An Azure Certification Roadmap is a great way to start your journey toward becoming an expert in Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. By following this roadmap, you’ll be able to advance through the different certifications and increase your knowledge of Azure. You can even add specific certifications that interest you along the way! Let’s take a look at how it works:
This guide will help you understand which Azure certification level is right for you. We will also show you the various levels of certification and the path between each one so you can determine your own “Azure Certification Roadmap.”
With multiple certifications available, it’s hard to know where to start or how far down this “path” you might want to go. This guide helps simplify the process by breaking Azure certification into four levels: Entry, Associate, Professional, and Expert. It then walks through each level describing the associated certifications and their benefits.
Entry Level – Associate Knowledge
Before you can begin studying for Azure certification at any level, you have to understand what is cloud computing and how it differs from your current infrastructure. In addition, it’s important to grasp Microsoft’s definition of Cloud OS as well as be familiar with their Stack ranking model.
This level isn’t really about passing a test or even getting a certification but instead focuses on knowledge transfer so you are better prepared to take the next step toward an Associate Certification.
A lot of people think once they get certified they’re done—not even close!
There is a huge difference between having knowledge and experience. You can have all the certifications in the world, but without on-the-job experience, you won’t be successful. This level of certification simply provides your boss or customer with proof that you understand the basics of cloud computing and how Microsoft Azure is different from legacy IaaS/PaaS solutions.
Entry-Level Certification: MTA: Cloud Fundamentals
The lowest level certification offered by Microsoft is called MTA: Cloud Fundamentals and it’s designed to help organizations validate an individual’s understanding of basic cloud technology concepts, terminology, and functionality. The exam covers three main areas including Comparing IaaS and PaaS (21-25%), Identifying Azure Architecture components (21-25%), and Identifying application services available in Azure (21-25%).
An MTA certification is an entry-level, knowledge transfer certification. It’s not designed for individuals looking to get certified so they can take the next step in their career, but more for candidates who want to get familiar with Microsoft Azure. This certification is also appropriate for any individual that wants to be able for interviewing for a cloud architect or infrastructure engineer position.
Associate Level – Technology Specialization
This is the first level of the Associate Certification path. The goal here isn’t just passing an exam; instead, it focuses on learning new technologies while gaining hands-on experience within your current role.
Whether you are starting from scratch or just starting to learn about cloud computing, these certifications will help you gain a better understanding of Azure from a technical standpoint.
It’s important to note that while all Associate level certifications don’t require an in-depth knowledge of the Cloud OS and Stack ranking model like the Cloud Fundamentals certification does, passing one certification will automatically make you eligible for any other Associate level certification.
Associate Level Certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Cloud Platform
The MCSA: Cloud Platform is hands down one of the most popular Azure certifications available today because it not only gives candidates experience working with Microsoft’s PaaS solution but also covers many other technologies such as networking and virtual machines.
This level of certification is designed for individuals who are looking to either get their first certification or increase their knowledge of Microsoft cloud offerings. For individuals that do not have any Azure certifications yet, this is the most logical path to take.
Associate Level Certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Web Applications
The MCSA: Web Applications certification goes hand-in-hand with MCSA: Cloud Platform and covers a lot of the same topics such as web applications and SQL Server. Although these two exams can stand alone, it’s recommended you take them both in order since they share many of the same technologies such as IIS and MVC.
This level is usually beneficial for professionals working with onsite legacy systems that already run Windows products such as SharePoint, Exchange, and Dynamics.
Associate Level Certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Data Platform
The MCSA: Data Platform exam is a fantastic way to learn how to build out a large-scale data platform in the cloud. This certification covers topics such as creating a database server environment, building high-availability applications, and much more.
It’s important to note that this exam also requires you to understand SQL Server administration concepts, so it assists in learning both Azure PaaS offerings and Windows OS technologies.
A popular use case for this certification falls into the hands of individuals who are responsible for managing on-premise SQL clusters or high-end data warehouses running on an older version of SQL Server. This would be beneficial for an individual to pursue to get familiar with the Azure SQL environment.
Associate Level Certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Universal Windows Platform
The MCSA: Universal Windows Platform is a fantastic way for professionals working on client-side technologies such as web developers, application engineers, and QA testers to learn about deploying an app onto a mobile device or desktop running the Windows 10 OS. One of my favorite parts of this certification is that it goes back to how broad this certification path can be – by not only learning new technical concepts but also covering areas such as user experience design and code optimization.
This certification would be most beneficial for individuals who are looking to expand their knowledge from both development and architecture perspectives by getting more familiar with the Universal Windows Platform.
Associate Level Certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Data Management and Analytics
Last but not least, this is Microsoft’s newest MCSA certification to date. As the cloud continues to push forward for businesses, data management and analytics become more crucial than ever before. And that’s exactly what this certification focuses on.
It covers the same topics as the other certifications listed above such as SQL Server, IIS, and MVC but goes into depth with topics such as working with Transact-SQL queries in Azure databases. This exam ensures candidates are ready to expand their knowledge of Azure PaaS by becoming familiar with data management operations in SQL Databases while also applying best practices when it comes to developing an application strategy.
This certification is perfect for a candidate who is already familiar with backend development and wants to learn more about data management concepts to become a well-rounded cloud architect.
Professionals working within the existing Windows ecosystem can now enhance their skill set by taking this new certification path – which covers topics such as web applications, SQL Server, user experience design, and much more!
Azure is really interesting to study. Experience conceptual and practical knowledge with Thinkcloudly. Explore our more free resources on Azure:
- Practice with Azure live project training.
- Read the blog over Azure live projects.
- Read Azure networking interview questions
- Read top Azure interview questions and answers.
- Don’t forget to register for our free webinars on Azure.
In summary, you have four unique paths to choose from if you’re looking to leave your footprint on Microsoft’s growing cloud platform: Azure Developer Associate Path, Azure Solutions Architect Associate Path, Azure DevOps Engineer Associate Path, Azure Security, or the new MCSA Data Management and Analytics Associate Path. Each one of these certifications builds off knowledge from one another, so it’s important to choose the certification that best meets your current skill set and desired career path.
Microsoft is on a mission to help more and more individuals be successful in their journey to become cloud architects through Azure – whether you’re just starting out or already have some experience under your belt! These certifications will leave you with valuable knowledge of how Microsoft manages its global cloud infrastructure as well as offer insight into building solutions for millions of users.
To get the exact pricing details of Microsoft Azure certification exams please check here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/browse/
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