How many Microsoft Azure certifications are there?
By Adrian Smith
You are probably aware that Microsoft organises its certifications based on four levels:
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA): The entry-level certification.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): This certification normally requires two or three exams and is also a prerequisite for more advanced Microsoft certifications.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): This certification is for "IT professionals who seek to demonstrate the ability to build and support more advanced technologies." To obtain an MCSE certification, you must first pass the relevant MCSA certification exams. On the way to an MCSE you will have obtained an MCSA and a number of MTA certifications, that is, you start with an MTA, move to an MSCA and hopefully, eventually obtain an MCSE.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): This is the developer's equivalent to the MCSE and in fact, on the Certification Overview Webpage it actually references the MCSE qualification (so go figure).
Now with Azure here is where the fun starts. These are the current MCSA, MCSE and MCSD options based around Azure:
- MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
- MCSA: Cloud Platform
- MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure
- MCSA: Linux on Azure
- MCSA: Machine Learning
- MCSD: App Builder
From more information go to Microsoft's Azure certifications page.
Remember that exam success is obtained from a mixture of study (preferably through DDLS 😊) and real-world experience with the product.
Currently DDLS offers the following courses to extend your knowledge on Azure and to help towards meeting your certification goal:
- Microsoft 10979 - Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
- Microsoft 10992 - Integrating On-Premises Core Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure
- Microsoft 10993 - Integrating On-Premises Identity Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure
- Microsoft 20487 - Developing Windows Azure and Web Services
- Microsoft 20532 - Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- Microsoft 20533 - Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
- Microsoft 20537 - Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack
- Microsoft 40390 - Microsoft Azure for AWS Experts
When sitting the exams, you will be tested in a number of different ways ranging from multiple choice to code completion and case studies. Each exam is roughly two hours long and comprised of approximately 50 questions. The pass mark required is around 700 marks from an available 1000 – but be aware some questions are worth more marks than others – so stating 70% is required to pass, can be a little misleading.
Also, be aware that the exam content does lag behind the new features of a product and this is evident with the fast moving Cloud offerings from Microsoft such as Azure, Office 365 and Intune.
Note: Due to the nature of all Cloud Services, changes are continual; the phrase that Microsoft uses is "Forever Green". In other words, the information in this article may quickly become outdated so please click the links included to obtain the current information.
Adrian Smith BSc, MCT, Azure MCSE
Adrian has worked in IT since earning a Computer Science degree some 30 years ago and has worked for 20 years as an MCT in both the UK and Australia. He is also a member of the Australian Computer Society.