MCSA credential is the first stage in the Microsoft certification program. It currently includes 7 certification paths with topics ranging from Windows to Office 365 to SQL Server.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is an entry-level certification that focuses on operating systems, servers, and web applications. It is a prerequisite for the MCSE certificate. It is administered by Microsoft, one of the largest technology companies worldwide.
MCSA is divided into the following certifications:
MCSA: BI Reporting proves the candidate’s knowledge of data analysis, modeling, data visualization, and connecting directly to data sources in Excel and Power BI. It is the first step to becoming certified as Data Management and Analytics MCSE.
MCSA: Cloud Platform evaluates whether the candidate has the knowledge of Microsoft cloud technologies.
MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure relates to operational and analytics solutions building on Azure and engineering workflows implementation on HDInsight.
MCSA: Linux on Azure demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of design, implementation, and maintenance of complex Linux solutions that are cloud-enabled.
MCSA: Machine Learning proves that a person is good at using R server and SQL R services to build intelligent solutions.
MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of upgrading, configuring, and customizing Microsoft Dynamic 365.
MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations shows that the candidate understands how to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies to customize Microsoft Dynamics for Operations.
MCSA: Office 365 covers the use of Microsoft Office 365 to administer business applications that are cloud-hosted.
MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development proves that the candidate can load, extract, transform, data warehouse and implement BI solutions.
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration is aimed at confirming that the candidate can install a database, maintain, configure, and handle required tasks.
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development verifies skills in database knowledge for on-premises and cloud-based.
MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 is intended for those who are able to develop, install, and manage tasks based on the SQL server platform.
MCSA: Universal Windows Platform shows the candidate’s knowledge of implementation of Universal Windows Platform apps.
MCSA: Web Applications is for the individuals who deal with implementation of modern web applications.
MCSA: Windows 10 is aimed at those who are good at configuring, managing, and maintaining Windows 10 system.
MCSA: Windows Server 2012 proves the candidate’s knowledge of Windows Server 2012.
MCSA: Windows Server 2016 relates to the candidate’s skills on Windows Server 2016.
Each MCSA credential requires the student to take two or three exams. Most Microsoft tests comprise 45-65 questions and last up to 2.5 hours. The passing score is 700/1000 points, while the exam fee for each associate level test is $165.
The MCSA certifications do not expire. There are no prerequisites for them. However, knowledge of databases and networking is recommended. With the credential, one qualifies for jobs, such as a computer technician, a network administrator, and a systems support specialist.