The pandemic has given cloud computing significant momentum and increase interest interest in cloud platforms and industry Microsoft Azure Certifications. The latest IDC report states that organizations are gearing up for ‘greater efficiency, flexibility, and faster innovation’. And with cloud investment expected to grow beyond $1.3 trillion by 2025, the figures stack up. For professionals with a keen interest in cloud, therefore, the prospect of a flourishing career lies ahead. And with Microsoft being one of the leading players in the market, Azure certifications will certainly give that career a powerful boost.
But do I ‘need’ Microsoft Azure certification?
The short answer is yes, and here’s why. Over the last few years, Microsoft’s Azure customer base has been growing by roughly a 1,000 new customers every day. Thus, with 80% of enterprises now using Azure, Microsoft knowledge is in demand. Additionally, it’s of note that 95% of Fortune 500 companies now use Microsoft Azure cloud, which means there are some big names out there looking for relevant skills too.
At this point you might be thinking that, with the current global technical skills gap, gaining certification isn’t necessary. However, businesses are looking for the right skills in Azure, not just any IT skills. So, because Microsoft offers role-based certifications designed for specific jobs, Microsoft Azure certified professionals stand out. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Microsoft certifications not only verify that you have key skills, but they also confirm that you are up to date with your knowledge. Thus, it’s just common sense to gain certification and make it easy for recruiters to pick you out of the pile.
How do I decide which Microsoft Azure certifications are right for me?
We’ve identified two clear career paths to consider:
Career path 1: Becoming an Azure Administrator
Career path 2: Becoming an Azure Certified Developer
Both these career paths start with our first recommended certification.
This certification is an ideal entry level qualification that will set you up with the knowledge you need to get started in the Microsoft Azure environment. Its scope is broad and will give you a good overview of core Azure services, cloud concepts, Azure pricing and support, and privacy, compliance, security, and trust.
AZ-900 is ideal for graduates who have just left college and are starting out. However, it’s also great for professionals who are currently working as an on-premises sysadmin and would like to move to a cloud-based role.
Once you have this certification, and some experience working with the Azure cloud framework, you will then be able to assess which direction you’d like to take your Azure career.
If you’re keen to become an Azure network administrator, we recommend you look at getting AZ-104 certification.
AZ-104 is an associate, intermediate level certification that tests and verifies your abilities in using popular Azure applications such as Azure Portal, Cloud Shell and Azure PowerShell. It also certifies your competencies in virtual networking, inter-site connectivity, network traffic management, Azure storage, and virtual machines. Thus, with this certification under your belt, you’ll be extending your horizon to deploying and managing the Azure cloud for an organization.
Additionally, AZ-104 lays the foundation for career-enhancing certifications in the future. These include Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert, and Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate. So you’re taking an important step forward when you gain this certification.
This is all great if you’re keen to work as an Azure administrator. However, what if programming is more your thing? Here’s an alternative career path to consider.
AZ-204 is an associate, intermediate level certification that enables you to progress towards programming and development. It’s ideal for people with some coding experience who now wish to work with Azure.
The certification exam tests your ability to design, build, test, and maintain cloud applications and services on Microsoft Azure. With this certification, you will therefore be able to develop and deploy Azure applications and use Azure storage.
AZ-204 also lays the foundation for taking additional career-developing certifications in the future. These include Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert, and Microsoft Certified Azure IoT Developer Specialty. Thus, again, you’re taking a constructive step forward when you get this certification.
Once you’ve set your sights on gaining Microsoft certification, of course it’s well worth preparing for the exams properly. We recommend you:
- Check out Microsoft Learn to understand what you need to know for the certification exam.
- Get familiar with the exam format.
- Consider taking an exam preparation course to fine-tune your skills and knowledge.
- Do as many practice tests as you can get your hands on.
- Schedule your exam now… because there’s no time like the present for boosting your career.
Take Steps to Stand Out from the Crowd
The three certifications outlined above offer excellent opportunities for building a strong foundation for an Azure career. There’s no doubt that gaining the right certifications to support your chosen path will help you get noticed. But we’ll leave you with one further fact to ponder, whilst you decide which certification you’re going to go for.
Certifications aren’t just about improving your chances of getting a good job. The 2021 Pearson VUE Value of IT Certification study highlights that 61% of professionals they surveyed said they earned a promotion once they’d gained a certification. And that’s not something to sniff at.
If you would like to know more about how you can work towards gaining Microsoft certification, do contact our Learner Support Team on [email protected]. They will be more than happy to guide you on the next steps you can take.