Do you have the skills to move your business to Azure?

Ed Jones works for Firebrand Training, a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner. He has worked in the IT training and certification industry for the past 4 years. He is a tech enthusiast with experience working with SharePoint, Windows Server and Windows desktop.

Thousands of businesses migrate their infrastructure to Microsoft Azure every day. Unlocking benefits including real-time scalability of resource, in-built disaster recovery and a reduced carbon footprint; the move is unsurprising.

As a result the demand for IT professionals with cloud skills has never been higher. A report from Wanted Analytics estimates there are currently 446,703 cloud jobs advertised in the UK alone. So, if you’re looking to fill one of those positions, or your company is planning a migration to Azure, this article will help direct you to the resources to develop the Azure skills you need.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is undoubtedly the largest collection of learning resources focussed on developing Azure skills. Choose from over 90 courses covering a full spectrum of Azure skills.

To develop greater understanding and further build your foundational cloud skills in Azure, pay close attention to the module Microsoft Azure IaaS Technical Fundamentals course. Learn from experts who share their deep technical insights on these topics and develop the knowledge required to take Exam 70-533 and achieve a Microsoft Specialist certification in Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions.

If you’re looking to broaden your knowledge to encompass hybrid solutions, it’s worth checking out the course on moving to Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure. Learn how Microsoft Azure and System Center 2012 R2 can extend on-premise infrastructure into the cloud securely and seamlessly. Learn how to manage more data without more hardware, protect data with off-site backups, and prepare for disaster recovery.

Microsoft MOOcs on edX

Launched in May, 2015, Microsoft begun unveiling a series of MOOCs on the popular edX platform with a specific focus on Cloud. If you’re new, check out the Introduction to Cloud Computing and learn the basics of cloud computing and Microsoft Azure. This self-paced, 15-20 hour course will form the foundations on which to accelerate your IT career in a cloud-enabled world.

As well as the self-paced courses on Azure topics, there are a series of instructor led courses from Microsoft experts in more advanced topics covering Office 365, programming in F# and Hadoop in Azure. Alternatively, if you’re in the world of development, check out the 3 part course focussed on building cloud apps with Microsoft Azure. Learn to build real-world cloud application solutions from Microsoft experts Tom Dykstra and Rick Anderson.

TechNet Virtual Labs

This is perhaps one of my favourite resources, the TechNet Virtual Labs help you to get hands on and experience Azure first hand through guided experiences or free-roam. This can help you to develop practical skills applicable in real world scenario.

Experience applications and services found on-premise through the cloud like the lab on Azure Active Directory Fundamentals. Discover first hand a unified identity management solution that provides your business with the capacity to provide secure authentication and authorisation for users. Learn to manage your companies identities using a combination of on-premise Active Directory Domain Services, Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium, device registration, multi-factor authentication, and software-as-a-service app integration.

Alternatively, check out the lab introducing you to Microsoft Azure SQL Database. You’ll learn to use the SQL Database as a cloud hosted platform for your application and develop the skills to create new databases, users and permission granting.

This database is not limited to Azure only: get hands on with other core Microsoft platforms like Windows Server, SharePoint Server and Windows to develop integration skills with Azure.

Channel 9

If you’ve never taken a look, head over to Channel 9 and join the community. Discover the people behind the products and extract their expertise to add to your own skill set. Best of all there is an Azure section, why else would I send you there! Packed full of invaluable video content from events, webinars and online TV shows, go from Azure skills zero right through to hero.

Don’t miss the Microsoft Azure Cloud Cover Show with Chris Risner and Haishi Bai. Keep your eye on each development in Azure and develop your skills and knowledge as the experts guide you through feature demos, hot discussion topics and the latest news.


So there we have it, 1000s of hours of Azure focused content expertly developed to help you learn all of the skills you need to move your business to Azure and unleash the benefits. So get started and begin discovering!