The world of Microsoft Azure is very dynamic. The new offerings and features on Microsoft Azure drive many new changes in the exam’s structure and content. Therefore, it is important for every candidate to notice every Azure certifications update in detail. Microsoft Azure has recently announced an important update on its training and certification, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Microsoft Azure certifications are one of the major instruments for aspiring candidates to establish proof of their skills and abilities in new Microsoft Azure technologies. The updates regarding Azure certifications not only information about changes in the exam’s syllabus and content but also about new options to take the exam. In the following discussion, we shall reflect on the new updates on Azure certifications introduced recently by Microsoft.
Highlights of the Azure Certifications Update
The foremost aspect that you should find about the new Azure certifications update is the reason for its introduction. As you all know, the world is battling with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for survival. Thousands of lives have been lost, and millions continue to contract the infection with every passing day. In these uncertain times, the response to COVID-19 has brought a drastic change across many industries. For example, large-scale manufacturing plants such as automobile manufacturing plants have been shut down temporarily.
Therefore, Microsoft also has to emphasize the health, safety, and well-being of its employees, customers, learners, and service partners. However, the response by authorities all over the world to the global COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in the disruption of normal routines, thereby changing the environment in which Microsoft operates for its Azure certification exams.
Therefore, Microsoft had to adapt to the changing times along with other participants in its partner ecosystem. So, you can clearly notice the basic objective of Microsoft behind bringing updates on Azure certifications now. The updates aim to help candidates continue learning and achieve certifications for Microsoft technologies while ensuring their safety.
Focus on Increasing Capacity for Online Proctoring
One of the first additions in the latest update by Microsoft Azure is that you can take the Azure certification exam online now. The new Azure certifications update shows that Pearson VUE, the exam delivery partner of Microsoft, has had to shut down many of its testing centers all over the world temporarily. The response was mandatory to follow the global government regulations to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease.
Therefore, candidates could now get the facility to take the Azure certification exam online according to the new update. Candidates will have to take the exam in an online-proctored format from the convenience of their homes or office now. Microsoft is presently coordinating with Pearson VUE on war footing to expand the infrastructure for an online testing facility.
In the online exam format, candidates have to take certain considerations into account before registering for an exam. Before you register for a Microsoft Azure role-based certification now, you have to follow the steps mentioned below.
- First of all, candidates have to take the mandatory system test. The system test is important to verify that the computer and its location are compatible with the online proctoring software.
- The next important concern for candidates is to ensure that their ID is compliant with standard requirements for Azure certifications. In addition, candidates should also ensure that the name in their profile is the same as that in the identification.
- The new Azure certifications update also states that candidates have to review the technical, environmental, testing protocol, and system requirements. These requirements are mandatory to participate in online-proctored exams.
Pearson VUE has stated on its official website that its capability for global test delivery is experiencing drastic fluctuations now. However, the exam delivery partner of Microsoft provides assurance of solving all their queries and doubts. In addition, Pearson VUE also informs that they are currently working to help candidates worldwide take certification exams. Therefore, the customer service wait time will be longer than usual for catering to the abrupt rise in demand for taking Azure certification exams online.
Also Read: Azure Certifications Retiring in 2020
No More Cancellation or Rescheduling Fees, Temporarily!
The new update for Azure certifications also involves azure exam cancellation extended for providing flexibility to candidates. If any candidate wants to cancel or reschedule their Azure certification exam, then they wouldn’t have to pay additional charges. Actually, Microsoft has temporarily waived off the exam rescheduling and cancellation fees, in collaboration with Pearson VUE.
According to the new update, candidates could now cancel or reschedule their Azure certification exam appointment. Rather than the six-day window, as specified in the current policy of Microsoft, candidates could now reschedule or cancel their Azure certification exam for free. The only condition is that candidates should reschedule or cancel the exam at least 24 hours before the exam.
Extension of Retirement of MCSA, MCSD, MCSE Certifications, and Related Exams
Candidates should also note that many other azure exam cancellation extended with the extension in the retirement of MCSA, MCSE, and MCSD. Many candidates are preparing for the certifications of Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect (MCSA) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
In such times, candidates could find it difficult to achieve the certification before their stipulated retirement date. So, as compared to the earlier retirement date of June 30, 2020, the new retirement date for these certifications would extend to January 31, 2021. As a result, candidates could get more time to prepare effectively for the exams, complete them, and achieve their certifications.
Extension of Expiring Role-based Certifications
The latest Azure certifications update also emphasizes the extension of specific role-based certifications that were about to expire. Candidates should know that if they have a role-based certification, which is expiring between December 31, 2020, and now, then the certification would extend by six months. For example, if your certification is about to expire on April 12, 2020, then it will now expire on October 12, 2020.
The automatic update of the expiration date of your certification takes away all the possible trouble you might have imagined. Candidates could now find a clear impression of their updated expiration date on the certification dashboard by April 26, 2020.
The whole world is affected by the widespread of COVID-19 pandemic. So, stay safe, learn from home, and take your Microsoft Azure certification exam from home only!
Extension of Expiry Dates of Vouchers and Discount Offers
The new Azure certifications update in response to COVID-19 also emphasizes the extension of expiration dates for exam vouchers and discounts. Candidates having Pearson VUE delivered certification exam voucher or discount offer will get an extension till January 31, 2021. However, the condition is that the expiration date of the voucher or discount offer should be between March 26, 2020, and August 31, 2020.
Transformation to Virtual Training
Another important highlight in the new update on Azure certification is the shift to virtual training. Now Microsoft and Microsoft Learning Partners are shifting from personal, instructor-led training towards a virtual, instructor-led training. Microsoft Learning Partners can provide comprehensive technical training solutions built for addressing the learning objectives of individuals and enterprises.
The new Azure certifications update implies that content designed by Microsoft for the virtual, instructor-led training courses is commendable. Microsoft Certified Trainers deliver virtual training courses, thereby improving their credibility. Candidates could check with the local learning partner or visit Microsoft Events to find events for virtual instructor-led training nearby.
Concerns of Academic Customers
The academic customers of Microsoft also have some great news with the latest Azure certifications update. Microsoft has stated that it is presently working in close collaboration with Pearson VUE and Certiport for supporting schools. This initiative of Microsoft aims at helping schools that are currently experiencing a disruption in classes due to the shutdown of schools. Basically, the focus will change towards distance learning. So, now academic customers could just approach their local Microsoft Education team or the Certiport support with any questions they might have.
Microsoft Learn to the Rescue!
One of the most important highlights is that candidates could prepare for Microsoft Azure role-based certification through Microsoft Learn. Candidates could use Microsoft Learn as a critical instrument for enhancing their skills considerably. The detailed and massive catalog of free, online training courses is one of the foremost advantages you can notice.
So, Microsoft Learn is a cost-effective and flexible platform for obtaining necessary guidance on preparation for Azure certification exams. In these tough times, Microsoft is working hard with its customers and partners for delivering certification exams online on time with efficiency. So, Microsoft urges its customers in the new Azure certifications update to use Microsoft Learn to their advantage.
Apart from the facility of free training, candidates could find role-based learning paths and interactive coding environments. When you look at these aspects of Microsoft Learn, it becomes impossible to doubt its productivity. Candidates can use Microsoft Learn to improve their specialization in a particular topic or prepare for a Microsoft Azure certification.
Still thinking if it’s the right time to go for Azure certifications? Here are the Top Reasons to Go for Microsoft Azure Certification.
What’s the Next Plan?
So, Microsoft has brought good news with its latest Azure certifications update. Now, it is time for candidates to gear up and make the most of the extensions that have been announced. Certifications that were about to expire have been extended, vouchers and discount offer expiry dates have extended, and online courses are free on Microsoft Learn.
There are so many opportunities around you if you look closely. In addition, it is also important for candidates to find the right platform for their Azure certification training courses. Trusted platforms such as Whizlabs can be exceptionally helpful for candidates in these scenarios. Don’t wait anymore and make the best use of time, right now!
- DP-300 Exam Preparation Guide (Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure) - October 16, 2020
- Whizlabs WhizQuiz is Back with More Exciting Prizes! - October 12, 2020
- Python for Beginners Training Course Launched - September 25, 2020
- AWS IoT Core Device Provisioning Training Course Launched - September 16, 2020
- Automating AWS with Python and Boto3 Training Course Launched - September 14, 2020