Azure Certifications Journey 2020 covers the overview of Azure’s role-based certifications. Microsoft has restructured its Azure certifications into a role-based model that it states will more directly focus on the building of skills and knowledge aligned to job roles. This change was made after engaging their tech community and identifying what is required to support those job roles.
The modifications to the certifications have been in beta since September 2018, with effective release dates for the exams throughout 2019 and into 2020.
The new role-based certifications are split into four tiers of designation, each of which earns you a different level of Microsoft certification.
Fundamentals Certified (1 * Certificate)
Pass the AZ-900 exam
Associate Certified (2 ** Certificate)
Pass the AZ-103 exam
Pass the AZ-203 exam
Pass the AI-100 exam
Pass the DP-100 exam
Pass the AI-100 exam
Pass the DP-100 exam
Pass the DP-120 exam
Pass the DP-220 exam
Expert Certified (3 *** Certificate)
Pass the AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams
Pass the AZ-400 exam
Pass the AZ-120 exam
Pass the AZ-220 exam
And there currently are ELEVEN Azure-based certifications spread across these levels. All of these are new certifications, not refreshes of previous Azure certifications:
- Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals (Fundamentals)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator (Associate)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Developer (Associate)
- Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate (Associate)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate (Associate)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer (Associate)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist (Associate)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect (Expert)
- Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer (Expert)
- Microsoft Certified Azure for SAP Workloads (Specialty)
- Microsoft Certified: Azure IoT Developer (Specialty)
***Fundamental and Associate level certifications do not have prerequisites.
You can earn each without needing the certifications or exams from another.
Let’s review the basics of each certification and its exam requirements.
Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals :
This is a new certification, designed to demonstrate foundation-level knowledge of Azure-based cloud services. It is geared toward people in non-technical roles, such as sales and purchasing, or for those in technical roles looking to validate foundation-level knowledge in cloud services.
- Exam: AZ-900 — Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Microsoft Certified Administrator Associate :
- Candidates for this exam are Azure Administrators who manage cloud services that span storage, security, networking, and compute cloud capabilities.
- Candidates have a deep understanding of each service across the full IT lifecycle and take requests for infrastructure services, applications, and environments.
- They make recommendations on services to use for optimal performance and scale, as well as provision, size, monitor, and adjust resources as appropriate.
- Candidates for this exam should have proficiency in using PowerShell, the Command Line Interface, Azure Portal, ARM templates, operating systems, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, storage structures, and networking.
- Exam: AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator
Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate :
- Candidates for this exam are Azure Developers who design and build cloud solutions such as applications and services.
- They participate in all phases of development, from solution design to development and deployment, to testing and maintenance. They partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement the solution.
- Candidates should be proficient in developing apps and services by using Azure tools and technologies, including storage, security, compute, and communications.
- Candidates must have at least one year of experience developing scalable solutions through all phases of software development and be skilled in at least one cloud-supported programming language.
Exam: AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate :
· Candidates for this exam analyze the requirements for AI solutions, recommend appropriate tools and technologies, and implements solutions that meet scalability and performance requirements.
· Candidates translate the vision from solution architects and work with data scientists, data engineers, IoT specialists, and AI developers to build complete end-to-end solutions. Candidates design and implement AI apps and agents that use Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services and Azure Bot Service. Candidates can recommend solutions that use open source technologies.
· Candidates understand the components that make up the Azure AI portfolio and the available data storage options.
· Candidates implement AI solutions that use Cognitive Services, Azure bots, Azure Search, and data storage in Azure. Candidates understand when a custom API should be developed to meet specific requirements.
· Exam: AI-100 Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution
Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate :
· Candidates for this exam are Microsoft Azure data engineers who collaborate with business stakeholders to identify and meet the data requirements to implement data solutions that use Azure data services.
· Azure data engineers are responsible for data-related implementation tasks that include provisioning data storage services, ingesting streaming and batch data, transforming data, implementing security requirements, implementing data retention policies, identifying performance bottlenecks, and accessing external data sources.
· Candidates for this exam must be able to implement data solutions that use the following Azure services: Azure Cosmos DB, Azure SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics (formerly Azure SQL DW), Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Data Factory, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Databricks, and Azure Blob storage.
· To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:
- Exam: DP-200 Implementing an Azure Data Solution
- Exam: DP-201 Designing an Azure Data Solution
Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate :
· Candidates for this exam are Microsoft Azure security engineers who implement security controls, maintain the security posture, manage identity and access, and protect data, applications, and networks.
· Candidates identify and remediate vulnerabilities by using a variety of security tools, implement threat protection, and respond to security incident escalations. As a Microsoft Azure security engineer, candidates often serve as part of a larger team dedicated to cloud-based management and security and may also secure hybrid environments as part of an end-to-end infrastructure.
· Candidates for this exam should have strong skills in scripting and automation; a deep understanding of networking, virtualization, and cloud N-tier architecture; and a strong familiarity with cloud capabilities, Microsoft Azure products and services, and other Microsoft products and services.
· Exam: AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies
Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate :
· The Azure Data Scientist applies their knowledge of data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure; in particular, using Azure Machine Learning Service.
· This entails planning and creating a suitable working environment for data science workloads on Azure, running data experiments and training predictive models, managing and optimizing models, and deploying machine learning models into production.
· Exam:DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure
Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect Expert :
· Candidates for this exam are Azure Solution Architects who advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable solutions.
· Candidates should have advanced experience and knowledge across various aspects of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting, and governance.
· This role requires managing how decisions in each area affects an overall solution. Candidates must be proficient in Azure administration, Azure development, and DevOps, and have expert-level skills in at least one of those domains.To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:
· Exam: AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
· Exam: AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design
Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert :
· Candidates for this exam are DevOps professionals who combine people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives.
· DevOps professionals streamline delivery by optimizing practices, improving communications and collaboration, and creating automation. They design and implement strategies for application code and infrastructure that allow for continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
· Candidates must be proficient with Agile practices. They must be familiar with both Azure administration and Azure development and experts in at least one of these areas.
· Azure DevOps professionals must be able to design and implement DevOps practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code, configuration management, build, release, and testing by using Azure technologies.
· AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions
Microsoft Certified: Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty :
· Candidates for this exam are architects and engineers who are knowledgeable in the SAP Landscape Certification process and industry standards that are specific to the long-term operation of an SAP solution.
· Candidates make recommendations on services and adjust resources as appropriate for optimal resiliency, performance, scale, provision, size, and monitoring.
· Architects of Azure for SAP Workloads should have extensive experience and knowledge of SAP Applications, SAP HANA, S/4HANA, SAP NetWeaver, SAP BW, OS Servers for SAP Applications and Databases, Azure Portal, ARM templates, operating systems, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, storage structures, high availability design, disaster recovery design, data protection concepts, and networking.
· It is strongly recommended that candidates for this exam have an Azure Administrator or Azure Architect certification, in addition to SAP HANA and Linux certifications..To obtain this certification, there is one required exam:
· Exam: AZ-120: Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads
Microsoft Certified: Azure IoT Developer Specialty. :
· Candidates for this exam should have subject matter expertise developing cloud and edge components of an Azure IoT solution.
· Responsibilities for an Azure IoT Developer include managing the device lifecycle–set up, configuration, and maintenance–using cloud services and other tools.
· You implement designs for Azure IoT solutions including device topology, connectivity, debugging, and security, as well as solutions to manage, monitor, and transform IoT-related data pipelines. You also deploy Azure IoT Edge components and configure device networking on the edge.
· An Azure IoT Developer works with data engineers and other stakeholders to ensure successful business integration.
· A candidate for this exam should have experience implementing the Azure services that form an IoT solution, including data storage options, data analysis, data processing, and platform-as-a-service options.
· This role should also be able to recognize Azure IoT service configuration settings within the code portion of an IoT solution and perform specific IoT coding tasks in at least one Azure-supported language, including C#, Node, C, or Python.There are no pre-requisites for this certification and it requires only one exam:
· Exam:AZ-220: Microsoft Azure IoT Developer
Here is a quick summary of the changes to the Microsoft exams supporting their certifications, and the roadmap for Linux Academy:
During the transition process, Microsoft created the following exams as part of the beta, but which have been subsequently retired and will not count towards the new certifications:
- AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment
- AZ-101 Microsoft Azure Integration and Security
- AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition
- AZ-200 Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions
- AZ-201 Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions
- AZ-202 Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition
The current set of Microsoft exams supporting new Azure certifications are:
- AZ-120: Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads
- AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator
- AZ-220: Microsoft Azure IoT Developer
- AZ-203 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
- AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
- AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design
- AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions
- AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies
- AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
- AI-100 Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution
- DP-100 Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure
- DP-200 Implementing an Azure Data Solution
There are two transition exams which will be retired in June 2019 which are given below :
· AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition
· AZ-302 Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition
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