Finding the right Microsoft Azure certification for you

Posted 19 May 2020 by Sandra Marin, Azure training and certification GTM lead, Microsoft Learning

Looking to earn an Azure certification? Our portfolio spans from fundamentals to role-based and specialty certifications to help prove and advance your skills in modern cloud environments. For details, check out our blog post, “Understanding Microsoft Azure certifications.”

Use your profession to find a certification

If you build, deploy, or manage on-premises, in the cloud, and at the edge, we have certifications for you. You can also match a certification with your profession (or the one you aspire to). Some are more suited for system administrators (IT pros), developers, or data and artificial intelligence (AI) professionals, and others are a good fit for multiple technical audiences across professions. How should you decide which one is the best for you?

Explore our certifications by profession:

  • System administrators (IT pros)
  • Developers
  • Data and AI experts
  • Cross-profession

Or build your technology foundations:

  • Fundamentals

Certifications for system administrators (IT pros). We recommend these certifications for IT pros who want to validate their skills in building, deploying, and managing on-premises, hybrid, or cloud infrastructure solutions. For additional IT pro certifications, see the “Cross-profession certifications” list that follows.

If you’re a cloud administrator who implements and manages your organization’s Azure environment, consider the Azure Administrator Associate certification and the related training. If you dive deep into implementing security controls and threat protection, managing identity and access, and protecting data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments, the Azure Security Engineer Associate could be a great fit for you. It’s also a nice complement to the Azure Administrator Associate certificate. Architects and engineers who have extensive familiarity with the SAP system landscape and industry standards that are specific to the long-term operation of an SAP solution on Azure might want to consider Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty.

Certifications for developers. Want to prove your ability to innovate with best-in-class apps? Check out these certifications. For additional developer certifications, see the “Cross-profession certification” list that follows.

Explore the Azure Developer Associate certification, which validates the skills necessary to design, build, test, and maintain cloud applications and services. Or focus on creating Azure IoT solutions, with the Azure IoT Developer Specialty, and demonstrate your ability to develop cloud and edge components.

Certifications for data and AI experts. To validate your skills in supporting apps and infrastructure with data and analytics, you’ve got quite a few options. For additional data and AI certifications, see the “Cross-profession certification” list that follows.

If you design and implement the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data solutions using the full stack of Azure data services, consider earning your Azure Data Engineer Associate certification. Azure Database Administrator Associate validates the skills required to implement and manage cloud and on-premises relational databases built on top of SQL Server and Azure data services. To verify your data analytics and visualization skills and show how you maximize the value of your organization’s data using Microsoft Power BI, earn your Data Analyst Associate certification. If you’re implementing and running machine learning workloads on Azure Machine Learning, check out the Azure Data Scientist Associate certification.

Cross-profession certifications. Depending on the specific certification, these could be suitable for system administrators, data and AI pros, and developers.

If you’re a developer or an expert in data and AI consider the Azure AI Engineer Associate certification. This certification covers cognitive services, machine learning, and knowledge mining to architect and implement AI solutions involving natural language processing (NLP), speech, computer vision, and conversational AI. Are you an expert at working with people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver business value? DevOps Engineer Expert is the role-based expert-level certification for you. It builds on the prerequisite Azure Administrator or Azure Developer certification. If you have the skills to design end-to-end solutions for Azure, consider the comprehensive Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification, which covers infrastructure, apps, and data and is suitable for IT pros, developers, and data professionals.

Fundamentals certifications. Looking to validate your foundational understanding of Microsoft technologies? Read about our current certifications, and then read on to learn about some exciting additions to our fundamentals portfolio.

If you’re a system administrator, developer, or data and AI professional who is just starting on Azure or the cloud, consider the Azure Fundamentals certification. This validates your basic knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Azure. It can also help to prepare you for other Azure certifications, but it’s not a prerequisite for any of them. Although not part of the Azure portfolio, the Power Platform Fundamentals certification can help data analysts and Azure devs validate their understanding of core Microsoft Power Platform capabilities, including Power Apps and Power BI.

A sneak peek at upcoming fundamentals certifications

Passionate about other technical areas and looking to earn a certification? You’re in luck. In June, we plan to release beta versions of two new certifications.

If you’re getting started in the AI world, don’t miss Azure AI Fundamentals. Demonstrate your knowledge of common machine learning and AI workloads and how to implement them on Azure. You don’t need to be a technical professional to take this exam. General programming knowledge will help, but data science or software engineering experience isn’t required.

Looking to grow your cloud database expertise? If you’re a developer or a data and AI pro—or even if you’re just beginning to work with data in the cloud—the new Azure Data Fundamentals certification can help you prove your knowledge of core data concepts and how they’re implemented using Azure data services.

Choose your future!

Intrigued about certification? Every Azure certification, whether it’s fundamentals, role-based, or specialty, offers training to help you upskill and demonstrate your achievements. Choose your certification, and then decide how you want to learn and which platform best fits your learning style. You’ll have access to a breadth of options to help grow your confidence and expertise—from self-paced learning, training events, instructor-led training, and more. Take the next step to prepare for your certification exam and your career.

Stay tuned for a series of blog posts that will go into detail on each certification and how you can use it to level up your career.

Understanding Microsoft Azure certifications