Microsoft certifications can help you stand out on the job market and showcase your skills. They offer opportunities for lifelong learning which is crucial to your success in the ever-changing tech world.
The Definitive Guide To Microsoft Certifications will give you all the information you need about Microsoft certifications to help you decide if they are right for you.
We will be covering the following topics:
- Microsoft Certification Pathways
- Earning an MS certification has many benefits
- Microsoft Certification Renewal
- How to prepare for certification exams
Let’s begin with the basics.
Microsoft Certification Programs
The most frequently asked question by IT beginners or those new to Microsoft certifications and exams is ” What kinds of Microsoft Certifications are there?”
There are many Microsoft certifications that are available. They are organized into different career paths based on the type of job you want to pursue.
IT administrators are responsible for the day to day management of computer networks and computer systems. They are responsible for technical, managerial, as well as administrative tasks that require a solid understanding of the basics.
An administrator for Microsoft implements, monitors and maintains Microsoft solutions in corporate networks. IT administrators often need to be familiar with multiple computer systems. They may have previous experience managing Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows Server and SharePoint Services.
These certifications are part of this path:
- Azure Administrator Associate
- Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
- Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate
- Enterprise Administrator Expert
- Associate Identity and Access Administrator
- Information Protection Administrator Associate
- Assistant in Messaging Administration
- Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
- Associate Security Administrator
- Assistant Administrator for Teams
- Windows Virtual Desktop Specialty
AI Engineer Path
Microsoft developed an AI certification program to help people understand the fundamentals of the technology. An AI engineer uses machine learning to solve business problems, create new opportunities, and build intelligent solutions.
The AI Engineer Path certification covers fundamentals of AI, its applications in business, and Microsoft Azure services related to artificial intelligence. There is only one certification.
- Azure AI Engineer Associate
Data Engineer Path
Engineers who are skilled in data analysis are highly sought-after. Data engineering is a rapidly-growing field in which IT professionals use specialized software for extracting insights from raw data sets.
Data engineer certification is designed for people who are interested in learning more about this field or gaining an introduction. The data engineer path includes one certification, just like the AI engineer path.
- Azure Data Engineer Associate
Data Scientist Path
A data engineer is more skilled at analyzing large data sets to solve business problems.
Data scientists can do a variety of things, including creating predictive models, visualizations, and mining for patterns within a subset of raw data. For example, all transactions that were completed in less than an hour. They promote data-driven decision making and reveal insights that were previously hidden from companies’ eyes.
This certification is part of the Path:
- Azure Data Scientist Associate
Microsoft developers are responsible for creating, designing and building software. To ensure that an application functions properly, developers create user interfaces for users.
The developer path involves:
- Azure Developer Associate
- Azure IoT Developer Specialty
- Developer Associate
- Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate
- Power Platform Developer Associate
DevOps Engineer Path
Although it may seem similar to the other, the DevOps Engineer path focuses on closing the gap between operations and development so they can work together more effectively to create products or services.
DevOps engineers have to ensure that development is as efficient and agile as possible, while also making sure you have the infrastructure necessary to support your product.
This certification is included in the course:
- DevOps Engineer Expert
Functional Consultant Course
A functional consultant in Microsoft is someone who is hired to help with a project or system. They then leave after the work is completed. They are responsible for advising and consulting on Microsoft products within a team setting. They must also plan for customer requirements and use Microsoft environments for managing multiple aspects of projects.
The path to functional consulting includes:
- Dynamics 365 Business Central Functional Consultant Associate
- Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Advisor Associate
- Dynamics 365 Field Service Functional Advisor Associate
- Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Advisor Associate
- Dynamics 365 Marketing Consultant Associate
- Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate
- Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Associate
- Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Consultant Associate
- Power Platform Functional Consultant Associate
Security Engineer Course
IT professionals responsible for maintaining security in a company’s information system are called security engineers. These professionals work to secure these systems from intruders, and ensure that they conform to industry standards to preserve their integrity.
This path also includes:
- Azure Security Engineer Associate
- Associate Identity and Access Administrator
- Information Protection Administrator Associate
- Security Operations Associate
Solution Architect Track
Solution architects are professionals at the top of their profession who design and implement solutions for customers. Because they must consider how the solution will integrate with other areas of an organization’s IT environment, they take a holistic approach when managing projects.
So that others can benefit from their experiences with different technologies, solution architects develop best practices and policy guidelines.
The path of the solution architect includes:
- Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
- Azure Solutions Architect Expert
- Dynamics 365: Finance & Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert
- Expert in Power Platform Solution Architect
Are Microsoft certifications worthwhile?
Now that you’re familiar with all the types of Microsoft certifications available, let’s look at their benefits. These certifications are worth the cost?
Microsoft certifications can be valuable as they show that an individual is qualified to work within their field. These certifications can also help people find work, which can be worth the effort and time required to obtain one.
Here are some of the main benefits.
Microsoft certificates are not only useful for finding new work, but they can also be used to help you get promoted. Your employer might see a Microsoft certificate as a sign of your increased skills and may be more inclined to promote you.
They might also appreciate the fact that the certification shows you are willing and able to work hard for your career. This is a very important trait in any job market.
Enhance Professional Credibility
Even if you’re not seeking a better job, your Microsoft certifications can be used to improve your professional skills and credibility.
These exams can be difficult to pass, but they show dedication and hard work to your profession. These exams may lead to more exciting engagements such as speaking at conferences and presenting ideas to senior managers.
Microsoft certifications could also be relevant in other areas of your life. For example, they may provide new insight into technology’s potential impact on personal hobbies and lifestyle choices.
Better Networking Opportunities
It’s easy for you to feel dissatisfied with your career without networking.
Microsoft certifications are a great way to do this, as they provide an edge in networking. These certifications allow professionals to communicate intelligently about their field and the impact technology has on others. This opens up new possibilities for collaboration at work.
Both the individual and their business can benefit from professional networking. A strong network can help you find the right resources for solving your problems. This is great news for everyone.
A third reason is that Microsoft certifications are so numerous, it’s possible to specialize in one area. Higher levels of responsibility and expertise will result if an individual holds more Microsoft certifications in a specific path.
Because they are familiar with different technologies, they can provide best practices and policy guidelines that others can use when building products.
While specialization is not necessary at the beginning of your IT career it may become more important as you progress in your IT career. You can easily find a job and help others with technology-related issues by choosing the Microsoft certification path that best suits you.
Renew your Microsoft Certificate
It is essential to understand the expiration date before you begin working with a certification. Some MS certs can be kept indefinitely, which means they will not expire so long as you keep up to date with new developments and your skills. Some have expiration dates that require the holder to renew them every few years or risk losing all of their hard work.
Here’s a list with Microsoft lifetime certificates:
- Microsoft Fundamentals Certifications
Role-based certifications at expert and associate levels, as well as specialty certifications, are comparable to them. They all expire one calendar year after being earned.
Microsoft made changes to its renewal and expiration policy for certifications on June 30, 2021. All certificates issued before that date will be valid for two years. All certificates acquired after this date will expire 1 year after their earning.
Because information technology and cloud technology are constantly evolving, this change was necessary. These changes help professionals stay on top of all developments in their field, and keep them up-to-date about any new trends that could impact technology overall.
It is easy to renew your MS certifications. Microsoft will send you an email notification six months before your certification expires. You will be notified by email and have six months to complete an online renewal assessment.
This assessment is free and open to all. It is essential that you pass the renewal assessment before the expiration date for your certificate.
Failure to pass the assessment will result in your certification being cancelled. You will have to take all required exams again to regain it.
A vital fact to remember is that you can’t renew a certificate by earning a higher-level certification or an updated certification. Only those who pass the renewal assessment can renew their certification.
How to Pass the Microsoft Certification Exam
Talking about renewing your certification after earning it is one thing, but failing to pass a certification exam is quite another. Passing a Microsoft certification exam takes more effort than just taking the renewal assessment. To ensure success, however, the process must be done carefully and diligently.
Before you dive into studying, be sure to understand the scope of the exam. This will allow you to create a study plan that targets those areas where you are weakest.
Each of Microsoft’s certification exams has a page that describes the exam. This page will provide information about the exam, including the passing score and any prerequisites. It also offers suggestions for how long you should study before you take the exam.
A clear understanding of the content you need to master and how much time you will need to study will make you more confident when you take the Microsoft certification exam.
Select a Study Method
Two options are available when you prepare for certification exams.
- Learn on your own
- Register for a group class
You can find free resources online if you opt for the DIY approach. To find relevant and helpful information, join discussion boards, search the internet, or read blog posts.
Self-studying has many benefits. You have full control over how much effort and time you put into your learning. However, some learners may not be able to identify the right focus during study sessions without the assistance of a tutor.
Group classes are a great way to learn, but make sure you only choose a school with experienced instructors in Microsoft certification classes. This is because you can ask questions during and after class without having to use an outside resource like the internet.
Group study sessions can be more costly than self-study, and they require more time commitment.
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, regardless of which you choose. You, as a learner have the freedom to choose what is best for you and your budget.
Notes are essential when studying for certification exams, whether you’re self-studying or taking part in a class setting.
Notes taken while studying can help you recall the information and identify any gaps. This is important when it comes to revising or taking a test again.
Index cards are the best way to track these notes. You can write down any important information you find, then use the back to identify which category each card falls under. This will be easier if you have more cards.
Microsoft certification is a way for professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and dedication in a particular field. Individuals can also use it to show their expertise and knowledge in a particular field.
The first step in your journey to getting an MS exam is choosing a certification path. You should choose one that suits your career goals and interests. The Developer certification is for you if you are looking to grow as a software developer. The Security Engineer cert will show you are capable of protecting digital assets.
Microsoft certification has many benefits. There is nothing better than holding that piece of paper after passing a difficult exam.
Once you have decided on a path to certification, you will need to put in the effort and time necessary for studying for the exam. Make sure you have all the study materials, a schedule and extensive notes.
It is important to continue your education and practice after you have successfully completed your certification training. Professionals can either specialize in Microsoft or pursue a career path that allows them to attain higher certifications by continuing to acquire new skills and applying what they have learned in previous courses.