In October, the ITProTV crew attended Microsoft Ignite where Microsoft unveiled future initiatives, cool new features, and most importantly to us and ITProTV members, new role-based Azure certification paths. If you’re a certified Microsoft professional and you’re starting to sweat a little bit after reading the last sentence, don’t fret. Here’s what’s new.
Why are Microsoft certifications changing?
In short, Microsoft is aiming to bridge the IT skills gap and better align certification training with actual on-the-job skill requirements. The new certification paths are role-based, meaning the certification you earn will be the job role you’re hired for. It’s important to note that this certification path change has only been rolled out for Microsoft Azure specializations at this time and your previous certifications are still valid up to their expiration dates.
What is changing?
Let’s say that, for example, you have passed the 70-533 certification exam — Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions — which doesn’t say much about your role as an IT pro. It just outlines the curriculum you would be learning about, which is Azure infrastructure. In the new certification scheme, you are trained for precisely the Azure infrastructure job you would have like Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate or Administrator Associate and so on.
The Six New Job Role Based Certifications
The new certification exams are all still in beta, except the administrator level, and they all begin with AZ-XXX with the XXX being a number equivalent to the level of certification. The 100-level is administrator, the 200-level is developer, 300-level is architect, and a 400-level is for DevOps.
The six roles for Microsoft Certified Azure are:
- Administrator Associate
- Developer Associate
- Solutions Architect Expert
- DevOps Engineer Expert (coming soon)
- Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator (coming soon)
- Enterprise Administrator (coming soon)
The new certification exams are:
- 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
- AZ – 300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
- AZ – 301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design
- AZ – 302: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition
- AZ – 400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions
The Transition Exams
You may have noticed that some of the exams listed above are transitional exams. These exams are for professionals who have already passed the 70-532, 533, or 535 exams, and are looking to transition to the new role-based Azure certifications without starting over. The transitional exams focus only on what’s new and not covered by the 70-XXX exams. It’s important to mind the dates here. Exams 532, 533, and 535 expire December 31, 2018. The transitional exams will be available until June 30, 2019. So, if you wish to transition your certification without starting over, you must take a transitional exam before June 30th. Here is the breakdown:
If you have passed 70-532, you can earn your Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification by passing AZ-202: Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition.
If you have passed 70-533, you can earn your Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification by passing AZ-102: Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition.
If you have passed 70-535, you can earn your Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification by passing AZ-302: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition.
What if I’m not currently certified?
If you wish to be an Azure certified professional and you do not currently hold any Microsoft Azure certifications, you do not need to worry about the transitional exams mentioned above. You simply need to choose the role-based path you wish to pursue and get to studying for your certification exam. While the content is new, the format of the exam or the process for signing up and taking a Microsoft certification exam has not changed.
The last three Azure certifications — DevOps Engineer, Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator, and Enterprise Administrator — will be launched before the end of 2018. Aside from Azure, Microsoft’s forums confirm that more role-based certifications will be rolled out in 2019. If you earn one of these new certifications, make sure to check out the new, redesigned badges from Microsoft so you can proudly show off your skills.
Stay tuned on ITProTV’s social media for more Microsoft certification information and reference Microsoft’s blogs for additional information. To hear more about what our edutainers, Cherokee and Mike, learned at Ignite last month, check out this episode of Technado. Start learning for your Microsoft certification today with binge-worthy learning from ITProTV.