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Microsoft Azure Certifications – What is it?
Microsoft Azure is one of the world’s primary commercial cloud computing platforms. The Azure suite provides a range of cloud services like Computing, storage, networks, etc. It allows users to choose from any Azure services and implement/merge them into their existing IT infrastructure. Currently, there are 200 products and services present on the platform for all the modern technological needs, even including bleeding-edge services like Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-driven data analytical tools.
The aim of Azure is to try and make it easy for developers to get started with any new technology that they are using. Not to mention, it’s also the only platform where Microsoft gives its clients access to pre-built templates. This makes it easy for them to get started with the new technology within minutes of it being available.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, testing, and managing different applications through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.
Microsoft Azure Certifications: Rising significance and accompanying concerns
Several Governments, Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies use Azure to house their infrastructure. This has increased the need for Microsoft-certified professionals. With Azure Certifications, Microsoft has laid several specialization paths for professionals to get themselves well versed in key technologies offered by cloud computing.
Of late, multiple more specializations have been introduced to alleviate growing concerns that the Azure Certification curriculums were generic and did not offer directed paths catered to specific niches like networking, data analysis, cloud security, etc. Therefore, Online Courses by education institutes such as Koenig Solutions stepped into the picture to offer specific training.
There are several certification paths through which you can get your credential. Formal education involving the completion of one or more courses will equip you with skills to help people who are looking for an Azure expert, developer, administrator, and so on. There are also training programs designed to familiarize you with the nuances of cloud computing. These programs range from anywhere between five days to three months’ duration—the choice is yours.
What has changed now?
In response to the above concern, Microsoft also overhauled the entire certification process in September 2018. Some of the changes are –
1) The new paths for Microsoft certifications focus entirely on getting trained and certified on specific Azure skills that align more intimately with actual jobs in Infrastructure service delivery.
2) Each Microsoft Azure Certification stream is now intended to align with a specific role. This is in addition to the 3-core role-based paths already available –
a) Microsoft Azure Administrator
b) Microsoft Azure Developer
c) Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect
Guidelines on passing the Azure Certification exam
There are a few key strategies to clear any Certification Exams, and this holds even for the Azure Certification exams –
❖ Beginning low-key – If you have apprehensions on exactly what certification exam to go for first, it’s always better (and recommended) to go for the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals Exam. AZ-900 is geared towards giving professionals a primer into cloud computing concepts without going into much detail. If you want to pursue niche subjects like cloud security or Microsoft Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft Certification Courses and Microsoft Certification Training – both available as free and paid options – provide a good learning base for your preparation.
❖ Choosing the right Azure exam – A professional needs to know their job role and the certification that aligns with that role before getting certified. Microsoft’s new policy of integrating certifications more closely with current market roles helps a candidate identify his wants and needs more efficiently. This is also reflected in the Microsoft Online Courses currently offered as certification preparatory material.
❖ Get familiar with the Exam Content – Once you choose your certification, the next step is to understand the examination format. Every exam page on Microsoft’s website lists the “Skills Measured” for that exam, the number of questions from each topic, weightage, etc. This list is updated with the change in format or topics covered under all Microsoft Certifications and thus, helps a candidate focus on the suitable content/topics to study. The exam page even lists all available pieces of training and courses to prepare for the exam.
❖ Know the types of questions – to be a Microsoft Certified Professional, a candidate must know the types of questions asked for each certification exam. Understanding the nature of questions asked during your exam will help make it easier to prepare accordingly. Microsoft Certification Courses cover this in detail.
❖ Hands-on experience – Hands-on experience is vital in almost every Microsoft Certification Exam prep, especially in higher, ‘professional’ or ‘specialist’ grade certifications. Microsoft, as always, is right on the mark, providing you with many free hands-on learning modules to work on and practice whatever you learn. You can also create an Azure Free Account to get 12 months of free Azure services to create a sandbox and learn the various concepts with practical knowledge.
❖ Go through all Microsoft Azure Docs – Microsoft Online Courses, including the Microsoft Certification Courses – contain detailed documentation on their Azure services and how they work. This is presented as a ready reckoner for existing Azure professionals
❖ Watch Azure video courses and other available training – Many online video courses that provide specific Azure training are available on the web. Watching these videos will give you a better perspective on the exam and help you prepare and write for it. Microsoft Certification Trainings are also available from various sources should someone wishes to follow that path.
❖ Sit for practice exams – Many of Azure’s certification exams have practice tests available on their web pages. Attending these gives you a perspective on where exactly you stand vis-à-vis your preparations and which topics need your attention more.
With proper focus, study material, and learning, a candidate can quickly advance their career and become a Microsoft Certified Professional with cloud computing skills. Azure certified professionals can see their market value soar high and get better and more enriching career opportunities. As the majority of the companies move to the cloud, the necessity for skilled Azure professionals is only bound to increase manifold. Following Microsoft’s, the neatly laid path can help professionals pave their way into newer domains and flourish in their careers.
Thank you for reading!