Microsoft has expanded its wings over the years, evolving from a software developer to a wide range of online certifications and courses provider. These certifications are a valuable resource that caters to learners of all levels of expertise.
Whether you are just starting in your career or are an experienced professional looking to improve your skills, there is a Microsoft certification that can help you achieve your goals.
Microsoft certifications demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in specific technologies, which can increase your credibility and perceived value in the job market.
Here are the top 8 Microsoft certifications to help you succeed in the highly competitive IT industry.
1. Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
The Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert certification demonstrates an individual's expertise in managing and administering Microsoft 365 services for an enterprise. To earn this certification, candidates must pass two exams: MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services and MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security.
To be eligible for these exams, candidates must have an associate-level certification, such as the Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate or the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate. As a Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert, you will be responsible for assessing, planning, migrating, deploying, and managing Microsoft 365 services for your enterprise.
This will involve managing Microsoft 365 governance and compliance, implementing modern device services, and planning Office 365 workloads and applications. You will also be responsible for managing the security and identities of your enterprise's Microsoft 365 tenancy.
2. Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
The Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate certification is a professional credential designed for Messaging Administrators who work in hybrid and cloud enterprise systems. These individuals are responsible for building, implementing, administering, debugging, and monitoring recipients, permissions, mail protection, mail flow, and public folders.
To earn the Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate certification, candidates must pass the MS-203 exam, which covers managing organizational settings and resources, planning and implementing a hybrid setup and migration, and protecting the messaging environment. There are no specific requirements for taking the MS-203 exam, but it is important to have prior experience with the skills tested on the exam.
Obtaining the Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate certification can benefit individuals who want to demonstrate their expertise in managing and administering messaging systems for an enterprise. It can also qualify you for the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert certification. Additionally, having a current certification from a reputable company like Microsoft can make you more attractive to potential employers, especially in the growing cloud industry. The MS-203 exam costs $165.
3. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
The Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate certification is a performance-based credential demonstrating an individual's skills and knowledge in setting up, managing, and overseeing a Microsoft Azure environment for an organization. As an Azure Administrator, you will establish, monitor, and manage Azure solutions for computing, storage, networking, and security services. Obtaining the Azure Administrator Associate certification shows that you thoroughly understand cloud identity, governance, storage, computing, and virtual networks.
You can plan, size, monitor, and switch to other resources. It also grants you access to resources such as the Security Development Lifecycle. To earn the Azure Administrator Associate certification, candidates must pass the AZ-104 exam, which tests their abilities to maintain Azure identity and governance, implement and monitor storage, deploy and manage Azure computing resources, design and implement virtual networking, monitor and back up Azure resources, and perform other technical tasks. The AZ-104 exam is a 3-hour test that costs $165.
4. Microsoft Certified: Azure Ai Engineer Associate
The Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate certification is a professional credential designed for individuals who create, manage, and deploy AI systems using Azure Cognitive Services and Azure Applied AI. As an Azure AI Engineer, you will be responsible for participating in all phases of AI solution development, from requirement specification and design to development, deployment, maintenance, performance tuning, and monitoring. You will work with solution architects to interpret their vision and build end-to-end AI solutions, collaborating with data scientists, data engineers, IoT specialists, and AI developers.
To earn the Azure AI Engineer Associate certification, candidates must pass Exam AI-102: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution. This exam tests your ability to plan and manage Azure Cognitive Services solutions and deploy Computer Vision solutions, Natural Language Processing solutions, Knowledge Mining solutions, and Conversational AI solutions. It consists of 40-60 questions and costs $165. To be eligible to take the AI-102 exam, candidates should know C# or Python and be able to construct computer vision, natural language processing, knowledge mining, and conversational AI applications on Azure using REST-based APIs and SDKs.
5. Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
The Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate certification recognizes an individual's skills in combining, converting, and consolidating data from various systems into structures that can be used to build analytics solutions using Microsoft Azure technologies. Data engineers play a crucial role in the success of any organization by enabling cross-organizational data collaboration and agility. To earn the Azure Data Engineer Associate certification, candidates must pass Exam DP-203: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure.
This exam tests an individual's knowledge of integrating, transforming, and consolidating data from various structured and unstructured data systems into a framework suitable for developing analytics solutions. It also covers skills in data processing languages such as SQL, Python, and Scala, as well as parallel processing and data architecture, approaches. The DP-203 exam consists of 40-60 questions and costs $165. To qualify for this exam, candidates should have experience with data engineering concepts and technologies, familiarity with data processing languages, and data architecture approaches.
6. Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals
The Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification is a professional credential designed for individuals who want to demonstrate their skills in using the Power Platform to improve team efficiency. The Power Platform consists of tools such as Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents, which can be used to build solutions, automate business processes, perform data analysis, create simple Power Apps experiences, and build chatbots. To earn the Power Platform Fundamentals certification, candidates must pass the PL-900 exam, which tests their knowledge of the Power Platform and its capabilities.
The PL-900 exam consists of 40-60 questions in various formats, including case studies, short answers, multiple-choice, mark review, drag and drop, and others. Candidates will have one hour to complete the exam. The Power Platform Fundamentals certification does not have any specific prerequisites. Still, a basic understanding of computer technology, data analytics, cloud computing, and the internet is recommended to help candidates understand the concepts of the Power Platform. This certification can be a good starting point for individuals interested in expanding their skillset and pursuing more advanced certifications like the Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant.
7. Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate
The Microsoft Certified Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification is a professional credential designed for functional consultants who want to demonstrate their skills in integrating global financials and operations, automating processes and workflows, and streamlining customer ordering, selling, invoicing, and reporting using Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 is a suite of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) online services that combines CRM and ERP technologies to assist with core customers, workers, and workflows and blend data, business logic, and operations.
To earn the Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification, candidates must pass two exams: MB-300 (Microsoft Dynamics 365: Core Finance and Operations) and MB-310 (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance). These exams test an individual's ability to set up security, processes, and options, migrate data, validate and support the solution, set up and configure financial management, implement and manage accounts payable and receivable, and manage budgeting and fixed assets. Before attempting these exams, candidates must have certified in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Finance and Operations Apps (ERP) (MB-920T00).
This certification is valuable for functional consultants who want to work for any legitimate company and review business requirements, translate them into fully realized business processes, and implement industry best practices. The Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification exams cost $165 each.
8. Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate certification is a professional credential designed for developers who want to demonstrate their skills in using Microsoft Dynamics 365 to create intelligent business apps that combine data, people, and processes to boost the efficiency of enterprises. To earn this certification, candidates must have prior experience with software development cycle methodologies, data integrity, and data security compliance, as well as knowledge of the underlying framework, data structures, and objects associated with Dynamics 365 finance and operations solutions that provide best-in-class functionality.
This certification is valuable for developers who work with functional consultants, solutions, and technical architects and are responsible for converting requirements into necessary system functionality with Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps. The demand for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate-certified IT professionals is high in the business world, and obtaining this certification can help you advance your career.
The final words
Undoubtedly, earning Microsoft certifications is a great way to stay ahead and reinvent your career. These certifications demonstrate your command of technologies developed by some of the world's most prominent technology companies, which can benefit you and your organization.
Earning a Microsoft certification shows employers and clients that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively use these technologies, which can increase your credibility and perceived value in the job market. It can also open up new job opportunities and may lead to promotions or salary increases within your current organization.