Using Microsoft Certifications you can get hired, demonstrate clear business impact and advance your skill sets and take your career to the next level.
Microsoft has segregated these certifications broadly in six major categories,
Microsoft Virtual Academy provides free training videos developed by their experts and Microsoft Press Store provides PDF format books with effective cost ($30-$50). I would recommend you to read these books available in your companies or college libraries.
There are many certification paths available on Microsoft Learning website. However I am explaining the best path for Web and Database developers.
Microsoft offers three professional specialization in certification and one entry level certification as below,
MTA: Microsoft Technology Associate
It is fundamental technical knowledge entry-level certification intended for people who’s more focus on basic concepts. This certification do not qualify for any MCP certification nor they are prerequisite for MCSA, MCSE or MCSD certifications. This certification is best for those doesn’t have computer background.
MCP: Microsoft Certified Professional
You will earn this certification once you pass any of the examination mentioned in MCSA/MCSE/MCSD
1. MCSA: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate
It is certification program intended for people who seek entry-level jobs in information technology industry. It is prerequisite for more advanced Microsoft certifications like MCSE and MCSD
This certificate validates the holder’s ability to build , design and develop solutions using core Microsoft technologies.
2. MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
This certification show the IT professional’s skills to build, design and develop advanced solutions which integrate multiple Microsoft technologies, both on-premises and in the cloud. It requires MCSA prerequisite.
This certification available in Cloud and Data platform.
3. MCSD: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
This certification proves the IT professional’s skills in building, designing and developing advanced application solutions using multiple Microsoft technologies, both on-premises and in the cloud. It requires MCSA prerequisite.
This certification is available in Web application platform.
Typical Roadmap for Web and Database developers.
Cloud Certificate Path
To achieve cloud certifications you need to pass both exam 70-532 and exam 70-535. If you either pass the exam you will receive specialist certification credit.
Once you clear both the exams you will gain both MCSA(Cloud platform) and MCSE (Cloud Platform and Infrastructure) certifications. If you are developer and most focus development part on windows azure rather infrastructure then I would recommend you to go for exam 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions as this exam is elective exam to achieve MCSD in Web application
I will discuss more on syllabus part in my next article.
Web Development Certification Path
Here you need pass exam 70-480 and exam 70-486 to earn MCSA in Web Applications certification and to earn MCSD in App Builder, you need to clear exam 70-487 along with MCSA certification as prerequisite.
Another best path available is to choose elective exam before appearing for MCSD. Below certification path shows the another track,
This is same path as Web development track but you have option to choose any one exam from 70-487, 70-532 and 70-535.
Confusion between exam 70-487 and exam 70-532?
This is the one of confusing question comes into mind which exam should I choose as the name suggest Developing Windows Azure. Well, personally I feel the name given to exam 70-487 needs to be change as it is mostly focused on Web Services and Web API concepts and very few questions from Windows Azure. However exam 70-532 more focus on windows azure development only. I hope my answer helps you to decide right certification.
Database Development Certification Path
For database development you need to pass total four exams which consist of database development, database administration, SQL data warehouse. This is one of the toughest certification in data category.
SQL Server 2012/2014 certification consist of three mandatory exams (exam 70-461, 70-462 and 70-463) to gain MCSA certification and One elective(exam 70-464, 70-465, 70-762) to gain MCSE certification.
Generally, developers confuse between the development track to choose. In my personal opinion this is not right track to start with if you mostly focus on database development rather than administration stuff.
Last year Microsoft introduced another path for database certification and I feel the best one to clear only two exams to achieve MCSA and MCSE both i.e. SQL 2016 Database development.
This certification contains only two relevant skills experience certification exam 70-761 which mostly focus on querying and basic concepts around SQL queries and exam 70-762 focus mostly on advanced concepts like database performance, ACID properties.
I personally feels one should always go with this path as this also saves your money and time to prepare 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
Q: How to register for exam?
First create Microsoft Learning account and fill the necessary details like personal details, address details and contact details. After registration you will get MCID and PearsonVue Registation ID. Please note this both registrations ID’s for future exams. Do not create multiple MCID and Person Registration ID as it would be difficult to you to generate transcript.
- You can register for exam online and appear any Pearsonvue test center near you.
- You can go to Personvue exam center and share Exam Code to appear, MCID, Personvue ID, Voucher Code(It is not mandatory to purchase voucher code, you can pay exam fee at test center as well)
Q: How many questions will be there in exam and what are the types?
A: The exam generally consist of 40-60 questions of scenarios based, objective, multiple choice single select, multiple choice multiple select, drag and drop questions
Q: How much time will I have to complete the exam?
A: Exam generally consist of 120 to 150 minutes.
Q: Where I can take this exam?
A: You can give this exam in any Personvue center available near by your location,
Q: Are there any vouchers available for exam?
A: Yes you can purchase voucher for exam. Sometimes voucher also provides exam plus retake facility which saves your money.
Q: How can I prepare myself for exam?
Q: What are identity requirements for exam?
A: You need to present two identities on test day: One primary identity (government-issued with name, photo, and signature) and one secondary ID (name and signature). Here first name and last name must exactly match with identity presented on test day.
Primary identification should either one from Passport, Driving License, Military ID (including spouse and dependents), Identification card (national or local), Registration card (such as green card, permanent resident, visa).
Secondary identification should any original, valid ID that demonstrates at least your name and signature.
Q: What if I fail to exam?
A: You can retake exam. Please refer retake policy before appearing for exam.
Q: Is there any negative marking in exam?
A: No there is no negative marking in exam. Each question have marks and partial marks
Q: How and When will I get my exam results?
A: After completing exam, you will immediately get exam result print out at Pearsonvue center which mentions marks scored, and status of exam PASSED/FAILED with performance of skills areas measured using horizontal bar chart. Microsoft generally updates your learning account within 24 hrs if you pass the exam.
Q: If I do not pass exam, can I have a full or partial refund?
Q: My question not mentioned above?
A: Please visit Microsoft Certification Policies for more details.
I hope this post help you to decide right certification path for your career. If you like this post don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment.