Cloud computing dominates today's fast-growing technological era like never before. Thus, there's stiff competition amongst various industry giants to mark their presence in the cloud arena through their unique and top-notch services. AWS, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Rackspace are some of the popular names in the fast-pacing cloud environment. Another big name that has emerged as one of the market leaders with almost 30% application workload of the overall cloud market is Microsoft Azure.  

Thus, Microsoft Azure certification has become one of the most demanding professional learning pathways to thriving in the cloud market. Whether you are looking to gain an Azure certification or planning to explore the Azure learning path, the Microsoft Azure certification course is just the right one for you. The entire learning method is filled with hands-on labs, interactive sessions, and lab challenges that provide you with hands-on skill training and practical knowledge in live environments so that you can get the most out of it.

A Brief Look at the Microsoft Azure Certifications

The Azure learning path comprises 12 Microsoft Azure certifications that are organized into three levels - Fundamental, Associate, and Expert. The certifications are meant to prepare the candidates apt for market job roles. Furthermore, at the fundamental level, the two latest certifications are Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals Exam AI-900 and Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals Exam DP-900.

Here we will discuss the best Fundamental and Associate level certifications that might help you in understanding the cloud. 

Microsoft Azure Fundamental Level Certifications

  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam AZ-900 - This certification is the ideal one for non-technical candidates who wish to understand cloud services such as sales, purchase, marketing, and more. It is one of the best foundational levels that imparts knowledge about Azure cloud services. 

It covers the following areas:

  • Foundational cloud concepts like High Availability(HA), Scalability, Fault Tolerance(FT), Disaster Recovery, Difference between CapEx and OpEx.
  • Azure Resource Manager, Azure Architectural Components.
  • Azure Firewall, DDoS Protection, Network Security Group (NSG), Azure Subscription, Purchasing of Azure services and products, Azure free account, Pricing calculator.

There are no such prerequisites for this certification. The exam will be of 60 minutes duration and will contain 30-40 questions. The required passing score is 700 and this certification would cost $99.

  • Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals Exam AI-900 - This is a new fundamental level certification of Microsoft Azure that is more focused on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Thus, candidates aspiring for this certification are required to have basic knowledge about these two skills.

It covers the following areas:

  • AI workloads, features of common AI workloads, principles guiding AI.
  • Fundamentals of machine learning on Azure, common machine learning types and scenarios, features of computer vision workloads on Azure, common types of computer vision solutions.
  • Azure tools and services for NLP workloads, features of conversational AI workloads on Azure, common uses of conversational AI Azure services.

This certification costs $99 and there's no special prerequisite except a little knowledge of AI and Machine Learning. 

  • Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals Exam DP-900 - This is another new certification that is based on core data concepts such as relational or non-relational data while implementing them on the Microsoft data framework. Thus, candidates willing to earn this certification should have prior knowledge about these concepts. 

It covers the following areas:

  • Data workloads, streaming data, data analytics.
  • Relational data workloads, relational Azure data services like comparing PaaS, laaS, and SaaS delivery models.
  • Query techniques for data using SQL language, basic management tasks for relational data.
  • Provisioning and deployment of non-relational data services, analytics workloads, components of modern data warehouse, data ingestion, and processing on Azure, data visualization on Microsoft Power BI.

The certification exam costs $99 and there are no essential prerequisites for this certification.

Microsoft Azure Associate Level Certifications

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate Exam AZ-104 - This certification is the latest and updated version of a previous one. It is meant to test the knowledge of candidates in the configuration and management of computing, storage, virtual networking, and monitoring in the Azure cloud environment. 

It covers the following areas:

  • Management of Azure Ad objects, role-based access control, subscriptions, and governance
  • Storage accounts and data in Azure storage, the configuration of Azure files, Azure blob storage, configuration of storage tiers for Azure blobs.
  • Creation and configuration of VMs, containers, and web apps
  • Virtual networking backup and Azure resources.

For this exam, Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam AZ-900 is required. The exam costs $165.

  • Microsoft Azure Developer Associate Exam AZ-204 - It is the updated version of the former AZ-203. For this certification, candidates are required to be well-acquainted with designing, building, and testing Azure-based apps and services.

It covers the following areas:

  • Implementation of PaaS services and Azure functions
  • Cosmos DB storage and blob storage.
  • Azure security implementation such as user authentication and authorization and role-based access.
  • Troubleshooting and Azure solutions

The exam costs $165 and it is good if you qualify for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam AZ-900.

  • Microsoft Azure Security Engineer - Associate Exam AZ-500 - This certification focuses on security controls, access management, and cloud-based security solutions. It thus requires strong skills in automation and scripting, virtualization technology and virtual networking, and Microsoft cloud services as well. 

It covers the following areas:

  • MS AD, Azure identity management, Azure tenant security
  • Network and container security, Azure resource management security, security alerts management, configuration of SSL/TLS for application security

The exam consists of 40-60 questions of 150 minutes duration and costs $165.

So, these are some of the curated Microsoft Azure certifications that fall under the Fundamental and Associate levels. So if you are keen on learning about the cloud network from scratch and prepare yourself for the expert-level exams, do choose the above-mentioned certifications. These certifications will not only land you a high-paying job but will also help you become a trained cloud expert, a legacy that will enlighten your life forever.