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Microsoft Azure Certifications Path in 2020

Shailendra Chauhan  Print   12 min read  
04 Jul 2020
 
Beginner
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Microsoft Azure commonly referred to as the 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 the 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 provides 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 solution for all size of business. One of the main reasons why Microsoft Azure is most popular because it supports varied tools, frameworks, databases, operating system, programming languages and devices.

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 about these new Azure certifications Paths which will help you to choose right Microsoft Azure certification, exam, and Azure learning path.

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

  • Candidate 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
  • Candidate 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

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 focus on the application of knowledge in data science and machine learning for implementing and running machine learning workloads on Azure. It test 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, protects 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

    • Candidate 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

    • Candidate 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 process 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 you should choose Azure Certification?

    Nowadays 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.

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