If you’re looking to advance your career in cloud computing, earning an Azure certification is a smart move. Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest-growing cloud platforms, and its certifications are highly respected in the industry.
But with so many Azure certifications available, it can be challenging to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to Azure certification pathways to help you choose the right certification for your goals and level of expertise.
Azure Certification Levels
Azure certifications are divided into four levels: Fundamental, Associate, Expert, and Specialty. Each level represents a different degree of proficiency in working with Azure.
Fundamental certifications are ideal for individuals who are new to Azure and cloud computing. They cover the basics of Azure services, cloud concepts, and security.
Associate certifications are designed for professionals who have some experience working with Azure. They delve deeper into specific Azure services and require a more extensive understanding of cloud computing concepts.
Expert certifications are the highest level of Azure certification and are intended for individuals who have significant experience working with Azure. They require advanced knowledge of Azure services, architecture, and best practices.
Specialty certifications are for professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in a specific area, such as security, data, or AI.
Azure Certification Pathways
Azure certification pathways are designed to help you progress from one level of certification to the next. Each pathway has a specific set of certifications that you need to earn to advance to the next level.
For example, the Azure Administrator certification pathway starts with the Azure Fundamentals certification. Once you have earned that certification, you can then move on to the Azure Administrator Associate certification. After that, you can earn Expert-level certifications for Azure Architect, Azure DevOps Engineer, or Azure Security Engineer.
Other Azure certification pathways include:
- Azure Developer
- Azure AI Engineer
- Azure Data Scientist
- Azure Data Engineer
Choosing the Right Azure Certification
Choosing the right Azure certification depends on your career goals, current skills, and level of experience. If you’re new to Azure and cloud computing, starting with a Fundamental certification is a good idea. You have some experience with Azure, an Associate certification may be more appropriate.
If you’re an experienced Azure professional looking to demonstrate your expertise, an Expert or Specialty certification may be the right choice. It’s also worth considering the demand for specific Azure skills in your industry when choosing a certification.
Preparing for Azure Certification Exams
To earn an Azure certification, you need to pass a certification exam. Microsoft offers a range of resources to help you prepare for these exams, including official study guides, practice exams, and online courses.
You can also find third-party resources such as books, video courses, and online communities that can help you prepare for your exam.
Once you feel confident in your knowledge and skills, you can schedule your certification exam through the Microsoft Certification website.
Benefits of Azure Certifications Boost Your Cloud Career
Earning an Azure certification can help you:
- Demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers
- Advance your career in cloud computing
- Increase your earning potential
- Expand your professional network
- Stay up to date with the latest cloud technologies and best practices
Career Growth: Azure Certifications can open doors to new job opportunities and career growth. With the demand for cloud computing professionals on the rise, having Azure Certifications can give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
Increased Earning Potential: According to a recent survey by Global Knowledge, IT professionals with Azure Certifications earn an average salary of $102,690. This is significantly higher than the average salary for IT professionals without any certifications.
Enhanced Skills: Azure Certifications require a deep understanding of cloud computing and the ability to apply that knowledge to real-world scenarios. By earning these certifications, you’ll gain valuable skills that can help you become a better cloud computing professional.
Credibility: Azure Certifications are recognized and respected by employers around the world. By earning these certifications, you’ll demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field, which can help you build credibility with colleagues and clients.
Access to Microsoft Resources: Microsoft provides a wealth of resources and tools for Azure Certification holders, including access to the Microsoft Certification community, technical support, and training materials.
Flexibility: Azure Certifications offer a wide range of options for professionals at different levels of expertise. From entry-level to expert-level certifications, there’s a certification that’s right for you.
Stay Up-to-Date: Azure Certifications require recertification every few years, which means that holders must stay up-to-date on the latest developments in cloud computing. This ensures that you’re always learning and growing in your field.