Choosing the best Microsoft 365 certification can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll outline the Microsoft 365 certification paths and help you decide which one is best for you and how you can prepare for these exams.
Let’s dig in.
What is Microsoft 365 certification and why it is important?
Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive platform that consists of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It is designed for organizations of all sizes and offers a variety of features and benefits. There are a number of different Microsoft 365 certification paths that you can pursue, depending on your skills and interests.
Microsoft 365 offers certifications that suit your role, your level of knowledge, and your business needs. As the nature of network environments changes, Microsoft 365 changes its features to make it the best fit for business.
Upskilling yourself accordingly is becoming increasingly necessary. Additionally, if you want to hone your skills in cloud technology, clearing Microsoft 365 certifications will be a significant stepping stone for you.
Additionally, Microsoft 365 certifications are important to gain trust if you are applying to a company that’s a Microsoft partner or in the process of obtaining competencies to become one.
Apart from this, Microsoft has also implemented a yearly renewal assessment for Microsoft 365 certifications so you can authenticate your skills in Microsoft 365 technologies. The Microsoft 365 certification renewal process is easy and free and will require you to appear for an exam of 25 questions based on the current syllabus and exam format.
Starting with Microsoft 365 Role-Based certifications
Microsoft 365 offers 42 certifications based on roles and level of knowledge, viz., Fundamentals, Associate, and Expert. You may find it superbly overwhelming to find out which Microsoft 365 certification is the best for you. So to unload some of your burdens here’s an easy bifurcation for you.
First, based on level of expertise:
|Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
|MS 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator
MS 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator
MS 365 Certified: Security Administrator
|Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
Second, based on roles:
|Administrator Role||Developer Role|
|Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate
Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
|Microsoft 365 Certified: Developer Associate
Below image shows the Microsoft 365 Certification Path:
Let’s dive deeper into these Microsoft 365 certifications.
Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
If you are a beginner and want to advance your career in the Microsoft 365 environment, this is just the right certification to start with. In this certification, you will learn:
- The basics of cloud services
- SaaS solutions offered by Microsoft 365
- Microsoft 365 cloud services
This certification requires you to be familiar with:
- Core concepts of Microsoft 365
- Basics of the cloud environment
- Compliance and privacy in Microsoft 365
- Microsoft 365 pricing and support
Apart from this, you would also need to qualify for Exam MS-900: Microsoft 365 Fundamentals. This exam will help you get a 360-degree view of Microsoft 365 and cloud core concepts, use Microsoft 365 solutions to address business IT challenges, and leverage those services to enhance productivity, enable collaboration, and optimize connectivity.
Next, for preparation, you can follow:
- Learning paths include three domains, divided into three to five modules each.
- Practice papers for MS-900 exam capture the subjects of Microsoft 365 cloud-related offerings.
MS 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
The Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification will teach you how to implement, configure, protect, handle, and bear watch devices and applications for your clients in enterprise infrastructure. The skills you need for these exams are:
- Windows installation and configuration
- Handling network and storage
- Manage Windows
- Secure devices and info
- Handle access, identity, policies, compliance, and profiles of configuration.
- Handle apps
Again, just like the previous certification, you need to pass exams to be eligible for this certification:
- MD 100-exam: Windows Client
- MD 101-exam: Managing Modern Desktops
Further, these exams are designed to teach you how to accomplish actions like deploying and configuring Windows, managing networks, and securing devices and data. You will also gain subject matter expertise in securing and validating the Windows devices and data saved in those devices and delve deeper into monitoring Windows Client in Azure Directory infrastructure.
Although, you might have to collaborate with Microsoft 365 Enterprise, Security, and Server Administrators to install modern desktop strategies that best fit your business needs. For this, you must have familiarity with client computer networks, policy-based management, and cloud services.
Speaking of preparations, you can go for:
- Learning Paths contains three domains with six to nine modules each.
- To help you prepare for the MD-101 exam, we are providing you with multiple practice questions similar to the actual MD-101 exam, carrying detailed and exhaustive explanations.
Practice papers for MD-100 exam and MD-101 exam to help you prepare for the mandatory exams.
MS 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
This certification will help you learn how to implement, configure, handle, troubleshoot, control the recipients, comply, secure, and manage mail flow in hybrid and cloud enterprise infrastructures. To qualify for this course, you would need to know:
- Managing organizational resources
- Planning and handling mail transport architecture
- Planning and implementing hybrid configuration and migrations
- Protect the messaging environment.
Along with this, you also need to pass an MS-203 exam: Microsoft 365 Messaging. As messaging administrators, you will be accountable for maintaining message hygiene and managing permissions, the messaging ecosystem, hybrid configuration, migration, and client access.
You might also need to partner with Microsoft 365 enterprise administration to ensure a secure cloud messaging infrastructure that best suits business needs. This would require you to be familiar with the types of authentication, licensing, and integration of Microsoft 365 apps.
Talking about preparations, you will find:
- Learning paths contain ten domains, further divided into four to five modules.
- Practice papers for MS-203 exam to help prepare for the subjects of messaging administration.
MS 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate
This certification will teach you to secure Microsoft 365 enterprise and hybrid infrastructures, deploy and handle protection and compliance tools, troubleshoot threats, and implement data governance mechanisms. The skills that you require are:
- Deploy and manage identity, access, threats, and data protection.
- Handle regulation and compliance solutions in Microsoft 365.
Speaking of exams, you need to qualify for MS-500 exam: Microsoft 365 Security Administration to be eligible for this certification. As a security administrator, you will be accountable for deploying, handling, and scrutinizing security and compliance tools in Microsoft 365 and hybrid environments.
You should also be well versed with Microsoft 365 workloads and have relevant experience in identity and data protection, security management, and governance.
Coming to preparations, you can go for:
In this MS-500 exam practice test, you will get unlimited access to newly updated practice tests with 130+ unique questions. These practice tests are designed by our Microsoft Certified expert team to ensure that you get familiarity with the actual exam format.
- Learning paths include four domains, each divided into seven to ten modules.
- Practice papers for the MS-500 exam to cover all the subjects for Microsoft 365 security administration.
Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate
Through this certification, you will learn how to collaborate with business stakeholders to secure your IT infrastructure. You will aim to reduce business risk by identifying and troubleshooting active attacks in the infrastructure, improving threat protection actions, and enforcing mechanisms to monitor policy violations.
You would require skills to mitigate threats by leveraging Microsoft 365 Defender, Microsoft Defender for Clouds, and Microsoft Sentinel.
In addition, you will have to pass Exam SC-200: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst to be eligible for this certification. As a security operations analyst, you will be responsible for managing threats, monitoring, and responding to threats using tools like Microsoft Defenders, Sentinel, and other third-party security services.
As you will consume operational outputs, you will be considered a vital stakeholder accountable for implementing and configuring these solutions.
Talking about preparation, you can go for:
- Learning paths: covering ten domains with five to ten modules each.
- Practice paper for SC-200 exam capturing concepts of Microsoft solutions like Defenders and Sentinel.
Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
This Microsoft 365 certification is specifically for those managing Microsoft teams in organizations. You will learn to enable effective and efficient communication in the Microsoft 365 infrastructure. However, you must know how to implement, configure, and protect Team chat and apps, channels, audio or video meetings, live streams, and other Microsoft Team devices.
Further, you will have to qualify for Exam MS-700: Managing Microsoft Teams to fulfill certification prerequisites. Here, you will learn to collaborate on functions like connections, telephony, licensing, compliance, protection, user adoption, and the development of apps and support systems.
Now, for preparation, you have:
- Learning paths: covering four domains of three to five modules each.
- Practice papers for MS-700 exam: including all the subjects for Microsoft Teams
Microsoft 365 Certified: Developer Associate
If you are a developer and want to test your resilience in designing, developing, testing, and maintaining apps & solutions for optimizing productivity and collaboration needs for your business using the Microsoft 365 platform, this is just the perfect certification.
As a Microsoft 365 Developer Associate, you will proactively work with Microsoft identity and graphs and develop applications for Microsoft Teams. You will also learn about UI tools like Fluent UI and integration points like Office Add-ins and Actionable Messages and describe the workload platform targets. Other skills include:
- Deploy Microsoft Identity
- Expand and personalize SharePoint
- Expand Office
Furthermore, you will also need to qualify for Exam MS-600: Building Applications and Solutions with Microsoft 365 Core Services for this certification. However, you will require prior experience building apps on Microsoft Teams, Office, and SharePoint through all segments of software development. You should also have a fundamental knowledge of REST APIs, JSON, Azure AD, and related concepts.
Next, talking about preparation, you will have:
- Learning paths: including five domains with four to nine modules each.
- Practice papers for MS-600 exam: capturing subjects for UI elements and building solutions for Microsoft 365 platforms.
Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
Enterprise Administrator Expert, as the name suggests, is the advanced-level administrator certification. The certification teaches you to analyze, plan, shift, implement, and handle Microsoft 365 services. Microsoft also lays down a list of skills that you need to get your hands on before you start prepping for this certification:
- Create and deploy Microsoft 365 services
- Handle identities and roles of users.
- Handle validation and access.
- Strategize applications and workloads for Office 365
- Deploy services for modern devices.
- Deploy protection and threat management mechanisms for Microsoft 365.
- Handle governance and compliance for Microsoft 365.
Apart from this, you would have to clear these two examinations to qualify as a Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert.
Speaking of these exams, they will help you sharpen your capabilities for all the above-mentioned technical tasks. You will also learn how to perform Microsoft 365 tenant management actions for enterprises. However, you have to be well versed in server and network administration and basics like DNS, Active Directory, etc.
Additionally, you require experience in administering at least one of the Microsoft 365 workloads: Exchange, SharePoint, or Windows 10 implementations.
Lastly, for preparation, you can either go for learning paths, instructor-led videos, or practice tests.You will also find separate practice tests for MS-100 exam and MS-101 exams and get the objectives of the exams captured in-depth.
Further, Microsoft 365 certification ensure easy maintenance, security, management of chats and apps, messaging management, etc. But maintaining Microsoft 365 platforms through third-party vendors along with managing collaborations with innumerable workloads often creates havoc on operating margins. Therefore, these organizations want professionals who can be a part of their in-house team and manage and maintain their hybrid and on-premises infrastructure with ease.
Interestingly, this is where Microsoft 365 certifications become a game-changer. These certifications will help you validate your skills for myriad administrator, developer, expert, and associate roles and gain employers’ trust.
Microsoft 365 certification can help you stand out in today’s job market. There are many different paths you can take to earn your Microsoft 365 certification, so hope this article might be helpful in finding the best Microsoft 365 certification that suits your career goals.
But if you want to give an edge to your preparation and profile, Whizlabs has got you covered with everything.
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