Top 16 Microsoft Azure certifications to expedite your IT career

With companies increasingly moving their data to cloud, there is an extensive need for more professionals with sound understanding and expertise of cloud technology.

Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure, ranks among the top in the industry. Enterprises find Azure’s hybrid feature appealing, as well as the wide range of tools offered on the platform. As per data from Statista, the Azure market share has been on an upsurge and now accounts for 21% of the worldwide cloud market, making earning an Azure certification a strong career move.

Here are 16 role-based Azure certifications that will give you an in-depth understanding of the skills and knowledge required to elevate your IT career using Microsoft’s cloud.

Top Microsoft Azure certifications

  • Azure Administrator Associate
  • Azure AI Engineer Associate
  • Azure Database Administrator Associate
  • Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • Azure Data Scientist Associate
  • Azure Developer Associate
  • Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate
  • Azure Network Engineer Associate
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate
  • Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate
  • Cybersecurity Architect Expert
  • DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Identity and Access Administrator Associate
  • Security Operations Analyst Associate
  • Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

Azure Administrator Associate

The certification is designed for professionals with expertise in implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, storage, governance, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment. Many a times, this role operates as a part of a bigger team devoted to implement an organization’s cloud infrastructure.

To earn this certification, you should have a minimum of six months of hands-on experience managing Azure. In addition, you would also require a good understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. It will also test your skills of deploying and managing Azure compute resources, as well as your ability to configure, monitor, and maintain Azure resources.

Job role: Administrator

Required exam: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure AI Engineer Associate

This certification validates your ability to develop AI solutions in collaobration with data engineers, data scientists, AI developers, and IoT specialists.

To earn this certification, you need to have a strong understanding of C# or Python and should have hands-on knowledge of REST-based APIs and SDKs to develop conversational AI solutions, natural language processing, computer vision, and knowledge mining on Azure. You should also be proficient enough to apply responsible AI principles and be able to plan and mange Azure Cognitive Services solution.

Job role: AI engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Database Administrator Associate

This certification demonstrates your ability to implement and manage the operational side of hybrid data platforms and cloud-native solutions developed with SQL Server and Azure data services. This exam verifies your proficiency in using varied methods and tools to execute regular operations, including know-how of using T-SQL for administrative management purposes.

The skill sets that the exam measures include the ability to: plan and implement data platform resources; implement a secure environment; examine, configure, and improve database resources; configure and manage task automation; and plan and configure a high availability and disaster recovery environment.

Job role: Database administrator

Required exam: Administering Microsoft Azure SQL Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Data Engineer Associate

This certification is a stamp of your expertise in integrating, consolidating, and transforming data pouring in from numerous structured and unstructured data systems and in providing structure to build analytics solutions on that data. An Azure data engineer ensures data pipelines and data stores are well-functioning, effective, structured, and reliable based on business requirements and limitations. You also need to navigate unexpected issues and reduce data loss.

To earn this certification, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of data processing languages, including Scala, SQL, or Python, and have an understanding of parallel processing and data architecture patterns. You should be able to design, implement, and optimize data storage, data processing, and data security.

Job role: Data engineer

Required exam: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Data Scientist Associate

This certification focuses on your expertise in leveraging data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure.

Candidates for this role should be able to conduct data experiments, train predictive models, and manage Azure resources for machine learning.

Job role: Data scientist

Required exam: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Developer Associate

The Azure Developer Associate certification is designed for professionals with one to two years of professional experience with Azure. It validates that a candidate is a cloud developer who takes part in all stages of development, deployment, and maintenance. And that the candidate works with cloud database administrators and clients to implement solutions.

The skills measured in the exam include the ability to develop Azure compute solutions; develop for Azure storage; implement Azure security; monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions; and connect to and use Azure services and third-party services.

Job role: Developer

Required exam: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate

The certification proves your standing to appropriately deal in areas of designing, creating, and deploying enterprise-scale data analytics solutions.

To achieve this certification, you should have advanced Power BI skills. You should have the expertise to implement and manage a data analytics environment; query and transform data, implement and manage data models; and explore and visualize data.

Job role: Data analyst

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Enterprise-Scale Analytics Solution Using Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Network Engineer Associate

The Azure Network Engineer Associate certification validates your prowess of deploying networking solutions by using the Azure portal and other methods such as PowerShell, Azure Command-Line Interface, and Azure Resources Manager templates. The certification demonstrates your aptitude to work with solution architects, security engineers, cloud administrators, and DevOps engineers to deliver Azure solutions.

The exam measures thorough expertise in planning, implementing, and maintaining Azure networking solutions comprising connectivity, routing, hybrid networking, security, and private access to Azure services.

Job role: Network engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Security Engineer Associate

This certification focuses on your expertise in implementing Azure Security Controls that secure identity, access, data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments. It proves your ability to execute responsibilities such as managing the security posture of the organization, responding to security incident escalation, conducting threat modeling, identifying and neutralizing detected flaws, and implementing threat protection.

To earn this certification, you need to have moderate to robust knowledge of most Azure offerings and an understanding of basic IT security principals. This exam tests your knowledge in four different subject areas: managing identity and access; implementing platform protection; managing security operations; and securing data and application.

Job role: Security engineer

Required exam: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Solutions Architect Expert

The certification validates your subject matter expertise in designing cloud and hybrid solutions on Azure, including network, compute, monitoring, storage, and security. It requires you to have advanced experience and deep knowledge of IT operations comprising networking, governance, disaster recovery, data platforms, virtualization, business continuity, identity, and security.

To earn it, you must have Azure Administrator Associate certification (see above), which tests your skills to implement, monitor, and manage an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment.

Job role: Solution architect

Required exam: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate

This certification focuses on your ability to plan, deploy, update, and maintain the Azure Stack Hub infrastructure. It evaluates your aptitude to work with teams that support datacenter infrastructure; teams that manage identity; and teams that use Azure Stack Hub resources such as DevOps engineers, developers, and virtual infrastructure administrators.

The certification requires you to possess strong experience in operating and managing Azure Stack Hub environments, and to do so by using PowerShell. It will also test the depth of your understanding of Azure, as well as your knowledge of networking, virtualization, and identity management as the certification is for administrator-level role.

Job role: Administrator

Required exam: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR                     

Cybersecurity Architect Expert

Cybersecurity Architect Expert is an enhanced certification that establishes your subject matter expertise in securing an organization’s digital assets by deploying cybersecurity strategy. It also focuses on your ability to design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture, which comprises applications, security strategies for data, identity and access management, and infrastructure. This exam also evaluates Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies; security operations strategies; and experience of hybrid and cloud implementation.

To earn this certification, you must have at least one of the following certifications: Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate; Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate; Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate; or Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate.

Job role: Security engineer, administrator, solution architect, security operations analyst

Required exam: Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

DevOps Engineer Expert

The DevOps Engineer Expert certification proves your ability to plan and implement strategies for collaboration, code, source control, infrastructure, compliance, monitoring, delivery, testing, constant integration, monitoring, and feedback. It requires you to possess experience with administering and developing in Azure, with solid skills in at least one of these domains. You need to be acquainted with both Azure DevOps and GitHub.

The exam evaluates your ability to develop an instrumentation strategy; oversee source control; design a security and compliance strategy; plan and implement constant integration; plan and implement a continuous delivery and release management approach; enable communication and collaboration; and build a site reliability engineering strategy.

To earn this certification, you must have either the Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification.

Job role: DevOps engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Identity and Access Administrator Associate

The certification verifies your ability to design, implement, and operate an organization’s identity and access management systems by putting into use the Azure Active Directory. It also validates your expertise to configure and manage authentication and authorization of identities for Azure resources, users, devices, and applications.

Job role: Administrator, identity and access administrator, security engineer

Required exam: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Security Operations Analyst Associate

This certification validates your skills in collaborating with stakeholders to secure IT systems from cyberattacks. It demonstrates that you are capable of reducing organizational risk by promptly emending active attacks in the systems, recommending improvements to threat protection practices, and stating breaches of organizational policies to applicable stakeholders.

The certification establishes that you are efficient for the role that predominantly investigates, responds to, and tracks attacks applying Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Microsoft 365 Defender, and third-party security products.

Job role: Security engineer, security operations analyst

Required exams: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

This certification proves your expertise in configuring and managing windows server workloads using on-premises, hybrid, and infrastructure-as-a-service technologies. It also demonstrates your ability to execute tasks in line with security, monitoring, migration, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery. It also covers Azure Automation update management, Microsoft Defender for identity, Azure Security Center, Azure Migrate, and Azure Monitor.

This certification tests your ability to deploy and manage active directory domain services in on-premises and cloud environments; manage windows servers and workloads in a hybrid environment; implement and manage an on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure; manage virtual machines and containers; manage storage and file services; and implement disaster recovery. You should have vast experience working with Windows Server operating systems.

Job role: Administrator,identity and access administrator,support engineer, network engineer, information protection administrator, technology manager, security engineer

Required exams: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure and Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD + $165 USD = $330 USD

India: ₹4800 INR + ₹4800 INR = ₹9600 INR

https://www.cio.com/article/409828/top-16-microsoft-azure-certifications-to-expedite-your-it-career.html

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