How to Become A Microsoft Azure Certified in 2021

Are you just starting to build your technical knowledge about Microsoft Azure? Do you want to know where to go next? A Microsoft Azure certification can help you to expand your skills and advance your career. This article contains current and relevant information about Microsoft Azure certification pathways. Let me begin by explaining Microsoft’s role-based certificates and listing all Azure certifications currently available.

There are many learning options available, depending on what your job role is and your career goals. These range from Azure DevOps engineer to Azure solutions architect. After you have decided which certification you wish to pursue, you will be able to find an upcoming Microsoft exam that you can take remotely at home or at a testing center. It is important to understand the Azure certifications before you start studying.

Microsoft role-based certificates

Microsoft launched role-based certifications for Azure in 2018, to help align Azure skills and knowledge with business and career requirements.

There are currently nine Azure certifications that are role-based. Microsoft updates this list as technology changes and career paths change. The following Azure role-based certifications have been made available as of mid 2020. They are listed in alphabetical order by difficulty level.

  • Azure Administrator
  • Azure AI Engineer
  • Azure Data Engineer
  • Azure Data Scientist
  • Azure Database Administrator
  • Azure Developer
  • Azure DevOps Engineer
  • Azure Security Engineer
  • Azure Solutions Architect

These Azure certifications begin at the beginner level before progressing to intermediate and advanced experience levels.

Get started with Azure fundamentals

You’ll need to know the basics if you are new to cloud computing, or if you’re working with Azure for the first-time. The fundamentals are what you need to know in order to get Azure certifications. The AZ-900 Fundamentals certification is Microsoft’s basic certification for Azure. Although this certification does not require any other Azure certifications it is a great way to get started with Azure.

Topics covered in the Azure Fundamentals AZ900 exam include:

  • Cloud concepts (20-25%)
  • Core Azure services (15-20%)
  • Azure core solutions and management tools (10-15%)
  • Security features for general and network security (10-15%)
  • 20-25% Identity, Governance, Privacy, and Compliance Features
  • Service level agreements and cost management for Azure (10-15%)

This track will give you a foundational understanding of Azure cloud services after completion.

You can find more information about this exam at the official exam landing page.

Role-based Azure certificates

After you have a solid foundation and pass the Azure Fundamentals certification exam many cloud computing specialists will choose their learning path based upon their role in an IT team or their career goals.

There are many role-based certifications available. They are all available, each with the appropriate certification and exam.

Azure Administrator Associate

The most sought-after Azure certification is the Administrator Associate.

If this aligns with your career goals, it could be your next step. You will need to pass the AZ104 exam in order to obtain this certification. You will be awarded your next Microsoft badge after completing the learning path. Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate This certification is associated with the administrator role.


The Azure Administrator Associate AZ104 exam tests your knowledge and skills in how to:

  • Manage Azure identities and governance (15-20%)
  • Storage management (10-15%)
  • Manage and deploy Azure compute resources (25-30%)
  • Manage and configure virtual networking (30-35%)
  • Monitor and back up Azure resources (10-15%)

This track will prepare you to manage and implement Microsoft Azure environments in your organization.

Are you interested? Are you interested?

Azure AI Engineer

There are two types of exams available if you’re interested in a career as an artificial intelligence engineer (AI). To get familiar with the subject, you might want to take the AI-900 beginner exam. However, it is not necessary to pass the AI-100 intermediate level exam.


The Azure AI Fundamentals exam AI-900 measures your knowledge and skills in:

  • Considerations and workloads for AI (15-20%)
  • Machine learning fundamentals on Azure (30-35%)
  • Azure 15-20% for computer vision workloads
  • Azure workloads for Natural Language Processing (NLP), (15-20%)
  • Conversational AI workloads for Azure (15-20%)

This exam will give you the Microsoft Certified Azure AI Fundamentals certificate. This track will give you a foundational understanding of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), concepts, and related Microsoft Azure services.

Are you interested? More information is available on the AI900 official exam landing page.

The intermediate AI-100 exam corresponds with Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associatecertification .

Azure AI Associate AI 100 exam will assess your knowledge and skills in:

  • Solutions requirements (25-30%)
  • Designing AI solutions (40-55%)
  • Implementing and monitoring AI solutions (25-30%)

This track will give you the skills and knowledge to design and implement AI apps using Microsoft Azure tools.

You can learn more about this exam on the AI100 official exam landing page.

Azure Data Engineer

Data engineer and Data scientist are both available for data-related certifications and learning paths.

Multiple exams are available to help you become an Azure data engineer. To become Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals certified if you’re a beginner, take the DP900 exam.

The Azure Data Fundamentals DP900 exam tests your knowledge and skills in how to:

  • Describe core data concepts (15-20%)
  • How to use relational data in Azure (25-30%)
  • How to use Azure non-relational data (25-30%)
  • Define an Azure analytics workload (25-30%)

This track will allow you to be proficient in relational and nonrelational data, as well as other data workloads including transactional and analytic.

Are you interested? More information is available on the DP900 official exam landing page.

Two exams are required to obtain intermediate certification AzureData Engineer Associate. Both the DP-200 exam and DP-201 exam cover designing and implementing an Azure data solution.

The Azure Data Solutions DP-200 exam will assess your knowledge and skills in:

  • Implementing data storage solutions (40 to 45%)
  • Data processing management and development (25-30%)
  • Monitoring and optimizing data solutions (30-35%).

This track will prepare you to implement data solutions using Azure services such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Synapse Analytics.

You will be tested on your knowledge of these topics in the Designing an Azure Data Solution DP201 exam.

  • Designing Azure data storage solutions (40-45%)
  • Data processing design (25-30%)
  • Designing for data compliance and security (25-30%)

This track will prepare you to design data solutions using the following Azure services: Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Synapse Analytics.

This is what you should be interested in. Visit the DP-201 official exam landingpage.

Azure Data Scientist

The DP-100 exam may be the right exam for you if the Azure Data Scientist job sounds appealing to you. Although DP-900 does not require you to have this certification, it is a good way to get started. This intermediate exam allows you to earn the Azure data scientist associate certification.

You will be tested on your ability to:

  • Create an Azure machine learning workspace (30-35%).
  • Train models and run experiments (25-30%)
  • Manage models (20-25%)
  • Models to deploy and consume (20-25%)

This track will give you certification in data science, machine learning, and your ability to run Azure machine learning workloads.


Azure Database Administrator

Is there a database-related certification exam? Yes. Start with the DP-900 beginner exam. I have already covered it. This will give you the Microsoft Certified Azure Data Fundamentals badge.

You can move on from your fundamentals certification and take the DP300 associate (intermediate), level exam as part the Azure Data Administrator role. This exam covers both database implementation and management.

Your ability to administer relational databases on Microsoft Azure DP300 will be measured by the exam.

  • Implement and plan data platform resources (15-20%)
  • Implement a secure environment (15-20%)
  • Monitor and optimize your operational resources (15-20%)
  • Optimize query performance (5-10%)
  • Automate tasks (10-15%)
  • Plan and implement high availability and disaster recovery environments (15-20%)
  • T-SQL (between 10 and 15%) is used for administration.

This track will demonstrate your ability to implement and manage the operational aspects cloud-native or hybrid data platform solutions built using Azure Data Services and SQL Server.

DevOps Engineer and Azure Developer

Are you interested in becoming an Azure DevOps engineer expert? This certification requires two steps. Prepare and pass the AZ204 Azure Developer Associate exam. This is covered under the Azure Developer job. This certification certifies that you are able to design, build and test cloud apps and services using Microsoft Azure.

The Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure AZ-204 exam tests your knowledge and skills in:

  • Azure compute solutions development (25-30%)
  • Developing for Azure storage (10-15%)
  • Implementing Azure security (15-20%)
  • Monitoring, troubleshooting and optimizing Azure solutions (10-15%)
  • Connecting to Azure services and third party services (25-30%)

After passing this exam, you’ll be Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate.

This track will allow you to certify your ability to design, build and test cloud services and applications on Microsoft Azure.

Are you interested? You might be interested in more information on the AZ-204 official exam landing webpage.

You can now pursue advanced certification as a DevOps Engineer Expert. This requires passing the AZ-400 Designing, Implementing and Monitoring Microsoft DevOps Solutions exam. It is part of the Azure DevOps engineer role. This expert-level certification requires some prerequisites. Before taking this exam, you must have passed either the AZ104 (administrator), or AZ204 (developer), associate level exams.

You will be tested on your knowledge and skills in the Developing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions exam (AZ-400).

  • Develop an instrumentation strategy (5-10%)
  • Develop a strategy for site reliability engineering (5-10%)
  • Develop a security and compliance program (10-15%)
  • Managing source control (10-15%)
  • Facilitate collaboration and communication (10-15%)
  • Implementing continuous integration (20-25%)
  • Implementing a continuous delivery strategy (from 10-15%)

Although this certification is not easy to obtain, it is highly rewarding and valuable. This track will show you how to create a strategy for web application implementation and implement web applications with continuous integration.

Are you interested? You might be interested in the AZ400 official exam landing page.

Azure Security Engineer

Security, security and more security. In the technology sector, there are always enough security specialists. It is essential to implement security controls and protect your organization from threats. This role-based certification path for Azure security engineers is a great choice if you’re interested in this career. The AZ-505 exam is required to obtain Microsoft Certified as Azure Security Engineer Associate certification.

Microsoft Azure Security Technologies (AZ500) exam tests your knowledge and skills in how to:

  • Manage access and identity (20-25%)
  • Implement platform protection (35-40%)
  • Security operations (15-20%)
  • Secure data and applications (30-35%).

This track will teach you how to manage identity and access, implement security controls, and protect data in an Azure environment.

This official exam landing page provides more information about the exam.

Azure Solutions Architect

Last but not least is the Solution Architect role which is an expert-level certificate. It involves passing the AZ303 and AZ304 expert-level exams.

You will be tested on these topics by taking the Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (AZ-303) examination.

  • Monitoring and implementing an Azure infrastructure (50-55%).
  • Implementing security and management solutions (25-30%)
  • Implementing apps solutions (10-15%)
  • Implementing and managing data platform (10-15%)

This track will equip you with the skills to create solutions for Microsoft Azure using compute, networking and storage.

These skills will be tested in the Microsoft Azure Architect Design (AZ-304) examination.

  • Design monitoring (10-15%)
  • 25-30% Security and design identity
  • Design data storage (15-20%)
  • Design business continuity (10-15%)
  • Design infrastructure (25-30%)

This track will show you how to design solutions for Microsoft Azure.

What is the best way to take an exam? What are your options for taking an exam?

Any Pearson VUE testing center around the world can give any of the Microsoft exams. You can also take some exams at Certiport test centres. You can find more information about exam schedules on the Microsoft official exam webpage. To ensure you have the most current information, make sure you check before scheduling your exam.

Pearson VUE allows you to schedule your exam online. You can also take the exam from anywhere you are located, at home or in the office. This option saves time and eliminates the need to drive to the exam center.

You have many options for building your professional Azure skills. It is often the hardest part of learning Azure. Once you have a good understanding of Azure and the basics, you will not want to stop. Azure cloud computing can be addictive.

Get started today with Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ900 exam preparation. After that, you can move on to the next accomplishment with the path that suits your best.

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