Though Microsoft is much known for their Windows operating system and its Office software solutions, they also provide a plethora of other solutions. The basis on that there is an equivalent number of certifications that enable individuals to turn into qualified technicians to support these products in conjunction with other products. Achieving and attaining these certifications also helps individuals to show their prowess in those lines of study. Not just that, they also stand as proof of their knowledge for their respective jobs and promotions, etc.

Microsoft Certifications List:

In this section, we will go through the various Certification options that IT professionals have and how their growth can be determined based on attaining these Certifications as well. Though there is no guarantee that completing these Certifications will fetch you the roles that you want, it will always keep you ready for taking such roles into implementation. Let us now take a look at the available Certifications at hand right now:

1. Microsoft App Builder Certifications

This section belongs to the development oriented category which details the usage of Microsoft solutions and also the platforms that are suitable and compatible with these. This includes designing, building, testing solutions that are built around Azure, HTML5 and JavaScript, CSS3, ASP.NET MVC web applications which manage the complete software lifecycle and etc.

The Microsoft App Builder Certification path has 3 different sets of credentials they are

  • MTA
  • MCSA
  • MCSD

MTA: The expectation in clearing an MTA exam is for the beginners who are entry level software developers, who will be tested on the topics such as HTML5 application development, Python or JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

MCSA: It has two credentials They are mentioned below 

  • Universal Windows Platform: It requires individuals to pass two exams - Programming in C# and the other in Mobile Application development.
  • Web Applications: It requires individuals to pass two exams - Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Apps and the other is Programming in HTML 5 with JavaScript or Programming in C#.

MCSD: App Builder certification requires either of the MCSA credentials that we’ve discussed in the above section and along with it will be an exam from the list of 5 topics.

2. Microsoft Business Applications Certifications

This section belongs to development in and around Dynamics 365 related platforms and technologies, that includes Dynamics 365 for various industries like Sales, Customer Service, Distribution, Marketing, Trade, Finance Management, Talent, Retail and Field Service.

The Microsoft Business Applications certifications contain two certifications 

  • MCSA
  • MCSE

MCSA: There are two sets of options that are available on MCSA track itself, each of which requires an individual to pass two individual exams to conclude these certifications.

  • MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 - It requires individuals to clear exams dealing with topics - Dynamics 365 customization & configuration and Dynamics 365 customer engagement & online deployment.
  • MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations - It requires 3 exams to pass, where an individual has to choose a topic for his second exam amongst - Microsoft SQL database infrastructure, Extensions & Deployment for Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, Provisioning SQL databases & development.

MCSE: Business Applications credential requires either of the above mentioned certifications and on top of that, requires a choice from 8 different topics to be cleared by that individual. These topics are discussed earlier.

3. Microsoft Cloud Certifications

The Cloud Certification track includes two sets of credentials

  • MTA
  • MCSA

MTA:

MTA has one relevant certification Cloud Fundamentals forms the requisite criterion to attain the MTA Certification credentials. This is an exam that tests individuals on their knowledge on Microsoft offerings such as Microsoft Cloud Services. Individuals should have enough experience regarding Networks, Network topologies, Ports, Office 365, devices and Microsoft Intune. 

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This section of Certifications covers topics such as Business Intelligence, Windows Server, Machine Learning, Microsoft Azure, Cloud data Platform Solutions, Big Data and Data Analytics. This is the most recent stream of Certifications that are available in Microsoft's set of Certifications. 

MCSA Cloud Track: It includes

  • BI Reporting
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2016 
  • SQL Server 2016 BI Development Certs

Each of the Windows related Certifications will be attained via completing 3 certifications and BI Reporting requires just 2 certifications.

4. Microsoft Data Certifications

This section also encompasses the Cloud related topics - Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Microsoft Database related technologies. This involves working with Transact-SQL and also developing newer SQL databases. This section also covers the extensive usage of Dynamics 365, Dynamics AX.

The Data Certification track also includes 3 sets of credentials 

  • MTA
  • MCSA
  • MCSE

MTA:

The MTA Certification requires only one certification to be cleared on Database Fundamentals.

MCSA:

The MCSA Data Certification requires 6 certifications to be cleared, namely - Data Engineering with Azure, Machine Learning, SQL 2016 Database Administration, SQL 2016 BI Development, SQL 2016 Database Development, SQL Server 2012 / 2014.

MCSE:

The MCSE Data Certification credential requires just one certification to be passed, the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics.

5. Microsoft Mobility Certifications

This section is exclusively related to desktop related tools and techniques such as Windows 10. This discusses in detail on working with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Intune - which helps planning and managing applications and devices in an Enterprise.

The Mobility Certification track includes three sets of credentials -

  • MTA
  • MCSA
  • MCSE 

MTA:

Mobility and Device Fundamentals will give you the MTA credentials which test the individual’s knowledge on Mobility and Windows devices.

MCSA:

Windows 10 provides the MCSA credentials but for this, an individual has to go through two different certifications.

MCSE:

Mobility provides the MCSE credentials and for this, you’ll have to pass MCSA: Windows 10 and just one another certification. A note here is that both the MCSA: Windows 10 and MCSE: Mobility certification exams retire starting March 31st, 2019.

6. Microsoft Productivity Certifications

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), is a concept that this set of skills brings in. This works in conjunction with other offerings from Microsoft like Exchange Server, Sharepoint Server, Office 365, Skype for Business and other requirements/services.

In this category, there are a varied number of Certifications that go about proving the prowess of an individual in using a single Office product to manage Office 365 services. 

This track includes two certifications along with Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) offerings they are

  • MCSA
  • MCSE

MCSA:

Office 365 is the single certification that provides you with an MCSA credential set.

MCSE:

Productivity certification can be attempted only when an individual has any of the following three Certifications as a mandate - Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, or the MCSA Office 365.

MOS Office 2016 certification: It is a certification available for each product of the Office suite of applications. It is the pinnacle of the MOS Certification program and requires an individual to complete 6 certifications.

Benefits of Microsoft Certifications to individuals:

There are a great number of benefits that these certifications give individuals who pursue them. Let us take a look at the following benefits that we’ve compiled for your ready reference:

  1. Better career prospects based on the certifications pursued
  2. Brings in a lot of flexibility in the work that these individuals are involved in.

Related Jobs and Career Options:

As a known fact, these Certifications provide an edge to individuals who possess them over the rest of the world. These also provide better opportunities and provide additional recognition from both the Hiring side of the industry and also from the Supervising side of the industry. Let us now take a look at the career opportunities that these Certifications bring in:

  • A Microsoft App Builder Certification is an apt option for mobile application developers who create software. The work here may happen as an individual, or as a team, or as a prototype and the like. The portfolio that this Certification manages are Microsoft's Azure services and also the software lifecycle management as well.
  • A Microsoft Business Applications Certification comes in handy for IT professionals who deal with back-office lines of business systems that were/are built around Microsoft Dynamics 365. This Certification helps individuals who upgrade, configure, customize systems of these kinds. They may even have to support customized versions of these tools or services as well.
  • A Microsoft Cloud Certification comes in handy for IT professionals who deal with designing, deploying, configuring and managing Windows Server environments, cloud environments or the standalone environments. Individuals who attain these Certifications would go to become System Administrators, Technical Specialists, System Analysts or the like.
  • A Microsoft Data Certification covers more ground which includes Database Administration, Database design, creation and maintenance. Today’s world runs on data and the volumes of the data that we are talking about only increases by an indefinite number of times. Database Administrators are the sole owners that we are talking about here. They deal with creates, updates, maintenance, security, retrieval, troubleshooting and the like. Not just that, when we talk about amalgams of Data with Intelligence, there comes the scope of Big Data, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence. This is one such area where there is an abundance of opportunities in various branches of work.
  • A Microsoft Mobility Certification is apt for individuals who deal with designing, deploying, configuring and managing Windows desktop environments and the like, be it on-premise or the Cloud. Individuals who attain these Certifications are apt to become Help Desk technicians, System Administrators, Support Personnel, etc.
  • A Microsoft Productivity Certification comes in handy for professionals who work with Office, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365 - which inturn covers ERP, CRM and much more. These individuals make sure that the rank and file employees are enabled to work effectively and efficiently without any hiccups.
  • A Microsoft Certified Trainer or a Microsoft Certified Educator holder is much more important to the rest of the Microsoft Ecosystem, as they form the interface between the individual’s growth and the necessary training for them to learn to get that. These individuals make a much greater impact on individuals who are on various levels of expertise.

Conclusion:

In this article, we have tried to understand the different kinds of certifications that are available for individuals that can take up, to improve their knowledge of different products and services. These not just help in attaining the necessary knowledge, but also proves helpful during the individual’s job tenures and promotion cycles. Microsoft offers the required training and the like through their MVA (Microsoft’s Virtual Academy) in two modes - online, and in-person. There is an abundance of articles and material that could be of great help for an individual's preparations.