By Edward Jones, Firebrand Training
At Ignite 2018, Microsoft announced the launch of all new Azure role-based certifications.
These new credentials mark the next stage in Microsoft Learning’s evolution of certification. With a core focus of building skills and knowledge aligned to specific job roles, earning a Microsoft certification has never been more powerful.
In this post, we will look at how the next generation of Microsoft role-based certifications are being built and a look at new role-based certifications launched and expected in early 2019.
Building the next generation of Microsoft certifications
Engaging with the tech community, Microsoft recognised a shift in expectations for what certification courses covered. Demand was growing for certifications that moved beyond teaching you how to use the technology to developing the skills you need to fulfil a specific job role.
This spark ignited the development of role-based certifications. Microsoft began conducting in-depth job task analysis to fully understand the range of skills and knowledge required to be successful in a specific job role. Once the list of skills and knowledge were decided, Microsoft narrowed down what would be measured in the certification process.
The new role-based certifications are split into three levels of designation:
- Fundamentals - requiring you to pass one exam
- Associate - requiring you to pass two Associate-level exams
- Expert - depending on the credential requiring you to pass two Expert-level exams with no Associate certification prerequisite; or, achieving an Associate-level certification and then passing an Expert-level exam
Azure role-based certifications
Forming the first wave of role-based certifications, Microsoft focused on three core job roles - Cloud Administrator, Cloud Developer and Cloud Solutions Architect.
The outcome, three new Microsoft Azure certifications which are a significant advancement on the hugely popular Azure exams 70-532, 70-533 and 70535 – which are being replaced.
Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator
The first role-based certification to launch is the Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate, aligned to the role of a Cloud Administrator.
Attempting this cert, you will learn a far broader range and depth of skills required of a Cloud Administrator including - managing cloud services (storage, security, networking, compute cloud capabilities), provisioning and monitoring resource and handling requests for infrastructure, applications and environments.
Azure Administrator Associate replaces exam 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions. In order to achieve the certification you will need to pass the following exams:
- Exam AZ-100: Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment
- Exam AZ-101: Microsoft Azure Integration and Security
If you have passed exam 70-533, you can build on your skills to become an Azure Administrator by passing a transition exam AZ-102: Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition.
Microsoft Certified Azure Developer
Launching alongside Azure Administrator at the Associate level is the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate. It aligns to the role of a Cloud Developer.
Taking this certification, you will learn to design and build cloud applications and services, work with cloud DBAs, admins and solutions architects to implement the solutions on the Azure platform. Learning the full capabilities of a Cloud Developer.
Azure Developer Associate replaces exam 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions. In order to achieve the certification you will need to pass the following exams:
- AZ-200: Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions
- AZ-201: Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions
If you have achieved exam 70-532, you can achieve the Azure Developer credential by passing transition exam AZ-202: Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition.
Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect
The first role-based certification to launch at the expert level is the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, aligned to the role of a Cloud Solutions Architect.
Working towards this Expert level credential, you will learn advanced Azure skills, learning to translate business requirements into secure, scalable and reliable solutions - with skills across compute, network, storage and security.
Although this credential builds on the knowledge of the Azure Administrator and Azure Developer Associate level certifications, they are not required as a prerequisite.
Azure Solutions Architect Expert replaces exam 70-535: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. In order to achieve the certification you will need to pass the following exams:
If you have passed exam 70-535, you can build on your skills to earn Azure Solutions Architect by passing transition exam AZ-302: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition.
A look towards 2019 launches
Alongside the Azure role-based certifications, expect to see a huge range of certifications landing early in 2019. These will be aligned job roles across Microsoft’s four stacks – Applications & Infrastructure, Data & AI, Modern Workplace and Business Apps.
Although it is yet to be confirmed, we will almost certainly see these role-based certifications include training aligned to very latest Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint 2019, SQL Server 2019, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Windows Sever 2019.
At the start of November 2018, we have already seen two new role-based exams and MOCs appearing for Azure Dev-Ops Engineer Expert and Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert.
Expect regular updates…
Getting a head start on Azure role-based certs
Already, you will begin to see training pathways to the latest certifications emerge. As an accelerated training provider and Microsoft Learning Partner, Firebrand is excited to offer the fastest routes to the following new Azure role-based certs: