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Microsoft IT Certifications Path in 2024

Microsoft IT certifications, globally recognized for diverse technology proficiency, enhance credibility in the IT sector, establishing a skills benchmark that appeals to employers. Acquiring certifications opens paths for career progression, potentially elevating salaries and enhancing employability. In essence, Microsoft certifications provide a strategic path for personal and professional growth.

As for the Microsoft certification path, it serves as a method for verifying expertise in various Microsoft technologies and roles through exams and training. Structured as a comprehensive framework, it encompasses levels and products, offering thorough competence verification. This article guides you through the Microsoft certification path, delving into prominent 2024 certifications, providing insights into evolving skills, industry demands, recent changes, and tips for optimal certification preparation.

Exploring the specifics of Microsoft’s Certification Path

To start with, choosing the appropriate Microsoft certification path is essential for career advancement and competitiveness in the rapidly changing tech environment. The array of certifications available can be overwhelming, so for effective navigation, it’s essential to align certifications with career goals and aspirations, assess the present skill set, and consider industry demands.

Microsoft offers role-based certifications aligned with IT industry roles, including Developer, AI Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Data Analyst, and Security Operations Analyst, among many. The company deliberately designed these credentials to be role-based, focusing on the skills essential for success in prevalent IT roles utilizing Azure. Microsoft is careful to synchronize these certifications with the latest industry trends, ensuring their relevance to standards.

Azure certifications by Microsoft are specifically tailored to cater to the most sought-after jobs in the cloud domain, including roles such as AI Engineer, Cloud Administrator, Cloud Developer, Cloud Solutions Architect, Data Engineer, Data Scientist, DevOps Engineer, Functional Consultant, Security Engineer, and Solutions Architect. With a diverse range of certification exams, Microsoft ensures professionals can enhance their skills and remain relevant in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Additionally, Microsoft certifications are classified based on associated products, covering Azure (cloud services), Microsoft 365 (collaboration tools), Dynamics 365 (business applications), SQL Server, and Microsoft Power Platform, to name a few. This inclusive categorization enables professionals at different career stages to showcase their expertise in specific Microsoft technologies, ranging from fundamental understanding to advanced technical skills.

It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft’s certification structure also comprises three levels: Beginner (Fundamentals), Intermediate (Associate), and Advanced (Expert). To assist in tailoring a learning path, we have outlined some popular Microsoft certifications at these levels for 2024.

Launching Tech Careers with Microsoft’s Beginner-Level Certifications

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals is a versatile certification suitable for both newcomers and experienced professionals. It serves as a launchpad for careers by validating foundational knowledge in cloud concepts and Azure specifics. Candidates demonstrate proficiency in describing Azure’s architectural components and services, covering areas like compute, networking, and storage. This certification is relevant for diverse job roles such as Administrator, Developer, Business User, Student, and Technology Manager. The required Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals assesses candidates on their ability to articulate cloud concepts, Azure architecture, and services, as well as management and governance.

The next certification to consider in 2024 is Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals. This credential is suitable for beginners in technical professions, students, or business users. It validates knowledge in the business value and capabilities of Microsoft Power Platform. In addition, this qualification involves tasks like creating simple Power Apps, automating processes with Power Automate, connecting data with Microsoft Dataverse, building Power BI Dashboards, and creating chatbots with Power Virtual Agents. Job roles associated with this certification include Business User, Functional Consultant, and Student. The mandatory Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals exam coded PL-900 assesses candidates on their ability to describe the business value and foundational components of Microsoft Power Platform, as well as demonstrate capabilities in Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and other related solutions.

Another certification worth considering within this category is the Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals. This certification is suitable for various individuals, including business users, administrators, or those just starting in the technical field. It validates their role as advocates of cloud technologies, affirming their understanding of Microsoft 365 capabilities. Additionally, it signals to their organization that they grasp the advantages of embracing cloud services, the fundamentals of a Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud model, and the importance of implementing Microsoft 365 cloud services. Job roles associated with this certification encompass Business User and Administrator. To attain this qualification, candidates must pass the MS-900 exam, which evaluates their knowledge of cloud concepts, Microsoft 365 apps and services, trust in Microsoft 365, security, compliance, privacy, as well as comprehension of Microsoft 365 pricing, licensing, and support.

Microsoft’s Intermediate-Level Associate Certifications in Azure AI, Enterprise Data Analytics, and Dynamics 365 Sales

Within this category, one noteworthy certification to consider is the Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate credential. This certification is tailored for professionals specializing in Microsoft Azure AI. In this role, individuals are responsible for constructing, managing, and deploying AI solutions using Azure AI. Their designated job title is AI Engineer. To attain this certification, candidates must pass Exam AI-102: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution. This exam assesses proficiency in various technical tasks, including planning and managing Azure AI solutions, implementing decision support, computer vision, natural language processing, knowledge mining, document intelligence, and generative AI solutions.

Another notable certification in this category is the Microsoft Certified: Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate. This certification is aimed at individuals aspiring to attain proficiency in crafting, developing, and deploying large-scale enterprise data analytics solutions. The designated job role for this certification is that of a Data Analyst. To attain this certification, candidates are required to pass Exam DP-500: Designing and Implementing Enterprise-Scale Analytics Solutions Using Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI. This exam assesses competency in diverse technical responsibilities, including implementing and managing a data analytics environment, querying and transforming data, implementing and managing data models, and exploring and visualizing data.

Exploring further, we have the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification. It is beneficial for functional consultants, professionals engaged with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, or developers seeking to refine consulting skills. This certification has the potential to enhance one’s career by enabling more effective self-marketing for projects and demonstrating to the organization the capability to utilize Dynamics 365 Sales to empower the sales force. The relevant job title for this certification is Functional Consultant. Achieving this certification requires passing Exam MB-210: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant, which evaluates proficiency in tasks such as configuring Dynamics 365 Sales, managing core sales features, and setting up additional tools and services.

Microsoft’s Advanced-Level Certifications in DevOps Engineering, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, and Microsoft 365 Administration

Commencing with the Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert certification, this credential is designed for individuals assuming the roles of DevOps engineers, requiring a blend of developer or infrastructure administrator expertise. The primary focus lies in facilitating the continuous delivery of value within organizations. Their multifaceted responsibilities encompass crafting and executing strategies for code management, collaboration, source control, infrastructure, security, compliance, continuous integration, monitoring, testing, feedback, and delivery. The associated job title is that of a DevOps Engineer. To attain this certification, candidates must successfully pass Exam AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions, which assesses proficiency in numerous technical aspects such as configuring processes and communications, designing and implementing source control, build and release pipelines, developing a security and compliance plan, and implementing an instrumentation strategy.

Moving forward with our examination of prestigious expert-level certifications, let’s now highlight the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Expert qualification. It is designed for skilled functional consultants, senior consultants, and experienced IT professionals. Requiring substantial experience in configuring advanced features of Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, the certification validates expertise in supply chain operations, including production, logistics, master planning, and asset management. Demonstrating proficiency in discrete, process, or lean manufacturing, candidates are evaluated through Exam MB-335: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Expert. The associated role is that of a Functional Consultant.

In 2024, another certification of significant importance is the Microsoft 365 Certified: Administrator Expert credential. This certification is crafted for administrators handling the deployment and management of Microsoft 365, focusing on tenant-level implementation and administration of cloud and hybrid environments. The associated job role for this certification is that of an Administrator. To achieve this certification, candidates must successfully pass the MS-102: Microsoft 365 Administrator exam, which evaluates a diverse range of technical competencies. These include deploying and managing a Microsoft 365 tenant, implementing and overseeing identity and access in Microsoft Enterprise ID, managing security and threats using Microsoft 365 Defender, and ensuring compliance with Microsoft Purview.

The recent modifications in Microsoft’s certification path

In a rapidly evolving professional landscape, staying current with Microsoft certification updates is crucial. These adaptations reflect industry advancements, ensuring certifications align with modern technologies and employer expectations. The 2024 changes signify Microsoft’s commitment to relevance by incorporating new credentials and retiring exams in response to changing industry needs.

In 2024, Microsoft introduces Microsoft Applied Skills, a supplementary credential category that complements, rather than replaces, role-based certifications. Focused on addressing specific business challenges, these credentials emphasize practical, real-world technical scenarios. Obtaining them involves successfully completing interactive, lab-based assessments that validate your ability to tackle practical tasks. Some examples include “Build a natural language processing solution with Azure AI Language,” showcasing proficiency in constructing a natural language processing solution, and “Build an Azure AI Vision solution,” demonstrating the capability to construct Azure AI Vision solutions. Additionally, “Deploy and configure Azure Monitor” displays competence in deploying and configuring Azure Monitor. Earning these credentials enhances your professional profile, showcasing Microsoft-verified skills and expertise in high-demand technical domains.

In addition, this year Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate certification, tailored for deploying enterprise-scale data analytics solutions. Responsibilities include utilizing Microsoft Fabric components, collaborating with Solution architects, and showcasing proficiency in analytics best practices. The certification journey involves successfully passing Exam DP-600: Implementing Analytics Solutions Using Microsoft Fabric (beta), which assesses proficiency in planning, implementing, and managing data analytics solutions, as well as exploring and analyzing data.

Another notable addition is the Microsoft Certified: Business Central Developer Associate certification, launching in January 2024 for Dynamics 365 Business Central experts. Achievable through the MB-820: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Developer (beta) exam, this certification is designed for developers enhancing Business Central solutions, offering a unique certification at the “Intermediate” level.

It is important to note that as new certifications are introduced in 2024, some older ones are being phased out. One of the exams facing retirement is MB-300: Microsoft Dynamics 365: Core Finance and Operations, set to close on February 29, 2024. To maintain certification validity for one year, candidates preparing for MB-300 must complete it before the specified date, along with other required exams.

Regarding related exams MB-310 and MB-330, individuals aiming for certifications like Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate and Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Associate will only need to pass the respective individual exams, avoiding the impending retirement of MB-300.

Optimizing Exam Preparation with Microsoft’s Learning Resources

Continuous learning remains imperative in the ever-evolving IT field. To prepare for Microsoft exams, leverage diverse resources such as exam prep videos, study guides, practice tests, online courses, and instructor-led training available on the Microsoft Learn site’s exam details page. Explore the exam readiness zone for valuable tips and strategies.

For exam registration, establish a free Microsoft Certification profile and sign up through the Pearson VUE site. Opt for online or in-person testing at a Pearson VUE Authorized Test Center. Ensure your system meets technical requirements for online exams and adhere to related rules. Renewing certification every two years involves completing a free online assessment on Microsoft Learn within a six-month eligibility window starting 180 days before certification expiration. Certification management happens through the Certification Dashboard, where certificates, badges, transcripts, and profile updates are accessible in the Microsoft account.


To sum up, Microsoft IT certifications play a crucial role in the dynamic IT sector, offering internationally recognized validation of proficiency in diverse Microsoft technologies. These certifications not only enhance credibility but also pave the way for career progression and increased employability. Navigating the Microsoft certifications path in 2024, it’s evident that aligning certifications with career goals and industry demands is essential. The addition of new certifications, retirement of older ones, and the introduction of Microsoft Applied Skills showcase the company’s commitment to relevance and staying attuned to industry needs. Continuous learning, strategic exam preparation, and effective certification management are key elements for success in this ongoing technological evolution.