Microsoft Introduced New Azure Certification Path. What Credentials Can You Choose for Your IT Career?
December 5, 2019

In 2018, Microsoft revealed its intention to make major changes to its existing Azure certification path. The idea was to make the Azure credentials more role-based. The announcement of a new role-based certification path also came with the news of the retirement of certain Microsoft Azure exams by the end of 2018. Since this announcement and even until 2019, Microsoft has retired some of the latest role-based Azure certificates and launched new ones. This step was based on the feedback from the test takers. The purpose of this blog article is to explore the new Microsoft Azure pathway.

New Microsoft Azure Certification Track

The learning path for the newly introduced role-based Azure credentials includes the Fundamentals, Associate, and Expert levels. Basically, there are different Microsoft Azure paths designed for the roles associated with Azure. These include Azure Fundamentals; Azure Administrator Associate; Azure Developer Associate; Azure Security Engineer Associate; Azure Data Engineer Associate; Azure DevOps Engineer Expert; Azure Solution Architect Expert. In this blog, we’ll look at these new role-based Azure certificates in detail.

Azure Fundamentals

The foundational-level certification exam in the newly introduced Azure path is Microsoft AZ-900. The test is aimed at those candidates who want to validate their fundamental knowledge of Cloud services using Microsoft Azure. The individuals for this exam don’t necessarily need a technical background. However, the basic understanding of the Cloud concept is required to enable them to increase their chance of success in the test. Microsoft AZ-900 is considered the first step in the Azure certification path. Suffice to mention that it is optional but demonstrating your fundamental knowledge in the domain has a lot of advantages, especially for the students with a non-technical background. The domains covered in this exam include an understanding of the following:

  • Cloud concepts;
  • Core Azure Services;
  • Azure Pricing & Support;
  • Security, Compliance, Trust, and Privacy.

There are no prerequisites for this Microsoft certification exam but the candidates should be conversant with the Cloud services and the Microsoft Azure platform.

Azure Administrator Associate

To earn this credential, the applicants have to pass one single exam: Microsoft AZ-103. Those individuals who pass this test are awarded the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification alongside the badge. This certificate is also a requirement for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate and Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert credentials. The domains that you need to cover are:

  • Managing Azure Subscriptions & Resources;
  • Implementing & Managing Storage;
  • Configuring & Managing Virtual Networks;
  • Managing Identities;
  • Deploying & Managing Virtual Machines.

Azure Developer Associate

This certification requires that the candidates pass a single exam, Microsoft AZ-203. The credential is also a requirement for earning Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert. It is important to mention that Microsoft AZ-200 and Microsoft AZ-201 were previously the prerequisites for earning Azure Developer Associate. However, these two tests were discontinued based on the feedback from the examinees on the beta versions of the certification exams. The target candidates for Microsoft AZ-203 are the Azure developers who work in the job role of building and designing Cloud solutions on the Azure platform. The domains covered under this exam are:

  • Developing Azure IaaS Compute Solutions;
  • Developing Azure PaaS Compute Solutions;
  • Developing for Azure Storage;
  • Implementing Azure Security;
  • Monitoring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting Azure Solutions;
  • Connecting & Consuming Azure Services and Third Party Services.

Azure Solution Architect Expert

This certification requires that the students pass two exams: Microsoft AZ-300 and Microsoft AZ-301. In 2018, the beta version of the AZ-300 test was released. Please note that you need to pass them in the right order. It is also important to mention that the beta version has already retired, and the actual exam has taken its place. The domains measured in the Microsoft AZ-300 exam are:

  • Deploying & Configuring Infrastructure;
  • Implementing Workloads & Security;
  • Creating & Deploying Apps;
  • Architecting Cloud Technology Solutions;
  • Developing for Cloud;
  • Implementing Authentication & Secure Data.

The domains covered in the Microsoft AZ-301 certification exam, on the other hand, include designing and determining the following:

  • Workload Requirements;
  • Identity & Security;
  • Data Platform Solution;
  • Business Continuity Strategy;
  • Deployment, Integration, and Migration;
  • Infrastructure Strategy.

Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

The candidates pursuing this credential have to pass the Microsoft AZ-400 exam. As a prerequisite, you must obtain Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate or Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate. It is very important that the individuals taking this test understand its domains, which are as follows:

  • Designing DevOps strategies;
  • Implementing DevOps development procedures;
  • Implementing continuous delivery;
  • Implementing continuous integration;
  • Implementing continuous feedback;
  • Implementing dependency management;
  • Implementing application infrastructure.

Azure Security Engineer Associate

This is one of the newest role-based credentials added to the Azure path. To earn this certification, the candidates have to pass a single exam – Microsoft AZ-500. However, it is recommended that they take Microsoft AZ-900 first. The domains covered in the AZ-500 test are:

  • Managing Identity & Access;
  • Implementing Platform Protection;
  • Securing Data & Applications;
  • Managing Security Operations.

Azure Data Engineer Associate

This credential is also one of the newest additions to the Azure certification path. It is designed for the professionals looking to take up a role as Azure Data Engineers. They specialize in designing and implementing data management, security, privacy, and monitoring. To earn the certificate, the applicants have to pass two exams: Microsoft DP 200 and Microsoft DP-201. The objectives covered in the DP-200 certification exam are:

  • Implementation of data storage solutions;
  • Management and development of data processing;
  • Monitoring and optimization of data solutions.

As for Microsoft DP-201, there are the following topics:

  • Design of Azure data storage solutions;
  • Design of Azure data processing solutions;
  • Design for data security & compliance.


This was an introduction to the new Microsoft Azure certification path. To learn more about the credentials, it is recommended that you visit the webpages of each credentials on the official Microsoft website. Choose the pathway that you consider the best for you and follow it no matter what.

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