of an Azure IoT Developer involves the implementation of IoT solutions as well as coding needed for creating and maintaining the cloud and edge aspects of an IoT solution. To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:AZ-220: Microsoft Azure IoT Developer Exam>

Prerequisites

  • Candidates should be able to recognize Azure IoT service configuration settings in the code part of an IoT solution.
  • Candidate should know at least one programming language supported by Azure such as Python, C#, C or Node.

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Implementation of IoT solution infrastructure (10-15% Exam Weightage)
  • Provisioning and management of devices (20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementation of Edge (20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Data processing and management (20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Monitoring, troubleshooting and optimizing IoT solutions (20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementation of security (20-25% Exam Weightage)

Microsoft Azure Solution Architect Expert

Microsoft Azure Solution Architect Expert certification focuses on solutions level architect expertise in compute, network, storage, security, and designing cloud-based solutions that run on Azure. Configuring infrastructure, implementing workloads, and implementing authentication are key skills required for the Azure solution architect. It is for those in architect and leadership roles looking to validate expertise in cloud services.
To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:

  • AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
  • AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design

Prerequisites

  • Candidates should have knowledge and experience in various IT operations like Virtualization, Networking, Business Continuity, Security, Budgeting, Identity, Data Management, and Governance.
  • Candidates should clear the AZ-300 certification exam to write this Azure Architect Design exam (AZ-301).

Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

Azure DevOps professionals combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives. This exam not only focuses on Azure DevOps but also on different general DevOps practices, such as source control, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). This new certification is for Azure DevOps professionals who can combine technologies, people and processes to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives.
This exam not only focuses on Azure DevOps but also on different general DevOps practices, such as source control, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) which helps in optimizing practices and creating automation. To earn this certification, you must have already received the badge of Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate and then pass the following exam:AZ-400 – Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions.

Prerequisites

  • Candidate should know about Azure administration and Azure development
  • Candidate must be able to design and implement DevOps practices
  • Proficiency in Agile practices

Domain Covered and Exam Weightage

  • Designing a DevOps Strategy(20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementing DevOps Development Processes(20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (20-25% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementing Dependency Management (5-10% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementing Application Infrastructure (15-20% Exam Weightage)
  • Implementing Continuous Feedback (10-15% Exam Weightage)

Why should you choose Azure Certification?

Nowadays the majority of the organizations across the world are adopting the Microsoft cloud due to the increasing expanse of Azure services. Due to this, demand for skilled professionals in this field is very high. The need for professional certifications for the Microsoft Azure platform is prominently evident due to High salaries and a broad range of options for cloud computing. Microsoft Azure is becoming a trendsetter in providing the best cloud services because of the delivery of unique features and innovative services offered by Azure on a constant basis.
If you wish to take your career to greater heights in the cloud computing world, it is advisable to have Azure Certification. Once you decide to go with the cloud, then the best way to get on the right track and boost your employability is by acquiring Azure skills and certifications. There are lots of resources available for both beginners and professionals who want to know how to learn Azure Services. Candidates should choose the right certification track according to their skills and career preferences and this article must have helped you to decide which azure certification to choose first.

Course Curriculum

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Expired Role-based Azure Certifications

After getting feedback from candidates, Microsoft launched new certifications and expired a few. Here are the expired Azure certifications for the role of Azure Developer Associate and Azure Administrator Associate: 

  • AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment 
  • AZ-101 Microsoft Azure Integration and Security 
  • AZ-200 Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions 
  • AZ-201 Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions 
  • AZ-202 Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition 
  • AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator 

Newly Launched Microsoft Azure Certifications 

Apart from the above-mentioned role-based certifications, Microsoft has launched 7 other certifications that contribute credit towards MCSE, MCSA, or MCP. Note that a few of the exams in this list have been retired in June 2019 (mentioned below). 

1. Exam 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions

The exam is created for professionals who know how to design and implement Microsoft data platform solutions. They must also have some experience working with cloud-based platform solutions. The exam will include areas like designing and implementing database solutions for Microsoft Azure SQL server and Microsoft SQL Database, designing for scalability, high availability, and disaster recovery, managing and monitoring Azure’s database implementations, and designing and implementing security.  

This exam has been retired on 30th June, 2019. 

2. Exam 70-475: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions

This exam is for data developers, data architects, data management professionals, and data scientists who use the Microsoft Azure to design big data analytics. They also must have experience in working with big data analytics solutions. The exam objectives include: 

  • Design big data interactive solutions and batch processing 
  • Design big data real-time processing solutions 
  • Operationalizing of end to end cloud analytics solutions 

This exam has been retired on 30th June, 2019. 

3. Exam 70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services

All the candidates taking this exam must be a developer with at least 3 to 5 years of experience developing web services and at least 1 year of experience developing web APIs and Azure Solutions. The objectives of the exam are: 

  • Accessing data 
  • Querying and manipulating data through Entity Framework 
  • Designing and Implementing Web Services 
  • Deploying Web Services and Applications 
  • Creation and Consumption of Web API based services 

4. Exam 70-537: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack

This exam is for service administrators and infrastructure administrators using Microsoft Azure Stack for providing cloud services. The candidates must also have experience managing and operating Azure Stack environments and have knowledge of Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2016 and hybrid cloud resources. The exam objectives include: 

  • Deployment and integration of an Azure Stack Environment 
  • Configuration of IaaS and PaaS for the Azure Stack Environment 
  • Maintenance and Monitoring of the Azure Stack Environment 
  • Enable DevOps for Azure Stack Tenants 
  • Provide Services to Azure Stack Tenants 

5. Exam 70-774: Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning

Created for data analysts and data scientists working to build and deploy intelligent solutions through Azure cloud services. Candidates must have experience in Machine Learning, Data Science Processes, and Azure data services. Here are the objectives of this exam: 

  • Development of Machine Learning Models 
  • Preparation of Data for Analysis through Azure Machine Learning 
  • Exporting data from Azure MAchine LEarning 
  • Usage of services for Machine Learning 
  • Management and operation of Machine Learning Services 

6. Exam 70-775: Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft HDInsight

Intended for data developers, data architects, data engineers, and data scientists who are working on implementing big data engineering workflows on Azure HDInsight. Working experience in big data analytics solutions is also recommended. The exam objectives include: 

  • Implementation of Big Data Batch Processing Solutions 
  • Implementation of Big Data Interactive Processing Solutions 
  • Administration and Provision of HDInsight Clusters 
  • Implementation of Big Data Real-Time Processing Solutions 

Please note that this exam has been retired on 30th June, 2019. 

7. Exam 70-776: Engineering Data with Microsoft Cloud Services

This exam is for professionals who design analytical solutions and build operationalized solutions on the Azure platform. Experience in handling issues related to data engineering is also recommended. Here are the objectives of the exam: 

  • Use the Azure Data Lake to design and implement analytics 
  • Use the Azure Data Factory to design and implement cloud-based integration 
  • Use the Azure Stream Analytics to design and implement complex event processing 
  • Design and implement Azure SQL Data Warehouse Solutions 
  • Manage and maintain Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, Azure Stream Analytics, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. 

Preparing for the New Microsoft Azure Certifications

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There are several classroom training programs and online classes to help you prepare for the new Microsoft Azure certifications. Various platforms also provide practice tests to take after the certification training. Here are a few steps that will help you prepare for the certification exam: 

1. Exam details

Get all the information you can get regarding the certification. This will also help you know about the criteria. 

2. Checking prerequisites and course content

To prepare for the Azure certification, you need to check out the course content. Also, before you select the certification path, you need to take a look at the prerequisites as well. 

3. Checking exam overview

The overview includes information, domains and objectives of the exam. You need to check this out before selecting the training. 

4. Taking help of exam guide

Exam guides will help you understand the roadmap and the components of the Microsoft Certification deeply. 

5. Studying Certifications Whitepapers

The certification whitepapers will help you understand the exam objectives and prepare you for the Microsoft Azure Certifications Path. 

6. Reading recommendation books

Recommended books are a great way for knowing more about the certifications. For this to work, you need to follow every instruction given in the book. 

7. Taking sample questions and practice tests

You need to check out the sample questions and take practice tests after preparing for the certification path. 

Conclusion

Whether you should go for the Microsoft Azure Certifications or not depends on its scope in the future. There are different aspects covered by this certification including storage, integration, security, reliability, networking, and administration. As you know that all these certifications are cloud-based, you should pursue these certifications to get ahead in your Azure career path.  

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