There have been many changes to the Microsoft certification program lately. Among these changes have been brand new MCSA and MCSE certifications, including MANY new exams. Among these changes is the recent addition of the MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification.

Update May 27, 2017: Microsoft announced that they’ve renamed the MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification to MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure.

Update Apr 13, 2017: This certification was just announced at the time or writing this, and full details may change once the certification becomes available.

What exams qualify?

The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) certification in Big Data Engineering requires 2 exams to be passed in order to earn the full MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification.

Here are the 2 exams required to earn this certification:

The MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification doesn’t have a large list of exams to choose from, however, it is very specialized for professionals who are working with Big Data solutions.

From MCSA to MCSE Certification

Just like all the other MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) certifications, the MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification also provides a foundational path to earning the bigger MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert) certification. There are multiple MCSE’s to choose from, each in a different specialization area. The MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification is a foundation on the path to earning the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification.

The way the path from MCSA to MCSE works is that you first earn an MCSA certification by passing the required exams. Then after earning the MCSA of your choice, you need to pick and pass an elective exam from the list of electives that count towards the eligible MCSE for that MCSA certification.

To simplify this, here’s the steps necessary to earn this MCSA and then upgrade to the bigger MCSE certification:

  1. Pass both the above mentioned certification exams to earn the MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification
  2. Choose one of the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics elective exams, and pass it.

As you can see, if you take the MCSA: Big Data Engineering path to MCSE, you will be required to take and pass a total of 3 Microsoft certification exams. And, there are a number of elective exams for the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification.

Happy studying!

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and self proclaimed Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.


  1. How can we prepare for this two courses . is there any course on Opsgility or edx .


  2. What books do you recommend to study for these exams?


    1. Chris Pietschmann September 20, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Any official Exam Guides from Microsoft if they are available for the exam you’re studying for. Otherwise, you can get a Free trial of the video service from or access it through a free benefit from Visual Studio Dev Essentials.


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