The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Certification
Advance your career through cloud certification
What you will learn
- Which certification is right for me?
- How much does it cost to get certified?
- What are the exams like?
- How do I get started?
- How do I study?
Microsoft and cloud certification helps you keep up-to-date on the latest technologies in a structured, easy to follow path, that is also verifiable by your peers and future career opportunities.
Book Launches August 18, 2019!
Why get certified?
Guidance for choosing a certification path
What are role-based certifications?
What happens when certifications expire?
What technology focused certifications are available?
How are the exams structured?
Sharing your certifications through badges and transcript
Chapter 3: Role-based Certifications
Recently, Microsoft completely changed directions for their certification tracks. Instead of focusing on getting certified in a specific technology, Microsoft has started reshaping the certifications offered to be job-role focused. This offers certification paths that are much more closely aligned with job duties, and better suited for individuals looking to prove and validate their expertise with the job duties they perform daily.
In this chapter, we’ll look at the following areas of the Microsoft role-based certifications:
- Job roles
- Expertise levels
There are four main job role categories that Microsoft has organized the role-based certifications into. These job roles are sort of large personas that group a broad set of job skills and duties into a specific role grouping. These allow Microsoft to better target groups of specific real-world jobs with the various certifications offered.
There are four main job-role categories used by Microsoft:
- Solutions Architect
- Functional Consultant
The Developer role is a persona that defines software developers using Microsoft technologies to design, build, test, and maintain solutions. Microsoft expects developers to be familiar with Microsoft products such as Visual Studio, .NET Framework / .NET Core, and the C# programming language.
As a note on the Developer role, Microsoft’s focus on the current role-based certifications lean more towards the various Microsoft developer technologies. To pursue these certifications, you’ll want to make sure to be familiar with the C# programming language syntax, as questions regarding code and SDKs will focus mostly around writing C# code.
For example, one certification offered for the Developer role is the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification. This is a cloud focused developer certification.
The Administrator role is a persona that defines Administrators who implement, monitor, and maintain solutions using Microsoft technologies. Administrators are often familiar with command-line tools and scripting using PowerShell, as well as configuring and securing Windows Server.
For example, one certification offered for the Administrator role is the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification. There is also another Administrator focused certification for Microsoft 365. Currently, the Administrator role certifications are all focused on Microsoft cloud technologies.
Solutions Architect Role
The Solutions Architect role is a persona that defines solutions architect that have experience using Microsoft Azure technologies to design solutions that meet the needs of the business. Solutions Architects will talk with the customer, take their requirements, then design a solution that might utilize Microsoft technologies to solve the business needs and provide value to the customer.
For example, one certification offered for the Solutions Architect role is the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. This is a cloud focused solutions architect certification.
Functional Consultant Role
The Functional Consultant role is a persona that defines consultants who can anticipate and plan for customer needs while leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 to meet those needs. These are not Administrators or Developers, but practitioners working in various roles utilizing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies.
The Functional Consultant Role certifications offered are focused around a few different consulting job roles:
- Field Service
- Customer Service
The job-role focused certifications are structured into 3 expertise levels. It starts with the Fundamentals level, then goes on to the Associate, and finally at the top is the Expert level certifications. These are meant to offer Microsoft certifications that will fit any professional, at any point in their career.
Whether you’re at the entry-level just getting started, looking to change careers, or a more experienced and possibly seasoned professional, there’s a Microsoft certification path that will fit your career path. And, with the role-based certifications this is even more accurate than the older technology based certification were. The certification paths are also clearer now with less “elective exams” to choose from that might be confusing to navigate. Earn the desired role-based certification by passing the required exams, and then move on to the next level by passing one or more additional exams to build your way up to a Microsoft Certified Expert.
The new job-role focused certifications are structured into 3 expertise levels.
Certifications fuel new and valuable careers. Microsoft Certified Professionals spend less time interviewing and more time driving value.
On average, Microsoft certified technologists earn 15% more than their uncertified peers.
Microsoft certified developers are 90% more productive and nearly 60% more efficient, compared to their peers.
About the author.
Chris is an industry recognized expert who is a multiple recipient of the Microsoft MVP award for his expertise and community involvement relating to Microsoft Azure and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Certification
Learn how you can advance your career through cloud certification! Certification helps you keep up-to-date on the latest technologies in a structured, easy to follow path, that is also verifiable by your peers and future career opportunities.