Azure Certification Path 2023: Where to start with Azure Certifications

Azure Certification Path 2023: Where to start with Azure Certifications

Categories: Cloud Computing|Published On: August 25, 2022|17.6 min read|
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Syazana Khan

A communications specialist and technology wordsmith with over 2 years experience in the IT and professional development training arena.

The path towards getting Azure Certified

Discover Your Path to Azure Certification Success

Azure certifications offer IT professionals an edge in this cloud-based and connected world. Job seekers and seasoned professionals alike can use Azure certifications to help advance their career—in their existing organization and role or in new ones—earn recognition, and validate their technical knowledge and abilities in current and future industry job roles. And organizations can use certifications to identify the talent they need and build the technical skills of their workforce.

There is clear knowledge that exhibiting and certifying your knowledge of specialized cloud roles through Microsoft Azure certifications is a surefire way to propel your IT career forward, however there are still plenty of individuals who are unsure about the different Azure certifications that would best suit their needs of the hour. 

In order to assist you in picking the certification that best suits your needs, we are here with another comprehensive guide that covers everything you must know about the Azure Certification Path – a description of various Azure certifications, pricing, scope, etc. 

We are aware that choosing your Azure certification can oftentimes feel like a minefield, so this article aims to alleviate your qualms and make your journey to becoming Azure certified easy.  


Azure Certification Levels

Why are Microsoft Azure certifications so important?

Azure is the most widely used cloud computing platform, leading the cloud industry forward globally. A large majority of organizations and enterprises – small and big, have made the leap towards embracing cloud technology. This paradigm shift has also revealed that organizations want to remain competitive as the demand for cloud based and centered solutions grows daily, directly affecting the need for technology professionals with cloud knowledge.

Microsoft has been at forefront of ensuring that the global workforce is prepared to take on this substantial task by validating and certifying top applicants who are the best suited for  a specific job position, according to Microsoft. Microsoft certifications can undoubtedly add value to a candidate’s professional journey as most businesses now prefer to have prospective employees with certifications on tow.

Azure Certification Path

There are four levels of Microsoft certifications Azure Certification path levels, covering beginner to expert level azure cloud certification.

  • Fundamentals Certification – If you are a beginner, your Azure journey will start with Fundamentals Certification. Candidates with non-technical backdrop can also step into cloud computing through these certifications.

  • Associate Certification – Candidates who have a fair idea of Azure can aim toward associate certifications.

  • Expert Certification – You can obtain an expert certification if you have experience, a solid comprehension of the subject, and associate-level familiarity with Azure.

  • Specialty Certification – It is the highest level Azure certification. Candidates can opt for this Azure certification, if they want to apply for roles like Azure IOT Developer Specialty and Azure for SAP Workloads.

Gain an edge with Azure Certification

Gain an edge with Azure certifications

Important! 2022 Updates  


The table below shows the Microsoft Azure Certifications that have been phased out and their corresponding Replacement Exam, announced on March 31st, 2022. 

#  Expired Exam  Replacement Exam 
1  AZ-303 – Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies  AZ-305 exam – Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions 
2  AZ-304 – Microsoft Azure Architect Design 
3  DA-100 – Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI  PL-300 Exam -Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Exam 

Microsoft Certified: Azure Support Engineer for Connectivity Specialty (AZ – 720) is the new certification exam that is launched by Microsoft Azure. 

Azure Fundamental Level Certifications 

Get hired, stay ahead, be productive, and receive the recognition you deserve with Microsoft Certified: Fundamentals. These highly marketable, industry-respected certifications offer foundational training and exams that provide a practical, high-level overview of Microsoft technology and validate your up-to-date knowledge of the topics.

Whether you’re a technical professional, student, or business professional, Azure fundamentals certification are designed to help you accelerate your progress, boost your career, and stay current with evolving cloud technology trends. It can be the first step on your journey for role-based or specialty certifications, but it isn’t a prerequisite for any of them.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) 

Learn the basics of Microsoft Azure, the cloud trusted by 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Gain understanding of cloud computing concepts, the range of Azure services, and the differences between public, private, and hybrid clouds. Recommended for early career cloud professionals and aspiring students.

RequirementsExam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals 

Prerequisites: None 

 Skills Covered 

  • Define cloud computing and its key advantages. 
  • Explain public, private, and hybrid cloud models. 
  • Explain IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS cloud services. 
  • Identify core Azure architectural components, such as regions, geographies, and resource groups. 
  • Identify usage cases for Azure core services and products, such as virtual machines and storage. 


Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals (DP-900)

Take the next step in your cloud career by learning the foundational concepts you need to confidently contribute to an organization’s data-driven decision making and processes. Topics include relational data, nonrelational data, big data, and analytics. Recommended for early career data management professionals and aspiring students.

Requirements: Exam DP-900: Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals 

Prerequisites: None 

Skills Covered 

  •  Describe core data concepts in Azure 
  •  Explain concepts of relational data in Azure 
  •  Explain concepts of non-relational data in Azure 
  •  Identify components of a modern data warehouse in Azure 


Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900) 

Master the basics of AI on Azure and gain the foundation to advance your career in this exciting field. This certification demonstrates your knowledge of common AI and machine learning workloads and the Azure services needed to run them. Recommended for early career AI professionals and aspiring students.

Requirements: Exam AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals 

Prerequisites: None 

Skills Covered: 

  • Describe Artificial Intelligence workloads and considerations 
  • Describe fundamental principles of machine learning on Azure 
  • Describe features of computer vision workloads on Azure 
  • Describe features of Natural Language Processing (NLP) workloads on Azure 
  • Describe features of conversational AI workloads on Azure 

Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals (SC-900) 

Advance your knowledge on a range of cybersecurity topics and build a foundation for advanced certifications that prepare you for in-demand roles in security operations, identity and access management, and information protection. Recommended for early career IT security professionals and aspiring students.

Requirements: Exam SC-900: Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

Prerequisites: None 

Skills Covered

  •  Describe basic concepts of security, compliance, and identity.
  •  Describe the concepts and capabilities of Microsoft identity and access management solutions.
  •  Describe the capabilities of Microsoft security solutions.
  •  Describe the compliance management capabilities in Microsoft.

Azure Associate-level certifications 


Code Associate-Level Certifications
AZ-104 Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
AZ-204 Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
DP-300 Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate
AZ-500 Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate
AZ-700 Microsoft Certified: Azure Network Engineer Associate
DP-203 Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
AI-102 Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate
AZ-600 Microsoft Certified: Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate
AZ-800 + AZ801 Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate
DP-100 Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
DP-500  Microsoft Certified: Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate
SC-200  Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate
SC-300 Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate

Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-104) 

 Learn to manage Microsoft Azure identities and governance; implement and manage storage; deploy and manage Azure compute resources; configure and manage virtual networking; and monitor and back up Azure resources in this 4-days Microsoft Certified:  Azure Administrator Associate course. 

Required Exam: Exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Required Course: AZ-104T00: Microsoft Azure Administrator 

Prerequisites: None 

Skills Covered 

  • Secure and manage identities with Azure Active Directory. 
  • Implement and manage users and groups. 
  • Implement and manage Azure subscriptions and accounts. 
  • Implement Azure Policy, including custom policies. 
  • Use RBAC to assign permissions. 


Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204) 

This Microsoft Azure Developer Associate certification course teaches developers how to create end-to-end solutions in Microsoft Azure. Students will learn how to implement Azure compute solutions, create Azure Functions, implement and manage web apps, develop solutions utilizing Azure storage, implement authentication and authorization, and secure their solutions by using KeyVault and Managed Identities. 

Required Exam: Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure 

Required Course: AZ-204T00: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Prerequisites: None 

Skills Covered 

  • Develop Azure compute solutions 
  • Develop for Azure storage 
  • Implement Azure security 
  • Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions 
  • Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services 


Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate (DP-300) 

If you understand the transformation from on-premises databases to cloud data services—and the cloud database technologies available to you with Azure—now is the time to showcase the value you add to your organization as a database administrator with the Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate credential. 

Requirements: Exam DP-300: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure

Required Course: DP-300T00: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure

Prerequisites: Microsoft says people eyeing this cert should understand all the concepts covered in DP-900 Exam for the Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals certification. 

Skills Covered 

After completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Plan, deploy and configure Azure SQL offerings 
  • Monitor database performance and tune a database and queries for optimum performance 
  • Plan and configure a High Availability Solution 


Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate (AZ-500)

 If your responsibilities as part of a larger team include maintaining the security posture, identifying and remediating vulnerabilities by using a variety of security tools, implementing threat protection, and responding to security incident escalations, this Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate could be the certification for you. 

Required Exam: Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies 

Required Course: AZ-500T00: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

Prerequisites: None officially, but strong scripting and automation chops plus familiarity with networking, virtualization, and cloud are needed for the exam. 

Skills Covered