By Bhavesh Goswam, CEO & Founder, CloudThat
Currently, Cloud computing skills are the most sought-after skills in the technology sphere. To stay competitive and competent your employers and clients expect you to stay ahead of the tech curve. Training and certification are key drivers to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.
According to Gartner, the combined end users in cloud services were $270 billion in 2020. In 2021 it is $332.3 billion and in 2022 it is expected to reach $397.5 billion. Global Knowledge Skills and IT report says 58% percent of IT departments worldwide say Microsoft Azure is a key driver of increased cloud investment. According to the Pearson VUE survey- About 35 percent of technical professionals say getting certified led to salary or wage increases, and 26 percent report job promotions. According to IDC Survey Spotlight- Certified IT professionals get promoted 50% faster than non-certified IT professionals. NASSCOM report says India is expected to see exponential demand for Cloud IT Professionals with the demand touching as high as 20 Lakh by the year 2025. So, earning a Microsoft Azure certification elates you to be a part of a top-performing career community.
All Azure certifications have a huge demand as Azure is one of the pioneer public cloud providers and the job opportunities for Azure certified professionals are on a continuous upward trend.
The data available with us helped to shortlist the following 8 Microsoft Azure Certifications as toppers of 2021 and are expected to continue dominance in 2022 and here are they:
Trending Certifications for Cloud IT Professional Roles
Worldwide Microsoft has Azure data centers present in 140 countries and covers more global regions than any other cloud provider. With enormous Azure infrastructure to be managed and administered Microsoft Azure Administrator and Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certifications are in high demand.
1. Exam AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator –
Exam AZ-104 certification helps aspirants gain an overall understanding of Azure cloud platform. By taking this exam they can learn to implement, manage, and monitor identity, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment, also can provision, size, monitor, and adjust resources, as the need arises. In a nutshell, this certification acts as a bridge course for any of the learning path aspirants wish to take up in future and become Cloud IT professionals, or Cloud developers, Cloud AI professionals or Data Professionals.
2. Exam AZ-305: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions-
Exam AZ-305 certification is currently available as a beta course, and it is helpful for aspirants who are keen on developing as Cloud IT professionals. Currently this certification is offered as Azure Solutions Architect Expert (AZ-303 & AZ-304) and they will retire in March 2022. The certification helps aspirants to hone skills of advanced IT operations that includes networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platforms, and governance.
Trending Certification for Cloud Developers Roles
Cloud developers’ roles are in huge demand as 85% of organizations worldwide will embrace the cloud-first principle by 2025. Also, the salary of cloud developers is comparatively more than that for a generic programmer or web developer. The average starting salary for a Cloud Developer is INR 53 Lakhs a year creating a huge demand for Azure certifications such as Exam AZ-400.
3. Exam AZ-400: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions-
Exam AZ-400 certification is popular amongst aspirants of both cloud IT professional roles and those aspiring for cloud developer roles. By taking up this certification aspirants can gain competency to design and implement strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
Trending Certification Amongst Cloud Security Aspirants
The demand for cloud security professionals is soaring and has outpaced the demands for cybersecurity professionals. Skills in Azure security, building cloud security infrastructure, ensuring public cloud security, and cloud security architecture are in huge demand. This has triggered many aspirants to take up azure certifications on security.
4. Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies-
Exam AZ-500 certification prepares aspirants to be a part of a bigger team implementing planning and implementing cloud-based management and security. By cracking this examination aspirants take up Azure Security Engineer roles and will manage the security posture, identify, and remediate vulnerabilities, perform threat modeling, implement threat protection, and respond to security incident escalations.
Trending Certifications amongst AI & Data Professionals
In recent years all major cloud providers have enhanced their cloud capabilities to support Machine Learning and AI on the cloud with a new set of tools and services. This has created a huge demand for cloud-based Azure AI certifications like Exam-102. Further, the demand for data administrators on the cloud who can deploy and manage distributed databases with the help of database-as-a-service tools and non-relational data stores has also fueled demand for cloud-based data professional certifications.
5. Exam AI-102: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution-
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous in today’s business world and AI and cloud computing complement each other in delivering services across different business domains. Exam AI-102 certification empowers those aspiring to develop as cloud-based AI professionals. By earning this certification professionals can participate in all phases of AI solutions development—from requirements definition and design to development, deployment, maintenance, performance tuning, and monitoring.
6. Exam DP-300: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure-
Exam DP-300 certification helps to learn managing relational cloud and hybrid databases. In this role, aspirants learn management, availability, security and performance monitoring, and optimization of modern relational database solutions. Professionals who want to develop in Data Administration roles can take up this certification.
7. Exam DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure-
Data professionals and Data scientists have a significant role to play in cloud computing. Exam DP-100 certification helps professionals nurture skills for build, train, and deploying machine learning models. These professionals run data experiments and train predictive models. In addition, they manage, optimize, and deploy machine learning models into production. In nutshell a suitable certification to start a career as a cloud data professional.
8. Exam DP-203: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure-
Exam DP-203 certification helps cultivate skills to prepare structured and unstructured data for analytics. Data engineer aspirants employ different Azure data services and languages to store and produce clean and enhanced datasets required for analysis.
Apart from these trending courses, it is important to understand that Microsoft has certain key focus areas identified for upcoming year and important ones are Security, Microsoft Dynamics, Power Platform, Azure DevOps, Office-365, Data Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence.
Candidates keen to take up Azure certifications can explore three training paths namely Azure Training Journey for IT Professionals, Azure Training Journey for Developers, and Azure Training Journey for AI & Data Professionals. Cracking Azure certification exams demands perseverance and efforts. Though course content is easily available online from various sources, relying on Authorized Microsoft Training Partners for preparation is a smart move as they provide access to Microsoft official curriculum (MOC), test preparation platforms, practice questions, real-world use-cases, hands-on lab sessions and importantly as the training is delivered through Microsoft certified trainers.
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