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All About Microsoft Azure Certifications: Your Questions, Answered

Greg Lyon | Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Cloud computing is one area in the IT industry experiencing some of the most significant growth. According to IDC, spending on cloud services will grow from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023. With such significant growth expected in this sector, there is a clear...

All About Microsoft Azure Certifications: Your Questions, Answered

Cloud computing is one area in the IT industry experiencing some of the most significant growth. According to IDC, spending on cloud services will grow from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023. With such significant growth expected in this sector, there is a clear incentive for IT professionals to work on cloud-based projects. 

As one of the market-leading platforms, Microsoft Azure provides an ever-expanding set of cloud-based services, so improving your skills as a cloud developer should involve obtaining Microsoft Azure certification. 

But what is Microsoft Azure? What does certification entail? And is a Microsoft Azure certification the right option for you?

In April, ExitCertified hosted a webinar with Microsoft Azure Training and Certification lead Sandra Marin. In this article, we answer questions raised during that session. 

What is Microsoft Azure?

Launched in 2010, Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud-based services. 

It is a cloud-based computing service designed for building, testing and managing apps and services. All these cloud-based services run through Microsoft’s own managed data centers. 

To work with Microsoft Azure, there are a series of certifications that developers can obtain. 

What is a Microsoft Azure Certification?

A Microsoft Azure certification is designed to help you to develop the skills you need to develop, build, test and maintain cloud solutions. This certification will also help you learn the skills needed to partner with cloud services architects and database administrators, as well as clients who will be making use of these solutions across their organizations. 

How Do Microsoft Azure Certifications Work?

Microsoft Azure certifications are role-based and are specifically designed to help you develop the skills required for a certain job role, such as administrators, developers, AI engineering, data engineering, security technologies, solutions architects and development and operations.

There are three levels: fundamentals, associate and expert. Each of the relevant certifications require you to complete an exam to obtain it. 

Is Azure Fundamentals a Prerequisite for Other Azure Certifications?

The Azure Fundamentals certification is not a prerequisite for other Azure certifications. Rather, it is designed as an introduction for people who are completely new to Azure or cloud-based computing. 

Azure Fundamentals can also be helpful for those who are starting with a very limited or basic understanding of cloud technology. 

Is There an Expiry Date for Azure Certification? How Often Should These Be Updated?

A Microsoft Azure certification will expire two years after you have taken the exam. At that time, you will need to renew your certification. 

Your Azure certifications will always show on your Microsoft transcript. However, as cloud computing is an ever-evolving field, you may find it useful to renew and follow the updated certification. 

What Is the Estimated Cost for Each Azure Certification?

The cost of exams will vary depending on the country you live in, and the cost of your certification will depend on the number of exams you take. 

In the U.S., the most expensive Azure exam is roughly $165. However, there are lower priced exams.Some certifications require multiple exams, but many only require one.  

Additionally, there may be opportunities to take beta exams, which will be available to a limited amount of people with an 80-percent discount. Check out Microsoft Certification Offers.

Will Future DBA Certifications Include On-Premises SQL Skills or Just Azure SQL Skills?

Both, and this has now been launched. The Microsoft Azure database administrator certification is inclusive of both SQL server on-frame and Azure data services.

Are There Any Free Example Certification Test Questions?

Practice tests are available for a cost. However, there are often promotions that allow you to take practice tests at a discounted rate. 

Will Windows Server 2019 and Exchange Server 2019 Be Available in the Future?

There are no current plans for a specific certification for Windows Server, as we are moving toward role-based certifications. However, the skills required to run Windows Server will be incorporated into some of these role-based certifications. 

What Happens If You Get a Specific Certification and a New Version Is Released Shortly Thereafter?

If you achieve your certification and a new version of the certification comes out shortly afterward, you are still certified in Microsoft Azure. It is up to you to decide whether you want to complete the new version to gain any additional skills or knowledge. Alternatively, you may want to wait until the two years pass on your current certification. 

If MCC Certification Path Is Going to Expire, Will Azure Certification Keep Their Current MCC Updated?

It was announced in February 2020 that the MCC certifications will be retired on June 30, 2020. However, given the current situation with COVID-19, retirement has been extended until January 31, 2021. 

If you were in the process of achieving your MCC certification, then you still have time to complete this. 

If Someone Is Experienced in Google Cloud and They Want to Become an Azure Security Specialist, Should They Take the AZ104 Exam First?

To become an Azure Security Specialist, you may be better prepared by taking the Security Engineer Certification.

If you visit the webpage for each exam and every certification, you will see the information about the skills that the exams will be measuring, which allows you to compare your existing knowledge with what skills you should look to obtain. This is especially useful if you are coming from a background working with AWS or Google Cloud. 

Are All the Exams in English?

Microsoft Learn resources are available in 17 different languages, whereas the exam is available in a limited set of languages. You can choose to complete the exam in any of the available languages. 

Can You Complete the Exams Online?

You can complete your exams either online or in person. There will be specific requirements relating to your hardware and connection if you choose to take the test online.

Given the current situation with COVID-19, there is a greater demand for online exams, so there may be a longer wait time than usual. 

Next Steps on Your Route to Certification

To learn more about getting your Microsoft Azure certification, contact us today. 


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