Microsoft Azure Certification Path: Which One Is Right For You?

Today, Cloud Computing market continues to grow as more organizations are realizing the benefits of adopting this technology. Subsequently the array of Cloud Computing service provider is also vast. Such Cloud service providers have revolutionized the way the business functions and stay ahead of their competitors.

While there are numerous Cloud Service provider exists, but among all Microsoft Azure is showing a huge impact on the Cloud Computing industry. Some of its  factors such as it is fast, flexible and has better pricing structure makes it one of the best Cloud service provider of the market.

So with an aim to help our readers to understand what is Microsoft Azure and different certification exams provided by this platform, we are presenting this blog that focuses on theses topics. But before we proceed further at this point we recommend you to also read this below mentioned blog that provides a detailed comparison top three Cloud service providers of the market: AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Here is a list of every topic that have been covered in this blog:

  • What is Microsoft Azure?
  • What is Microsoft Azure Certification?
  • How to become Microsoft Azure certified professional?
  • Microsoft Azure Certification Path.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based service provided by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Azure makes sure that organization develop, employ, and handle their business with greater efficacy by having access to data centers around the globe.

Microsoft Azure can also be understood as it is a public cloud computing platform – with solutions including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) that can be used for services such as analytics, virtual computing, storage and networking etc.

Even though Azure was launched on February 01 – 2020, significantly later than its main competitor AWS but some of the facts such as Microsoft Azure is a fast, flexible, and offers better pricing structure makes it one of the best cloud service providers of the market.

Did You Know? 85% of Fortune 500 companies are currently using Azure to some capacity

Microsoft Azure services


Microsoft Azure provides numerous services that are clubbed into different domains that would help organizations to scale up their business. Some of the notable domains provided by Microsoft Azure are as follows:

  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Database
  • Networking
  • DevOps
  • Mobile
  • Internet of Things
  • Integration.

What is Microsoft Azure Certification?

If anyone is looking to become Microsoft Azure professionals then the best way to achieve your goal is to pass a specific Microsoft Azure certificate exam. These certifications reflect that you possess all the skills and knowledge that many potential employers are looking into the candidates while hiring them.

Having Microsoft Azure Certifications will show that you have a demonstrated commitment to understanding and excelling in your profession. The advanced training, information and knowledge you gain during specialized certification training course will help you to stay up-to-date with all the newly invented technologies and tools.

There is an increase in the number of organizations who want to hire such professionals who have obtained certain certifications instead of those professionals who doesn’t carry any such certifications.

Now that you have understood what is Microsoft Azure certification, let us now discuss how obtain these certifications.

How to become Microsoft Azure certified professional?

Whenever you plan to learn any new technology or any tool, you need to have proper material, well-written documentation and access to online video courses, etc. using which you can successfully master any technology.

To become a successful Microsoft Azure certified professional you are required to follow certain path and prepare in a systematic manner. Although there are no any industry-specified or recommended steps, the following are the most strategically defined steps to be followed to pursue a Microsoft Azure certified professional. Following steps are recommended for both: beginners as well for experienced professionals.

So, here are the steps:

Step 1: Learn all the concepts related to Cloud Computing.

Step 2: Enroll to an Microsoft Azure classes provided by reputed online learning platform like Simpliv. This will certainly enhance your knowledge of Cloud Computing and about Microsoft Azure.

Step 3: Choose which particular Microsoft Azure certification you want to pursue (we will discuss about different Microsoft Azure certifications at later part of the blog) and plan your studies accordingly.

Step 4: Read various Microsoft Azure whitepapers and FAQ’s that provide all the valuable information to find the answer for queries related to Microsoft Azure.

Step 5: Take help of practice exams provided by Microsoft. You can write these exams and increase your confidence level to clear the AWS certificate exams.

Step 6: Once you feel confident about applying for certificate exams, you can go through the complete exam guidelines and schedule your exam.

Well, with the help of following these steps you can become a certified Microsoft Azure professional. But it is very important that you need to prepare very well and gain in-depth knowledge about Microsoft Azure.

Overall, if one work hard and keep their focus strong then you can successfully clear the exam in one attempt.

Microsoft Azure certificate path

Now that you have understand what is Microsoft Azure certificate and knew the steps involved in pursuing Microsoft Azure certificate, now  let us discuss some of the important Microsoft Azure certification exam provided by Microsoft.

List of top Microsoft Azure certifications are as follows:

Fundamental level

    1. Microsoft Azure Fundamental

Associative level

    1. Microsoft Azure Administrators – Associate
    2. Microsoft Azure Developer – Associate
    3. Microsoft Azure Security Engineer – Associate
    4. Microsoft Azure Data Engineer – Associate
    5. Microsoft Azure Data Scientist – Associate
    6. Microsoft Azure AI Engineer – Associate

Expert level

    1. Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect – Expert
    2. Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer – Expert

Specialty level

    1. Microsoft Azure IoT Devreloper
    2. Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads

Now let us discuss each of these certificate exams in detail.

  • A fundamental certification

Microsoft Azure fundamental – exam

Who should take this Microsoft Azure certificate – Fundamental exam?

Microsoft Azure foundational certification exam is the foundational certification exam for understanding the basics of Microsoft Azure. This certification validates the candidate’s understanding of cloud concepts, core Azure services, etc. In addition, it also validates a candidate’s knowledge about the fundamentals of cloud privacy, security, and many more.

This exam is focused towards people in non-technical roles, such as sales and purchasing or for such professionals who are involved in technical roles looking to validate foundational –level knowledge in cloud services.

Anyone willing to become Microsoft Azure certified professional can take up this exam. There is no prerequisite to take up this exam, however, but having a basic knowledge of the cloud services is advantageous.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-900
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $99 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

 Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Describe Cloud Concepts 15-20%
Describe Core Azure Services 30-35%
Describe Security, Privacy, Compliance and Trust 25-330%
Describe Azure Pricing, Service Level Agreements and Lifecycles 20-25%
  • Associative level certifications

1. Microsoft Azure Administrator – Associative

Who should take this Microsoft Azure Administrator – Associative exam?

The Microsoft Azure Administrator – Associative exam validates candidate’s knowledge and skills of implementing, monitoring and maintaining Microsoft Azure services. This exam is for such professionals who want to be become Azure administrator.

This exam is designed for such candidates who have better understanding of Azure applications, Operating systems, etc. Having basic knowledge of networking components and virtualization tools is advantageous.

NOTE: A NEW VERSION of this exam is became available on April 2, 2020.


Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-103
Exam Retirement date 08/31/2020
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Manage Azure subscriptions and resources 15-20%
Implement and manage storage 15-20%
Deploy and manage virtual machine (VMs) 15-20%
Configure and manage virtual networks 30-35%
Manage identities 15-20%

2. Microsoft Azure Developer – Associate

Who should take this Microsoft Azure Developer – Associate exam?

The Microsoft Azure Developer – Associative exam is for candidates who are Azure Developers who design and build cloud solutions such as applications and services.

The Azure Developers participate in all phases of development such as solution design, deployment, testing and maintenance. These professional implement solutions with coordination of cloud solution architects, cloud DBA’s cloud administrators and client.  

Candidates should have better understanding of developing services, applications, storage and communications using the Azure cloud platform. And these candidates also need to have at least one cloud-supported programming language.

NOTE: A NEW VERSION of this exam AZ-204, became available on February 24. 2020.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-203
Exam Retirement date 08/31/2020
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Develop Azure Infrastructure as a Service Compute Solution 10-15%
Develop Azure Platform as a Service Compute Solution 20-25%
Develop for Azure storage 15-20%
Implement Azure security 10-15%
Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions 10-15%
Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services 20-25%

3. Microsoft Azure Security Engineer – Associate     

Who should take this Microsoft Azure Security Engineer – Associative exam?

Microsoft Azure Security Engineer – Associate exam is for Azure Security engineers. This exam validates candidate’s abilities in identity and access management, implementing platform protection, security operations management, and security of data and applications.

Some of core responsibilities of Azure Security Engineer include managing and securing cloud-based solutions and they also need to secure hybrid solutions as part of an end-to-end infrastructure.

Candidates for this exam need to have in-depth knowledge of virtualization, cloud N-tire architecture, Amazon Kubernetes Service and networking, etc.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-500
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Manage identity and access 20-25%
Implement platform protection 35-40%
Manage security operations 15-20%
Secure data and applications 25-30%

4. Microsoft Azure Data Engineer – Associate

To become a certified Azure Data Engineer, you need to pass following two exams:

    1. Exam DP-200: Implementing an Azure Data Solution
    2. Exam DP-201: Designing an Azure Data Solution.
    1. Exam DP-200: Implementing an Azure Data Solution

Who should take this Implementing an Azure Data Solution exam?

DP-200 Implementing an Azure Data Solution exam is for Microsoft Azure Data Engineers. This is one of the two exams that candidates need to pass to become a certified Microsoft Azure Data Engineer.

Azure Data Engineers are responsible for data-related implementations tasks such as provisioning data storage services, transforming data, implementing security requirements, implementing data retention policies etc.

Aspiring candidates must possess the skills to implement Azure SQL Databases, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Stream Analytics etc.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code DP-200
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Implement Data Storage Solutions 40-45%
Manage and Develop Data Processing 25-30%
Monitor and Optimize Data Solutions 30-35%
    2. Exam DP-201: Designing an Azure Data Solution

Who should take this DP-201: Designing an Azure Data Solution exam?

DP-201 designing an Azure Data Solution exam is for Microsoft Azure Data Engineers. This is one among the two exams candidates need to pass to become certified Microsoft Azure Data Solution professional.            

Candidates need to possess abilities such as design data solutions that uses azure services such as Azure SQL Databases, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Stream Analytics etc.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code DP-201
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Design Azure Data Storage Solutions 40-45%
Design Data Processing Solutions 25-30%
Design for Data Security and Compliance 25-30%

5. Microsoft Azure Data Scientist – Associate Exam

Who should take this Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate exam?

Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate exam is for the role of Azure Data Scientists. This exam evaluates candidates ability to accomplish the technical tasks such as set up an Azure Machine Learning workspaces, run experiments and train models, etc.

 Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code DP-100
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Set Up an Azure Machine Learning Workspace 30-35%
Run Experiments and Train Models 25-30%
Optimize and Manage Models 20-25%
Deploy and Consume Models 20-25%

6. Microsoft Azure AI Engineer – Associate Exam

Who should take this Microsoft Azure AI Engineer – Associate exam?

Microsoft Azure AI Engineer – Associate certification exam is for IT professionals who are willing to become Azure AI Engineers. This certificate exam is designed to show case developer – level knowledge of how to use Cognitive services, machine learning, and knowledge mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision etc.

Some of the responsibilities of these professionals include analyzing requirements for AI solutions, recommending the appropriate tools and technologies and many more.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AI-100
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Analyze solution requirements 25-30%
Design AI solutions 40-45%
Implement and monitor AI solutions 25-30%
  • Expert level certifications

1. Azure Solution Architect Expert

Anyone willing to become Microsoft Certified Azure Solution Expert will have to pass the below mentioned two certification exams:

    1. Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
    2. Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

Let us see some details of these two above mentioned exams:

  1. Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

Who should take this Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies exam?

It is one among the two exam candidates have to pass to become Certified Microsoft Azure Solution Expert. This exam validates candidate’s ability to accomplish the technical skills such as deploy and configure infrastructure, implement authentication and secure data and develop for the cloud and Azure storage.

Some of the responsibilities of for this role include advising stakeholders and translating business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable cloud solutions.

NOTE: A NEW VERSION of this exam is, AZ-303, will be available on or around JUNE 29, 2020.   

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-300
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Exam Retirement Date 09/30/2020
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Deploy and configure infrastructure 40-45%
Implement workloads and security 25-30%
Create and deploy apps 5-10%
Implement authentication and secure data 5-10%
Develop for the cloud and for Azure storage 15-20%
    2. Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

Who should take this Microsoft Azure Architect Design exam?

It is one of the two exam candidates have to pass to become Certified Microsoft Azure Solution Expert. Candidates need to have knowledge of security identity, data operations, DevOps, Azure development and Azure administration etc.

NOTE: A NEW VERSION of this exam, AZ-304 will be available on or around JUNE 29, 2020

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-301
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Exam Retirement Date September 30, 2020
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Determine workload requirements 10-15%
Design for identity and security 20-25%
Design a data platform solution 15-20%
Design a business continuity strategy 10-15%
Design for deployment, migration, and integration 10-15%
Design an infrastructure strategy 15-20%

2. Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

Who Should take this Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert exam?

Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer expert is suitable for the job role of Azure DevOps professionals. This certification exam check’s the candidates skill for implementation of DevOps development processes, application infrastructure, continuous integration, delivery and feedback.

Candidates need to be familiar with both Azure administration and Azure development and they must have expertise in at least one of these areas. Azure DevOps professionals must have capable enough to design and implement DevOps practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code, build, release and testing with the use of Azure technologies.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-400
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here
You can check the link for practice test here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Design a DevOps strategy 20-25%
Implement DevOps development processes 20-25%
Implement continuous integration 10-15%
Implement continuous delivery 10-15%
Implement dependency management 5-10%
Implement application infrastructure 15-20%
Implement continuous feedback 10-15%
  • Specialty level certifications

1. Microsoft Azure IoT Developer

Who should take this Microsoft Azure IoT Developer exam?

Microsoft Azure IoT Developer exam is suitable for candidates aspiring to become an Azure IoT developer. IoT developers must be capable enough to recognize Azure IoT service configuration settings within the code portion of an IoT solution.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-220
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Implement the IoT solution Infrastructure 15-20%
Provision and manage devices 20-25%
Implement Edge 15-20%
Process and manage data 15-20%
Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize IoT solutions 15-20%
Implement securitye 15-20%

2. Azure Architect for SAP workloads

Who should take this Microsoft Azure for SAP workloads exam?

Microsoft Azure Architect for SAP workloads certificate exam is suitable for such professionals who are either architects or engineers with immense experience and knowledge of the SAP system landscape and industry standards that are specific to the long term operation of an SAP solution on Microsoft Azure.

Candidates for this exam must have experience and knowledge of SAP applications such as SAP HANA, S/4HANA, SAP NetWeaver, Azure portal, virtualization, data protection concepts, and networking.

For this exam, it’s strongly recommended to have an Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification, in addition to SAP HANA and Linux certifications.

Important details about the exam.

Microsoft Azure Foundational Exam
Exam Code AZ-120
Exam Languages English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean
Cost of exam $165 USD (Price based on the country in which the exam is proctored)
Exam resources You can download exam skills outline here

Domains covered in the exam are as follows:

Domain % Weight
Migrate SAP Workloads to Azure 10-15%
Design an Azure Solution to Support SAP Workloads 20-25%
Build and Deploy Azure for SAP Workloads 35-40%
Validate Azure Infrastructure for SAP Workloads 10-15%
Operationalize Azure SAP Architecture 10-15%

These are some of the certifications provided by Microsoft Azure platform. Microsoft keeps updating its list of certifications as per the industry requirements. These certifications will provide you industry recognition and also help you to improve your technical skills.

Conclusion:

Microsoft Azure is undoubtedly one of the prime Cloud service providers of the present Cloud Computing market. As many organizations are adopting Microsoft Azure cloud service to upscale their business has resulted in increase in the demand for the Cloud Computing professionals who have obtained Microsoft Azure certifications.

Looking at this demand many IT employees considering to pursue a Microsoft Azure certifications. So to help such professionals we have provided detailed information about some of the certification provided by Microsoft Azure platform.

We also recommend you to look into these online courses on Microsoft Azure provided by Simpliv that have been designed by industry experts to help you upskill your knowledge.

We hope that this blog has provided some valuable information to our readers and if you feel some more information needed to be included here or have any feedback about this blog, then we request you to kindly share it in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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