Microsoft has admitted that the certifications it created for Azure admins aren’t very good.
A post by Microsoft’s Liberty Munson* offers two reasons for this, the first of which is that “we have gotten consistent feedback that our current Azure exams are too broad, covering a range of skills that very few individuals, even experts in that area, would have.”
The second is that “we've been conducting research related to the value of certification and have found that people get certified not only to build or update skills on a specific technology but to distinguish themselves from other professionals, improve job opportunities, and to have more influence and impact in their current or future job role.”
Which is the line Microsoft has pushed about its certifications for years.
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Whatever you think of Microsoft’s reasons, it has used them to inform the creation of a new “Azure Administrator” certification. To acquire it, you’ll need to pass two exams, AZ-100: Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment and AZ-101: Microsoft Azure Integration and Security.
Both exams have a discount code - AZ100TRAVELING and AZ101HIKING respectively – for the first 300 who sign up for and sit the exams by August 9th, 2018.
There’s also AZ-102: Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition, an exam for those who’ve gone part of the way down Microsoft’s current Azure certification track.
Microsoft says the new certs have removed “the stuff that is out of scope for most Azure Administrators and ensuring that certification assesses more of the skills that you actually need to be successful.”
Whenever The Register covers certifications, readers opine that hard-earned experience is a far better indicator of skill than vendors’ exams. But with Azure being rather new, few have had much experience on the platform. Microsoft might be onto something this time with its mantra that “certs = credibility with employers = fatter paycheques”. Especially now that it has added stuff you actually need to know to its new Azure certs. ®
*A Microsoft employee with the glorious title “Principal Psychometrician and Quality Lead for Microsoft Learning's technical certification and assessment program”.