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Which Microsoft Azure Certification Path is Best for Your Team in 2022?

  • By Deepika
  • 15-Nov-2021

Microsoft Azure is an evolving market leader accounting for roughly 29% of the cloud computing application workload globally. With proper, role-based Microsoft Azure certification, you can upgrade your team’s technical skills and value immensely. As per a recent report, 93% of decision-makers believe an IT certified team member adds value beyond the certification cost. 63% of IT decision-makers have claimed that certified team members provide US $10,000 more value over non-certified ones annually.

Therefore, it’s always recommended to have team players with proficiency in various roles such as developers, administrators, data engineers, solution architects, etc. For every job role that requires advanced proficiency, Microsoft has designed individual certification paths that can be fulfilled by clearing pre-requisite exams. As per the latest updates, these comprise nine major Azure training certification paths across three levels – Fundamental, Associate and Expert. All these paths are role-based and begin with the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 certification, although it is optional.

So, which is the best Microsoft Azure certification path for your team? It all depends upon the various job roles in your team and your current requirements. Let’s break them down.

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Required exam: AZ-900

If you have a team of entry-level professionals who have a foundational knowledge of Azure cloud services, then go for this certification. This Azure training is the first level of certifications under Microsoft Azure. Candidates will get certified for understanding cloud-computing concepts, solutions and management tools, security and privacy, workloads, and pricing and support. This certification is apt for roles like Administrator, Business User, Developer, or Technology Manager.

Next, we have associate and expert level certification paths.

  • Developer Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Developer Associate

Required exams: AZ-204 (Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure)

This path is for developers who can not only expertly design but also build, test, and maintain Azure cloud applications and services. Go for it if your team members have 1-2 years of professional development experience in Azure compute solutions, storage, and implementing security. Candidates will also get official Microsoft Associate Developer certification for skills in monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing Azure solutions.

  • Administrator Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate

Required exam: AZ-104 (Microsoft Azure Administrator)

This certification path is for team members with expertise in implementing, managing, and monitoring an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment. With Microsoft Azure Administrator credentials, your team members will become the authority on managing Azure identities and governance, storage, and more. Other verified skills include deploying and managing Azure compute resources and configuring and managing virtual networking.

  • Data Engineer Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Data Engineer Associate

Required exam: DP-203 (Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure)

This certification credits your data engineers for being experts in integrating, transforming, and consolidating data from various structured and unstructured data systems into structures. They can then build analytics solutions out of them. They also get certified for designing and implementing data storage, data processing, and data security solutions on Azure.

  • Data Scientist Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate

Required exam: DP-100 (Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure)

This certification will deem your data scientists as experts in implementing and running machine learning workloads on Azure. If your team knows Azure Machine Learning and Azure Databricks, then go for this certification.

  • AI Engineer Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate

Required exam: AI-102 (Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution)

This certification path is ideal for data engineers who want authorised credentials in building, managing and deploying AI solutions. By clearing the AI-102 exam, candidates will be certified for leveraging Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Cognitive Search, and Microsoft Bot Framework expertly.

  • Security Engineer Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate

Required exam: AZ-500 (Microsoft Azure Security Technologies)

Official certification will denote your team’s proficiency in implementing Azure security controls. These protocols protect identity, access, data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments.

Finally, we have expert-level Azure certification paths.

  • Solution Architect Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate à Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Required exam: AZ-305 (This is the new exam that will be available in beta mode from November 2021. This exam replaces AZ-303 and AZ-304 exams which can still be taken till March 31, 2022.)

This Microsoft Azure certification is an exceptional way to earn Expert credentials. To earn this certification, your team members must first earn the Azure Administrator Associate certification, as per the latest updates. As certified Solutions Architect Experts, your team can take charge of architecting state-of-the-art compute, network, storage, and security solutions on Azure.

  • DevOps Engineer Certification Path

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (optional) -> Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate OR Microsoft Azure Developer Associate à Microsoft DevOps Engineer Expert

Required exam: AZ-400 (Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions)

This is one of the most highly rated industry certifications that your team can aim for. Team members with the official DevOps Engineer Expert rating from Microsoft can deliver exceptional business value across domains and technologies. Having sound knowledge of Azure administration and development is a must.

Final Words

If you’re looking to earn the most demanding Azure certifications, check out Microsoft Gold Training Partner RPS Consulting’s Azure training course portfolio. These on-demand courses by Microsoft-certified instructors enable teams and professionals to skill up, pass exams and strengthen their Azure concepts.

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