As mentioned in our last blog, “All Things Azure – Apps & infrastructure,” we discussed the various solutions created when Microsoft switched its certification program from being more product-centric focused to a more role-based approach. The purpose of this change was to keep pace with business requirements while enabling students the opportunity to develop skills for a specific role within their organization. When deciding which certification pathway to take in Azure it is important to understand the key differences with the various solutions. In this blog we will discuss the Data & AI solution of Azure and the various certification pathways that it holds. Industry job roles for people interested within Data & AI certifications typically are Data Engineers, Database Administrators, and AI Engineers. This particular area of focus has seen and continues to see astronomical demand that has fueled massive shortages of talent, causing these certifications to become highly coveted and very much sought after to businesses worldwide.
Pick Your Path
If you are new to Azure and unsure of which pathway to take, it is always recommended to take the Fundamentals courses. One of the major changes with the new role-based certification pathways is that now, multiple levels of expertise were introduced into each technology; Fundamentals, Associate, and Expert, allowing newer/more seasoned IT professionals to gain the technical knowledge to design, implement, and manage each solution with more proficiency. Fundamentals courses are also a great way to dip your toe in the “Azure pool.” It allows students the opportunity to better understand what each pathway entails. For instance, if you think you might be interested in a career within AI, then the AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals course would be ideal for you. This course will introduce the basic concepts related to AI, and the services used to create AI solutions. If that doesn’t interest you and you think data in the cloud is more your cup of tea then DP-900: Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals course is for you. In this course students are taught the key database concepts in a cloud environment, get basic skilling in cloud data services, and building basic knowledge of cloud data services within Azure. Each of these courses are informative introductions to each potential pathway, while giving you an edge, with industry recognized skills and credentials.
The Growth Doesn’t Stop
If you are a bit more seasoned in Azure and want to specialize your skillset with supporting data and analytics, then you have the ability to upskill and demonstrate your achievements with various certifications. The DP-300: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure course is a great way for students to gain the knowledge and skills to administer a SQL Server database infrastructure for cloud, on-premises, and hybrid relational databases. If you are interested in becoming a Database Administrator, then this is the course for you. Database Administration is a quickly growing job field with a projected growth rate of over 11% within the next three years. The median salary for a Database Administrator is around $60k. This is a solid opportunity for not only job security but great potential for growth. Another strong course, that would be ideal for Data Engineers, would be the MCA: Azure Data Engineer Associate. In this course, students will design various data platform technologies into solutions that are in line with business and technical requirements. Students will also learn how to design data security including data access, data policies and standards. Data Engineers are one of the fastest growing careers since 2019 with a 50% year-over-year growth rate. The demand for qualified candidates is hemorrhaging while the candidate pool is rapidly dwindling. The typical average base pay for a Data Engineer is around $100k with an enormous amount of growth potential.
Prove You have the Necessary Skills
With certifications designed to enable Data & AI professionals the ability to prove they have the necessary skills to cover all aspects of digital transformation, it is no wonder why this is one of the fastest growing solutions within Microsoft. Data is the lifeblood of all modern businesses, and it is up to Azure and Azure certified IT professionals to manage that data while ensuring maximum performance and privacy for their organization. 49% of respondents believe that Azure certifications within Data & AI are vital when it comes to increasing earning potential and job security, with 50% of respondents saying they perform better at their job. As the growing dependence on the cloud increases, businesses are feverishly trying to gain the right qualified candidates to handle their cloud infrastructure needs. Take advantage of this booming opportunity and become certified in one of the most cutting-edge cloud technologies in the world—today.