Learn Azure and get the certifications in 5 steps

Willing to learn Azure? Thinking about taking an Azure certification?

You can reach your goal in these 5 steps:

  1. Start with exploring the list with certifications and learning activities.
  2. Go through the Microsoft trainings and read the exam reference book (where available).
  3. Go through the Udemy / Pluralsight online courses.
  4. Practice all learning in Azure* and do practice tests.
  5. Take the exam.

*You can create a free Azure account with 170€ credit here.

Depending on your skills, you can skip some of the steps e.g. take the exam directly 😊

Microsoft has 4 levels of certifications with several options:

FundamentalsAzure Fundamentals
SpecialtyAzure for SAP Workloads
Azure IoT Developer
AssociateAzure Administrator
Azure Security Engineer
Azure Developer
Azure AI Engineer
Azure Data Engineer
Azure Data Scientist
ExpertAzure Solutions Architect
Azure DevOps Engineer

Here are my recommendations with learning materials for each certification.

Certification Level: Fundamentals

Azure Fundamentals

DescriptionProve that you understand cloud concepts, core Azure Services, Azure pricing and support, and the fundamentals of cloud security, privacy, compliance, and trust.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified Azure Fundamentals
ExamAZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Microsoft TrainingAzure fundamentals
Exam Ref AZ-900
UdemyAZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam Prep In One Day
AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Original Practice Tests
PluralsightIntroduction to Microsoft Cloud Services
Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Certification Level: Associate

There are 6 available associate certifications:

  • Azure Administrator
  • Azure Security Engineer
  • Azure Developer
  • Azure AI Engineer
  • Azure Data Engineer
  • Azure Data Scientist

Azure Administrator Associate

DescriptionAzure Administrators implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions, including major services related to compute, storage, network, and security. 
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
ExamAZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator
Microsoft TrainingSecure your cloud data
Administer infrastructure resources in Azure
Manage resources in Azure
Administer containers in Azure
Exam Ref AZ-103
Udemy AZ-103 Azure Administrator Exam Certification (AZ-100)
Pluralsight Microsoft Azure Administrator (AZ-103)

Azure Security Engineer Associate

DescriptionAzure Security Engineers implement security controls and threat protection, manage identity and access, and protect data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of end-to-end infrastructure.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate
ExamAZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies
UdemyMicrosoft AZ-500 Certification: Azure Security Technologies
Azure AZ-500 Security Technologies Practice Test
PluralsightMicrosoft Azure Security Engineer (AZ-500)

Azure Developer Associate

DescriptionMicrosoft Azure Developers design, build, test, and maintain cloud solutions, such as applications and services, partnering with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement these solutions.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
ExamAZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Note: AZ-204 replaced AZ-203

For the differences see my article: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure: AZ-204 replaces AZ-203. These are the differences.
Microsoft TrainingCreate serverless applications
Connect your services together
Work with relational data in Azure
Store data in Azure
Deploy a website with Azure virtual machines
Manage resources in Azure

Exam Ref AZ-204
(available starting September 24, 2020)

Exam Ref AZ-203
UdemyAZ-203 / AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Exam Prep
PluralsightDeveloping Solutions for Microsoft Azure (AZ-203)

Azure AI Engineer Associate

DescriptionAzure AI Engineers use Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions involving natural language processing, speech, computer vision, bots, and agents.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate
ExamAI-100: Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution
Publish ML Experiment with ML Studio
Evaluate text with Azure Cognitive Language Services
Translate speech with Azure Cognitive Speech Services
Create Intelligent Bots with the Azure Bot Service
Classify images with the Azure Cognitive Vision Services
UdemyMachine Learning and AI using Microsoft Cognitive Services
AI-100 Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Exam Q&A
PluralsightMicrosoft Azure AI Engineer (AI-100)

Azure Data Engineer Associate

DescriptionAzure Data Engineers design and implement the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data using the full stack of Azure data services to satisfy business needs.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
ExamsDP-200: Implementing an Azure Data Solution
DP-201: Designing an Azure Data Solution
Azure for the Data Engineer
Store data in Azure
Work with relational data in Azure
Work with NoSQL data in Azure Cosmos DB
Large-Scale Data Processing with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2
UdemyAzure Data Factory: Hands on practical course (DP 200)
PluralsightMicrosoft Azure Data Engineer (DP-200)
Azure Data Solution (DP-201)

Azure Data Scientist Associate

DescriptionAzure Data Scientists apply Azure’s machine learning techniques to train, evaluate, and deploy models that solve business problems.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
ExamDP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure
Explore AI solution development with data science services in Azure
Build AI solutions with Azure Machine Learning service
Get started with ML with an Azure Data Science Virtual Machine
Perform data engineering with Azure Databricks
Extract knowledge and insights from your data with Azure Databricks
PluralsightMicrosoft Azure Data Scientist (DP-100)

Certification Level: Expert

There are 2 available expert certifications:

  • Azure Solutions Architect
  • Azure DevOps Engineer

Azure Solutions Architect Expert

DescriptionMicrosoft Azure Solutions Architects must have expertise in compute, network, storage, and security so that they can design solutions that run on Azure.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
ExamsAZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design
Note: AZ-303 replaced AZ-300; AZ-304 replaced AZ-301
Microsoft TrainingArchitect great solutions in Azure
Architect network infrastructure in Azure
Architect storage infrastructure in Azure
Architect compute infrastructure in Azure
Architect infrastructure operations in Azure
Exam Ref AZ-300
UdemyAZ-300 Azure Architecture Technologies Certification Exam
AZ-300 Azure Architecture Technologies Practice Test
PluralsightMicrosoft Azure Architect Technologies (AZ-300)
Microsoft Azure Architect Design (AZ-301)

Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

DescriptionAzure DevOps professionals combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
ExamsAZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions
and Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate
Evolve your DevOps practices
Build applications with Azure DevOps
Deploy applications with Azure DevOps
Automate your deployments with Azure DevOps
UdemyAZ-400: The complete practice test, Azure DevOps Solutions
PluralsightMicrosoft Azure DevOps Engineer (AZ-400)

Certification Level: Specialty

There are several types of certifications available:

  • Azure for SAP Workloads
  • Azure IoT Developer

Azure for SAP Workloads

DescriptionArchitects of Azure for SAP Workloads have extensive experience and knowledge of the SAP Landscape Certification process and industry standards that are specific to the long-term operation of an SAP solution.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
ExamAZ-120: Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads (beta)

Azure IoT Developer

DescriptionAzure IoT Developers implement the Azure services that form an IoT solution.
CertificationMicrosoft Certified: Azure IoT Developer Specialty
ExamAZ-220: Microsoft Azure IoT Developer