Microsoft has restructured its Azure certifications into a role-based model that it states will more directly focus on the building of skills and knowledge aligned to job roles.  This change was made after engaging their tech community and identifying what is required to support those job roles. The modifications to the certifications have been in beta since September 2018, with an effective release in December 2018 and January 2019. The exception is the DevOps certification, which is an official certification, but the exam has entered post-beta and is still awaiting official release as of the time of this post.

 

The new role-based certifications are split into three tiers of designation, each of which earns you a different level of Microsoft certification:

  • Fundamentals
    • Pass the AZ-900 exam
  • Associate
    • Pass  AZ-100 and AZ-101, or AZ-203
  • Expert
    • Pass the AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams
      or
      Pass the AZ-400 exam

 

And there currently are five Azure based certifications spread across these three levels.  All of these are new certifications, not refreshes of previous Azure certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals (Fundamentals)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator (Associate)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Developer (Associate)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect (Expert)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps (Expert)

 

All of the exams supporting each of these certifications are entirely new.  Those exams supporting what are now retired Azure certifications are not applicable to these certifications (70-532, 70-533, 70-535).

Fundamental and Associate level certifications do not have prerequisites. You can earn each without needing the certifications or exams from another.

 

Let’s review the basics of each certification and their exam requirements.

 

Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals

This is a new certification, designed to demonstrate foundation level knowledge of Azure-based cloud services. It is geared toward people in non-technical roles, such as sales and purchasing, or for those in technical roles looking to validate foundation level knowledge in cloud services.  

To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:


Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-900 exam by the end of 
Q2 2019.


 

Microsoft Certified Administrator Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate associate level knowledge of how to implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions. It includes major services related to compute, storage, network, and security, and is aimed at those in administrative and technical roles looking to validate administration knowledge in cloud services.

To obtain this certification, you need to complete two exams. Combined, these replace the now retired 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam:

If you have already passed 70-533,  then you have through June 2019 (at which point it will be retired) to pass only the single transition exam:


Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-100 exam very soon,
 and a course for the AZ-101 exam by the end of Q2 2019.


 

Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to design, build, test, and maintain cloud solutions, such as applications and services. It also tests the ability to partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement these solutions. It is designed for those in developer and technical roles looking to validate development and implementation knowledge in cloud services.


To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Note that there is not a transition process provided by Microsoft for those who have passed the retired 70-532 exam and earned associated certifications.  If you have passed 70-532, you must still pass AZ-203 to earn this certification. Also note that as part of the beta exam program, there was a transition exam, AZ-202, but this exam is retired as of 1/1/2019 and will not qualify for a certification transition.

Finally, there were also two beta exams, AZ-200 and AZ-201. These have also been retired, and do not currently factor into the new certification.

Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-203 exam by the end of Q1 2019.


 

Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect (expert designation)

This is a new certification designed to demonstrate solutions architect level expertise in compute, network, storage, security, and designing solutions that run on Azure. It is for those in architect and leadership roles looking to validate expertise in cloud services.

To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:

If you have already passed 70-535,  then you have through June 2019 to pass only the single transition exam (at which point it will be retired):


Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-300 exam by the end of 
Q1 2019, and a course for the AZ-301 exam by the end of Q2 2019.  We will not be creating a course for the transition exam, AZ-302.


 

Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert

This is a new certification designed to demonstrate knowledge of how to combine people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives.

To earn this certification, you must first earn either the Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification and pass the following exam:


Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-400 exam by the end of 
Q2 2019.


 

 

Summary

Here is a quick summary of the changes to the Microsoft exams supporting their certifications, and the roadmap for Linux Academy:

 

The following 70-* exams have been retired and no longer count toward certifications:

 

During the transition process, Microsoft created the following exams as part of the beta, but which have been subsequently retired and will not count towards the new certifications:

 

The current set of Microsoft exams supporting new Azure certifications are:

 

There are two transition exams which will be retired in June 2019, and for which Linux Academy will not be developing courses:

 

Courses under development at Linux Academy for release by the end of Q1 2019:

 

Courses planned for development and release by the end of Q2 2019:

 

 

It is not often that Microsoft reworks their certifications and exams. They usually do it every 3-5 years. We realize this may cause inconvenience for some of our students, but we’re working around the clock to deliver content to support these new certifications as quickly as possible.

We hope to see you in the new Azure courses!

January course launch

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