** Updated May 6, 2019 **

Microsoft has restructured its Azure certifications into a role-based model that it states will more directly focus on the building of skills and knowledge aligned to job roles.  This change was made after engaging their tech community and identifying what is required to support those job roles. The modifications to the certifications have been in beta since September 2018, with effective release dates for the exams between December 2018 and May 2019.

The new role-based certifications are split into three tiers of designation, each of which earns you a different level of Microsoft certification:

  • Fundamentals
  • Associate
    • Pass the AZ-103 exam
      or
      Pass the AZ-203 exam
      or
      Pass the AI-100 exam
      or
      Pass the DP-100 and DP-200 exams
  • Expert
    • Pass the AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams
      or
      Pass the AZ-400 exam

And there currently are seven Azure based certifications spread across these three levels.  All of these are new certifications, not refreshes of previous Azure certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals (Fundamentals)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator (Associate)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Developer (Associate)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate (Associate)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate (Associate)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect (Expert)
  • Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps (Expert)

All of the exams supporting each of these certifications are entirely new.  Those exams supporting what are now retired Azure certifications are not applicable to these certifications (70-532, 70-533, 70-535).

Fundamental and Associate level certifications do not have prerequisites. You can earn each without needing the certifications or exams from another.

New to Azure?

If you already have some Azure Certifications under your belt, here’s what you should know:

Let’s review the basics of each certification and their exam requirements.


Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals

This is a new certification, designed to demonstrate foundation level knowledge of Azure-based cloud services. It is geared toward people in non-technical roles, such as sales and purchasing, or for those in technical roles looking to validate foundation level knowledge in cloud services.  

To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Linux Academy released a course for the AZ-900 exam in May 2019.


Microsoft Certified Administrator Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate associate level knowledge of how to implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions. It includes major services related to compute, storage, network, and security, and is aimed at those in administrative and technical roles looking to validate administration knowledge in cloud services.

To obtain this certification, you need to complete one exam. Combined, these replace the now retired 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam, and the AZ-100 and AZ-101 exams, which are retiring in May 2019:

If you have already passed 70-533,  then you have through June 2019 (at which point it will be retired) to pass only the single transition exam:

Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-103 exam by the end of Q2 2019.


Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to design, build, test, and maintain cloud solutions like applications and services. It also tests the ability to partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement these solutions. It is designed for those in developer and technical roles looking to validate development and implementation knowledge in cloud services.To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Note that there is not a transition process provided by Microsoft for those who have passed the retired 70-532 exam and earned associated certifications.  If you have passed 70-532, you must still pass AZ-203 to earn this certification. Also note that as part of the beta exam program, there was a transition exam, AZ-202, but this exam will be retired as of 3/31/2019 and will not qualify for a certification transition.

Finally, there were also two beta exams, AZ-200 and AZ-201. These have also been retired, and do not currently factor into the new certification.

Linux Academy released a course for the AZ-203 exam in January 2019.


Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to use Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents.


To obtain this certification you need to complete one exam:

Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AI-100 exam by the end of Q2 2019.


Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate

This certification is designed to demonstrate developer-level knowledge of how to design and implement the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data using the full stack of Azure data services to satisfy business needs.


To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:

Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the DP-200 exam exam the end of Q2 2019, and a course for the DP-100 exam by the end of Q3 2019.


Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect Expert

This is a new certification designed to demonstrate solutions architect level expertise in compute, network, storage, security, and designing solutions that run on Azure. It is for those in architect and leadership roles looking to validate expertise in cloud services.

To obtain this certification you need to complete two exams:

If you have already passed 70-535,  then you have through June 2019 to pass only the single transition exam (at which point it will be retired):

Linux Academy released a course for the AZ-300 exam in January 2019.  We will begin production on the AZ-301 exam this month and plan to release it in early access mode later in the summer while it is completed, but will not be creating a course for the transition exam, AZ-302 as that exam retires in June.


Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert

This is a new certification designed to demonstrate knowledge of how to combine people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end-user needs and business objectives.

To earn this certification, you must first earn either the Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification and pass the following exam:

Linux Academy will be releasing a course for the AZ-400 exam by the end of Q3 2019.


Summary

Here is a quick summary of the changes to the Microsoft exams supporting their certifications, and the roadmap for Linux Academy:

The following 70-* exams have been retired and no longer count toward certifications:

During the transition process, Microsoft created the following exams as part of the beta, but which have been subsequently retired and will not count towards the new certifications:

The current set of Microsoft exams supporting new Azure certifications are:

There are two transition exams which will be retired in June 2019, and for which Linux Academy will not be developing courses:

Courses currently released:

Courses planned for development and release by the end of Q2/Q3 2019:

It is not often that Microsoft reworks their certifications and exams. They usually do it every 3-5 years. We realize this may cause inconvenience for some of our students, but we’re working around the clock to deliver content to support these new certifications as quickly as possible.

We’re continuously pushing the boundaries of online learning to help you take your cloud skills to the next level. We hope to see you in the new Azure courses that we’re working on! Check out Windows Server On Linux Academy Cloud Playground if you haven’t already!

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9 responses to “Azure Certifications and Roadmap”

  1. Hayat says:

    Really nice information you had posted. It is very informative and definitely, it will be useful for many people.

  2. Kavita says:

    Hi, is AZ-900 course ready? I don’t see it is available still. Please provide the update as I am looking forward to it.

    Thanks

  3. Fabiano says:

    thanks for the map. very useful information.

  4. Roshan says:

    Really nice information , it will be useful for many people.

  5. Bharat Ruparel says:

    Do you have a firm date for the release of AZ-103 and AI-100?

  6. Akshay says:

    How hard is it for a LINUX user to learn Azure? Is knowing powershell and other windows concepts such as AD are prerequisites to understand Azure?

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