Microsoft announced major changes to its existing azure certification path in 2018. The announcement was known as the era of modern technology. Changes made to the certifications were made to ensure that the azure certifications were more role-based. In line with the announcement, Microsoft retired some of its Microsoft azure exams at the end of 2019.

New Microsoft Azure Certifications Path

The current role-based azure certifications have paved a learning path that goes from the fundamental level to the associate level down to the expert level. Below are some Microsoft azure certification paths for different roles;

  1. Azure Fundamentals

The azure fundamentals (AZ-900) is a foundational exam level introduced newly into the Azure certifications path. It is particularly made for those who want to show their basic knowledge of cloud services using Microsoft Azure. The AZ-900 is the first step towards the associate and expert level of the Azure certification. Though it is an optional step as those with no technical knowledge and a little knowledge of cloud services can take it. Certifying your foundational knowledge will bring benefits in the long run. 

  1. Azure Administrator Associate

For the Azure administrator associate, one needs to pass one exam, which is the AZ-103 and obtain the Azure administrator certification. After passing the certification exam, you will be awarded a badge of Azure Administrator Associate. 

May 1, 2019, saw aspirants pass only the AZ-103 to receive the Azure developer associate certification. The exam combines the skills and features of the AZ-100 and AZ-101. It also acts as a condition for Microsoft certified Azure DevOps engineer exam.

To achieve success in the exam;

  • You should have previous knowledge of azure applications, cloud services, storage infrastructure, and operating systems. 
  • Knowledge of command the line interface and PowerShell would be an added advantage. 
  • The aspirant should also have a basic knowledge of virtualization tools and network components. 
  1. 3. Azure Developer Associate

Similarly, you need to pass only one certification exam, which is the AZ-203 for the Azure developer associate. After passing the certification exam, you will be given a badge of azure developer associate. 

Since the AZ-203 is for Azure developers who are into designing and building cloud solutions on the Azure platform, some conditions must be fulfilled such as; 

  • The candidate should have the command of developing services and applications by using Azure tools and technologies. 
  • One year of experience of developing scalable solutions
  • It should be adept in at least one cloud programming language
  1. Azure Solution Architect Expert

As per the new Azure certification path, you will have to pass two certifications exam for this title; Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (AZ-300) and Microsoft Azure Architect Design (AZ-301). On completion of the certification exams, you will receive a badge of Azure Solution Architect Expert. Notably, the beta version of the AZ-300 exam has been retired. 

  • Some conditions necessary for the Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (AZ-300) are;
  • Prior knowledge of security, identity, data management, and IT operations is needed
  • One year of experience 
  • Knowledge of DevOps, azure administration and azure development
  1. 5. Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

Those who have received the badge of Azure administrator associate or the Azure developer associate can go on to get the azure DevOps expert engineer certification. Whether you are an Azure Administrator associate or an Azure developer associate, you need to pass the Microsoft DevOps solutions exam (AZ-400) to become an Azure DevOps engineer. 

Conditions to meet before taking the AZ-400 exam are; 

  • Candidates should be familiar with both Azure development and Azure administration and proficient in at least one of these areas. 
  • Knowledgeable in Agile practices
  • Be able to design and implement DevOps for infrastructure as code, configuration management, release, compliance, version control, and testing with the use of Azure technologies.
  1. Azure Security Engineer Associate

This is a new role added to the role-based Azure certification path. To obtain this certification, candidates need to pass only one certification exam, which is the AZ-500 (Microsoft Azure Technology exam). The certification was recently launched for Azure security engineers. Other certifications are not needed before taking the AZ-500. Though it is recommended to pass the Az-900 exam before going for it. 

The prerequisites for the AZ-500 exam includes the following; 

  • Deep knowledge of cloud N-tier architecture, virtualization networking as well as Amazon Kubernetes services
  • Using your dexterity in recognizing and addressing weaknesses using various security tools, implementing security solutions for the protection of data, network, and applications. 
  • Knowledgeable in scripting and automation and maintaining security status.
  1.  Azure Data Engineer Associate

The data engineer associate is also one of the latest addition of certification to the Azure path. The certification is unique to individuals who aim to pursue the role of Azure data engineer. They specialize in designing and implementing data management, security, privacy, and monitoring. Azure engineers also show comprehensive knowledge in the complete stack of Azure data services, which are used in addressing business requirements. Before one can receive the Azure data engineer associate, the candidates will have to clear two certification exams, which are the DP-200 and the DP-201 to earn the title of Azure Data Engineer Associate.

List of Some of The Expired Azure Certifications 

Below is the list of expired Azure certifications for the Azure Administrator Associate and Azure Developer Associate role;

  • AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment
  • AZ-101 Microsoft Azure Integration and Security
  • AZ-200 Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions
  • AZ-201 Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions
  • AZ-202 Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition
  • AZ-302: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect
  • All MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE certifications will be expiring soon

How can you prepare for new Microsoft Azure Certifications

  • Go through the exam detail 
  • Check Course Content and Prerequisites
  • Check Exam Overview
  • Take Help of Exam Guide
  • Study Certifications Whitepapers
  • Read recommendation books
  • Take sample questions and practice testing

Finally, if you are thinking of a career in Microsoft Azure certification, you must know the breadth and its future future. As the certification deals with cloud proficiency, it is highly recommendable to choose one of these certifications in your azure career path and pursue the certification. The certifications encompass security, reliability, storage, networking, and aspects of administration.