Microsoft Certifications Guide



Published10 September 2020at12:19, updated on19 July 2022at17:39

Microsoft Certifications Guide cover

This quick Microsoft certifications guide will provide you with a bird’s-eye view of all the company’s official trainings and thus help you advance your career.

Microsoft’s Learn portal offers a multitude of courses and Microsoft certifications for anyone to explore. Obtaining one of these certifications is therefore the first step when starting a career in the ecosystem or advancing or shifting your existing one.

Beyond providing you with theoretical and practical knowledge these certifications will validate your expertise within the industry and among recruiters. This is because, certifications demonstrate that you are up-to-date with current best practices and new tools, with some of them requiring to be renewed every year.

Courses to obtain certifications are free through the Learn platform and can be taken at your own pace from the comfort of your home. There are also several MS-vetted third-parties offering guided lessons and complementary coursework.

Students need to pay only for the practical exams, which can be taken online or at designated testing centres. Microsoft has expanded its online testing capabilities since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

To start, there are several ways in which you can approach Microsoft training programs. You can focus on a particular platform within the Microsoft Technology Stack, or opt for a specific role and then choose a platform to focus on. You can also choose a specific career path or focus on a very concrete skill that you would like to acquire. Then, Microsoft outlines all available career paths, defining the series of certifications you will need to obtain to reach your career goal.

Certifications are divided according to the level of expertise and seniority: Fundamentals, Associate and Expert. Our Microsoft Certifications Guide will give you an overview, but you will have to dig deeper to find what really makes you tick.

Microsoft Certifications guide: Fundamentals certifications

First, as their name suggests, these certifications are the recommended starting point for anyone starting their career or looking to move into another platform within the MS tech stack. They cover:

  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Azure Data Fundamentals
  • Azure AI Fundamentals
  • Dynamics 365 Fundamentals
  • Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
  • Power Platform Fundamentals

Learn more about MS Fundamentals certifications.


To continue, some MS certifications encompass more than one platform and require you to multiple individual certifications. Also, each of these certifications is tailored to a specific area of IT (security, networking, cloud, etc.)

Also, there are three tiers of certifications depending on the level of expertise:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) /Microsoft Solutions Developer (MCSD)

Learn more about MS certification credentials.

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Role-based and specialty Microsoft certifications

Certifications targeting specific roles are a great way of specializing or moving from one role to the other within the Microsoft ecosystems. Moreover, roles can comprise multiple MS platforms or focus on a particular one, and include:


Administrators oversee the implementation of Microsoft platforms, thus maintaining solutions for storage, networking, computing and security.

AI Engineer

Then, AI engineers design and implement artificial intelligence solutions by leveraging different MS tools.

Data Engineer

Being in charge of mapping out and executing the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data, Data Engineers are therefore proficient in a platform’s different data services and tools.

Data Scientist

Not to be confused with a Data Engineer, this role requires a deep knowledge of data science and machine learning. Moreover, expertise in data modelling is a must.


At the frontlines of deployment and operations, Developers partner with architects and administrators to design, create, test, also they maintain cloud applications and services.

DevOps Engineer

Advocates of agile methodologies for software development, DevOps professionals unify teams, processes and technologies in order to streamline the product pipeline.

Functional Consultant

Moreover, functional consultant implements core application setup processes that help businesses in areas like marketing, sales or supply chain management.

IoT Developer

On the other hand, IoT Developer designs, develops and maintains Internet of Things solutions and devices within MS environments. From coding to the set-up of physical devices.

Security Engineer

As the title suggests, security professionals protect the integrity of data, applications and networks by implementing threat detection and security controls.

Solutions Architect

To conclude, the Solutions Architect is the first person to be involved in a platform deployment process. Moreover, Architects must have a deep understanding of the entire ecosystem to design solutions that run on it.

Has our Microsoft Certification Guide sparked your interest? Explore all role-based MS certifications and specialty certifications.

Learn more about pursuing a career in Microsoft Technologies with our comprehensive Microsoft Technologies careers guide.

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