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Mastering the Microsoft Azure Certification Path: Your Roadmap to Cloud Expertise


Azure is an incredibly popular cloud computing platform that’ll keep on expanding. As businesses transition from on-premise workloads to the cloud, the demand for Azure IT professionals is skyrocketing.

This article is your guide to attaining an Azure certification, exploring its jobs possibilities, and landing your dream Azure job.

What is Azure Certification?

Azure certification is offered by Microsoft. These certifications help professionals seeking roles as developers, and information technology professionals, in data, and artificial intelligence.

A Microsoft Azure certification helps you to embark on your cloud-based professional journey and pave your path from there. As of now, Microsoft offers certification levels depending on the skills and expertise of the candidate.

Are Azure Certifications Worth it in 2023?


The world of cloud computing continues to evolve, which means Azure certifications aren’t going to lose their value any time soon.


As cloud computing grows, the demands for well-certified professionals also keeps on expanding. An Azure certification not only depicts your expertise, but it also demonstrates your commitment to the profession, leading to increased job opportunities and higher salaries.

Benefits of Getting Azure Certified

The benefit of getting Azure-certified extends beyond a mere credential. Some of these benefits include:

  • Industry Recognition

Microsoft Azure holds a strong name in cloud computing. Getting Azure-certified keeps you at the forefront of professionals and helps to understand the intricacies of cloud platforms. This certification enhances your profile and makes you stand out.

  • Enhanced Employability 

The worldwide recognition for Microsoft Azure increases your chances of employment greatly. You stand out as a valuable potential addition to the company you apply to and make a depict your expertise for handling the offered role.

  • Hands-on Experience 

Microsoft Azure certifications involve practical implementations. That means you’ll solve real-world problems and develop a practical understanding of what you learn in theory. This helps you get ready to tackle real-world challenges.

  • Validates Your Skills

Microsoft Azure certification follows a rigorous preparation and testing plan. These practices help you gain insights, analyze gaps in your knowledge, and help you develop real-world skills needed to handle complex problems.

  • Elevates Confidence 

With an Azure certification in hand, you get this sense of accomplishment and an instilled confidence in your abilities. This confidence lets you execute your tasks effectively and handle workloads in a streamlined manner.


Where should You Begin with Azure Certifications?

The first step to attaining any certification is building a foundation. For the Azure certification, the first step is to attain the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification.

Understanding cloud computing can be intimidating as first, but this certification helps to break down everything in a comprehensive manner so any beginner can understand.

The certification is targeted towards anyone with zero to 2 years of experience, or someone just starting their cloud computing profession.

What are the 4 Microsoft Azure Certifications Levels?

The four Microsoft Azure Certifications include:

  • Fundamentals 
  • Associate 
  • Expert 
  • Specialty 

All these certifications focus on helping you build the skills and knowledge required for your dream job role. 

Let’s look at them in detail.


  • Fundamentals

Mastering the basics in Microsoft Azure helps you ump start your career and dive deeper into the technical opportunities that companies offer. 

The Fundamentals certification validates your foundational knowledge of cloud concepts such as networking, compute, storage, and features like secure and govern as well. 

For building the foundation, you can take any of the following certifications:

  • AZ-900: Microsoft azure fundamentals certification

Attaining this certification demonstrates your foundational knowledge of cloud concepts in Microsoft Azure and general as well. It’s a starting point for many cloud-computing professionals. 

After attaining the certification, you’ll be able to describe Azure architectural components and services such as storage, networking, and compute.

  • AI-900: Microsoft AI Fundamentals

This certification helps you expand your knowledge on machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) concepts. The exam material is designed for candidates with both technical and non-technical backgrounds.

However, it’s beneficial to have a basic understanding of basic cloud concepts and client-server applications.

  • DP-900: Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals

The Azure Data Fundamentals encompasses core data concepts and related Microsoft Azure data services. This certification is for candidates who are ready to begin working with data in the cloud.

It requires familiarity with concepts of relational and non-relational data, and different types of data workloads like analytical or transactional.

B. Associate

These are a list of certifications that you can acquire after building a foundation. These certifications are a testament to your ability to accomplish tasks like implementing and managing storage, managing Azure identities and governance, monitoring and maintain Azure resources, etc.

  • AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate

For attaining this certification, you should have subject matter expertise in executing, delegating, and analyzing an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment. This includes: 

  • Security
  • Governance 
  • Identity 
  • Virtual networks 
  • Compute 
  • Storage 

You should also be able to coordinate with other roles to deliver Azure security, database, and DevOps solutions, additionally, your knowledge with tools like Azure CLI and PowerShell is also important.

  • AZ-204: Microsoft Azure Developer Associate

This certification helps you get ready to participate in all phases of development, including, gathering, development, design, security, performance tuning, and deployment. 

You should also have knowledge on data connections, APIs, SDK, debugging, app authentication and authorization. 

Moreover, you’re also required to have at least two years of professional development with Azure. You should be proficient in using tools like Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, and also be able to program in an Azure-supported language. 

  • DP-100: Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate

For this certification, you should have expertise in applying machine learning and data science for implementing and running machine learning workloads on Azure. 

The typical responsibilities associated with this role include: 

  • Training machine learning models and exploring data 
  • Designing and creating a suitable working environment for data science workloads 
  • Running jobs to prepare for production 

You should have experience and in-depth knowledge in data science for this certification and be able to use MLflow and Azure Machine Learning. 

  • DP-203: Microsoft Azure Data Engineer Associate

The Azure Data Engineer Associate requires the candidate to have subject matter expertise in transforming, consolidating, and integrating data from various sources, and streamlining data systems into an adequate schema for creating analytical solutions. 

You’ll be expected to utilize various Azure data services and frameworks to produce enhanced and different datasets for analysis. The data storage can be designed using different architecture patterns, including: 

  • Big data 
  • Lakehouse architecture 
  • Modern data warehouse (MDW)

Moreover, you’ll also be expected to have proficiency of data processing languages such as:

  • Python
  • SQL 
  • Scala 

You should also have an understanding of data architecture pattens and parallel processing. For creating data processing solutions, the certification will also require you to be able to use tools like Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Databricks, Azure Synapse Analytics, etc.


  • DP-300: Azure Database Administrator Associate

For this certification, you need to have knowledge in building database solutions designed to support multiple workloads built using:

  • Azure SQL services
  • SQL Server on-premises 

As a Azure database administrator, you’ll be responsible to manage and implement the operations of hybrid and cloud-native data platform solutions built on Azure SQL services and on SQL server. 

Your responsibilities include the following database solutions:

  • Availability 
  • Security 
  • Management 
  • Performance monitoring and optimization 

For taking the exam, you need to have experience with tools like:

  • Azure SQL Managed Instance 
  • SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (Linux and Windows)
  • Azure SQL Database 
  • PL-300: Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Associate

For taking this certification, you’ll be expected to deliver actionable insights by working with the data available and applying domain expertise. 

Some of the responsibilities associated with this role include:

  • Enabling others to perform self-service analytics 
  • Configuring and deploying solutions for consumption 
  • Providing meaningful business value through effective data visualizations 

In this role, you’ll also collaborate with enterprise data engineers and data analysts to identify and acquire date. Using Power BI, you will:

  • Create data models 
  • Transform the data 
  • Visualize data 
  • Share assets 
  • AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate

This certification opens up the role for Azure security engineer. You’ll be expected to implement, manage, and monitor security for resources in Azure, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.


You’ll also recommend security configurations and components to protect:

  • The data 
  • Identity and access 
  • Networks 
  • Applications 

Before taking the certifications, you should have strong grip on concepts like compute, storage, and network in Azure and Microsoft Entra. You should also have experience in administering Microsoft Azure and hybrid environments. 


C. Expert

As a candidate for the Expert certification, you should have in-depth knowledge and experience of IT operations like virtualization, security, business continuity, data platforms, disaster recovery, identity, and governance. 

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect  [AZ-305]

In this role, after passing the certification, you’ll have subject matter expertise in designing hybrid and cloud solutions that run on Azure, such as:

  • Network 
  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Monitoring 
  • Security 

The responsibilities for this role include translating business requirements into designs for Azure solutions. You’ll also partner with other professional, such as administrators, data engineers, and security engineers to implement solutions on Azure. 

You should also have advanced experience and knowledge of IT operations. Additionally, you’ll also be expected to have knowledge in DevOps processes, Azure development, and Azure administration. 

12) AZ-400: Microsoft DevOps Engineer Expert

For this certification, you’ll be working as a developer or infrastructure administrator who has expertise in working with processes, products, and people to ensure continuous delivery of value in organizations. 

As a DevOps engineer, you work on cross-functionals teams with:

  • Site reliability engineers 
  • Azure administrators 
  • Developers 

Additionally, you should be familiar with using GitHub and Azure DevOps. 


D. Specialty

The Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty certification requires you to be a server or desktop administrator with expertise in implementing, designing, managing, and maintaining Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop experiences. 

For executing these, you’ll be working with:

  • Azure security engineers
  • Azure architects 
  • Azure administrators 
  • Microsoft 365 administrators 

Additionally, you should also have experience with various Azure technologies, such as:

  • Resiliency 
  • Storage
  • Identity 
  • Networking 
  • Virtualization 


Which Azure Certification Path is Right for You?

The right Azure certification path depends on your skills and expertise. For instance, if you’re a beginner, the Fundamentals certification is the most suitable one. If you’re already familiar with Azure, you can move on to the associate-level certifications and so on. 

Best Resources to Prepare for Microsoft Azure Certifications

  • Study materials


Microsoft | Microsoft Azure

This platform provides different learning materials to grow your skills, build and manage applications in the cloud and on-premises, and amplify your knowledge. 


  • Online courses

Udemy | Microsoft Azure: From Zero to Hero – The Complete Guide

This is an online course with 20 hours of on-demand video and plenty of lessons. It has valuable insights on the certifications and helps you build important concepts for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification. Unlock exclusive savings with the provided Udemy coupon code, allowing you to enroll in courses and enhance your skills at a discounted rate.


Coursera | Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate (AZ-500) Professional Certificate

This course will help you learn Azure Active Directory to create and manage users, manage security and implement different perimeter, network, host, and container security services.



  • Practice tests

Microsoft | Practice Assessments for Microsoft Certifications

This contains several assessments for different levels in the Microsoft Azure certification series that help you assess your knowledge and fill gaps to excel in each certification. 


  • Books and PDF Guides

Amazon | Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals Study Guide Exam AZ-900

This book prepares you with everything you need to know for the fundamental’s certification. It helps you master complex topics and get an in-depth knowledge of everything included on the exam. 

Link: Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals Study Guide Exam AZ-900 

Microsoft | Study Guide for Exam AZ-900 

This is an official study guide that helps you understand the fundamentals of Microsoft Azure and let you evaluate whether or not this certification is right for you. 



  • YouTube tutorials

Edureka | Azure Full Course – Learn Microsoft Azure in 8 Hours | Azure Tutorial For Beginners

This video contains several insights for Azure. It is a full-fledge video to help you understand the intricacies in Microsoft Azure. 


  • Online forums and communities

Microsoft | Azure Community Support 

join this forum of like-minded individuals and ask technical questions for Azure, connect with Microsoft engineers, and expand your network. 



Career Prospects and Opportunities for Azure-Certified Professionals

  • Azure Administrator Associate

This job role involves maintaining and supervising all Azure solutions. The certifications allows an administrator to gain knowledge on computing, networks, security management and storage. 

  • Azure Data Engineer

For this role, your job will involve designing structures like data pipelines that can be formatted for effective use. You’ll also be required to supervise the company infrastructure.


  • Azure Database Administrator

This job role requires you to manage database solutions and provide top-notch security. You’ll also be responsible for overseeing database deployment, backup, recovery, compliance, security, and more. 


Microsoft Azure certifications are here to stay for the foreseeable future. They’re recognized by tech experts and are an excellent way to build your career in cloud computing and land a great job.

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