Azure Certifications and Roadmap
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Azure Certifications and Roadmap

Terry Cox
Terry Cox

** Updated May 2020 **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:

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)

All of the exams supporting each of these certifications are entirely new.  Those exams supporting what is now retired Azure certifications are not applicable to these certifications (70-532, 70-533, 70-535).Fundamental and Associate level certifications do not have prerequisites. You can earn each without needing the certifications or exams from another.

New to Azure?

If you already have some Azure Certifications under your belt, here’s what you should know:

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.   To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Linux Academy released a course for the AZ-900 exam in May 2019.


Microsoft Certified Administrator Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate associate-level knowledge of how to implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions. It includes major services related to computing, storage, network, and security, and is aimed at those in administrative and technical roles looking to validate administration knowledge in cloud services.To obtain this certification, you need to complete one exam. Combined, these replace the now-retired 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam, and the AZ-100 and AZ-101 exams, which retired in May 2019:

If you have already passed 70-533,  then you had through June 2019 (at which point it was retired) to pass only the single transition exam:

Linux Academy has released a course for the AZ-103 exam in September of 2019.


Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to design, build, test, and maintain cloud solutions like applications and services. It also tests the ability to partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement these solutions. It is designed for those in developer and technical roles looking to validate development and implementation knowledge in cloud services. To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Note that there is not a transition process provided by Microsoft for those who have passed the retired 70-532 exam and earned associated certifications.  If you have passed 70-532, you must still pass AZ-203 to earn this certification. Also note that as part of the beta exam program, there was a transition exam, AZ-202, but this exam will be retired as of 3/31/2019 and will not qualify for a certification transition. Finally, there were also two beta exams, AZ-200 and AZ-201. These have also been retired, and do not currently factor into the new certification.Linux Academy released a course for the AZ-203 exam in January 2019.


Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to use Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents.To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AI-100 exam by the end of 2019.


Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to design and implement the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data using the full stack of Azure data services to satisfy business needs.To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:

Linux Academy released a course for the DP-200 exam in September of 2019 and followed with the DP-201 exam course. A course for the DP-100 exam is planned for early 2020.


Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate knowledge of security controls and threat protection; managing identity and access; and protecting data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of the end-to-end infrastructure.To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Linux Academy released an in-depth course specifically to help you prepare for the AZ-500.  


Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate. 

This certification shows knowledge surrounding data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure; in particular, using Azure Machine Learning Service.To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Linux Academy released a course for the DP-100 prep recently. 


Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect Expert

This is a new certification designed to demonstrate solutions architect level expertise in compute, network, storage, security, and designing solutions that run on Azure. It is for those in architect and leadership roles looking to validate expertise in cloud services.To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:

If you have already passed 70-535,  then you had through June 2019 to pass the single transition exam:

Linux Academy released a course for the AZ-300 exam in January 2019.  We also offer the AZ-301 exam to help prepare you.


Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert

This is a new certification designed to demonstrate knowledge of how to combine people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives.To earn this certification, you must first earn either the Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification and pass the following exam:

Linux Academy released this course to help prepare you for the AZ-400 exam. 


Microsoft Certified: Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty

This is a newer certification designed to demonstrate the candidates’ knowledge combining people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives.To obtain this certification, there is one required exam:

 


Microsoft Certified: Azure IoT Developer Specialty

This is another newer certification and it requires the learner to implement the Azure services that form an IoT solution, including data analysis, data processing, data storage options, and platform-as-a-service options. IoT Developers must be able to recognize Azure IoT service configuration settings within the code portion of an IoT solution.There are no pre-requisites for this certification and it requires only one exam:

Our Azure IoT Solution Infrastructure course will help you prepare for this exam.  


Summary

Here is a quick summary of the changes to the Microsoft exams supporting their certifications, and the roadmap for Linux Academy:The following 70-* exams have been retired and no longer count toward certifications:

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:

The current set of Microsoft exams supporting new Azure certifications are:

There are two transition exams which will be retired in June 2019, and for which Linux Academy will not be developing courses:

Courses currently released:

Courses planned for development and released in 2020:

Microsoft has recently begun to update its certification paths more frequently and we expect that pattern to continue in the short-term. Linux Academy has scaled our Azure team to react to certification changes more quickly and we have made a lot of progress in 2019 and 2020 to cover all of these new and ever-changing exams.We’re continuously pushing the boundaries of online learning to help you take your cloud skills to the next level. In addition to certification courses, we also have skill-building courses including:

We hope to see you in the new Azure courses and Hands-On Labs that we’re working on! Check out Windows Server On Linux Academy Cloud Playground if you haven’t already!

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