Microsoft’s Azure: or “Azure”, as it is commonly called, has quickly risen in the ranks as one of the most trusted and widely used cloud computing services in the world. With over 95% of Fortune 500 companies utilizing its services/products it is no wonder why Azure has exploded since coming onto the scene in 2008. The creation of Azure was fashioned to assist in the building, testing, deploying, and managing of applications and services through its, Microsoft, data centers. Azure allows users to manage all applications throughout multiple clouds both on and off premises, with the tools and framework that they (users) prefer. As of now Azure boasts over 600 services and 200 products. Microsoft, within the last two years, switched gears from its certifications focusing on specific technologies (product-centric) to a more role specific (role-based) approach after receiving invaluable feedback from its partners and customers. Instead of focusing on the technologies in general, the newer role-based programs mapped easier pathways for jobs/positions. Since the newer certifications were more comprehensive, they divided the wealth of knowledge (of Azure) into four solution areas with each having subdivided levels of difficulty (fundamentals, associate, expert):
- Apps & Infrastructure
- Data & AI
- Modern Workspace
- Business Applications
In this blog we will be focusing on the Apps & Infrastructure solution area, with its various levels of difficulty and what that means to IT professionals in Azure.
Apps & Infrastructure
Apps & Infrastructure was the first solution to be recognized by Microsoft. With the constant updates of refreshing Azure content, Apps & Infrastructure remains one of the most popular areas of focus. Azure’s focus tends to be aimed towards administrative, development, and security engineer type roles. The best way to dip your toe into the Azure world would be to go through a Fundamentals Course and see which role best suites your needs.
Typically, candidates that take the Azure Fundamentals certification have a foundational knowledge of basic cloud services and how those services are provided through Azure. This certification is intended for candidates that are just starting to work with cloud-based solutions and services, or new to Azure. The Fundamentals certificate is a wonderful way to prepare for other Azure role-based certifications but is not a prerequisite for any of them. A good Associate level certification would be AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator. Candidates for this certification generally have subject matter expertise with the implementation, management, and monitoring of an organization’s Azure environment. Typically, an Azure Administrator frequently serves as part of a larger unit dedicated to controlling the cloud infrastructure. The average salary for an Azure Administrator ranges from about $67k-$85k depending on their experience with many opportunities to grow.
Developer vs. Architect
If your skillset is more at an intermediate (Associate) level two potential job roles to entertain would be developer or architect. The Associate level developer would be an ideal candidate for the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure certification. Candidates that are considering this route typically have a solid foundation and understanding of designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud applications and services on Azure. This role is responsible for participating in every aspect of cloud development from requirements to maintenance. A typical IT professional with this certification can expect a salary in the range of $101k-$113k. The Azure Developers partner with the Solutions Architect in order to implement solutions. If you are more interested in the architect route, then the MCE: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is for you. Potential candidates for this certification should be well versed in designing and implementing solutions that run Azure, including aspects like computing, networking, storage, and security. The responsibilities for this role include advising decision makers and translating the requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable cloud solutions. This role manages how decisions in each area (networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platform, budgeting, and governance) will affect an overall solution. The average salary for an Azure Architect is around $156k. Both the developer and architect have proven track records of job stability with massive endless prospects for growth.
Only Moving Forward
Microsoft has proven its staying power throughout the decades but they outdid themselves with the creation of Azure. With the ability to control scalability, cost-effictive subscription models, top tier cybersecurity, and enterprise-level development tools, it is no wonder why Azure continues to be a popular choice amongst businesses alike. The world has developed an absolute dependence on technology and with that comes the need to have qualified candidates filling the necessary IT professional roles. Becoming certified in Azure provides more stablity and higher salary opportunities than most. If you are interested in learning more about Azure and the potential role-based certifications contact us.