At their 2018 Ignite conference Microsoft released detailed information about the sweeping changes they are making in the Azure and MS 365 curriculums. The news wasn’t limited to the announcement of new courses, but also revealed there will be new learning paths that will be mapped to job roles (using their own business skills analysis) and courses aligned directly with the new exams. To further embolden their new learning pathway Microsoft also announced the retirement of parts of the existing Azure curriculum and their associated certifications, as well as a route for 'transitioning' to the new qualifications.
What does the future look like?
There are new learning paths for Azure Certification
Microsoft have embraced a more free-form workshop model of delivery to give a far more agile feel to their Azure courses. Each learning path is made up of single-day courses that focus on a single technology.
Each course can be taken individually but can also be combined into a 5-day block of learning, allowing learners to have more control of their Azure education.
There are new exams with a much narrower focus, which should make them easier to prepare for and show more role-specific qualifications as a result.
The new job roles and their certifications are the following:
- Azure Solutions Architect
- Azure Administrator
- Azure Developer
- Azure DevOps Engineer
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator
- Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator
The exams for the Azure Administrator path have been live since July 2018 and the Azure Developer and Azure Solutions Architect certification exams were released in beta at the end of September 2018. The remaining paths (Azure DevOps Engineer, Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator, and Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator) should be launched by the end of the year.
What about my current Azure qualifications?
Recertification is necessary to maintain your qualifications
If you already hold any of the old Azure certifications (70-532, 70-533, 70-535) you will be eligible to take a 'transition' exam and migrate your certifications over to the new paths.
The following transition exams are being offered for a limited period of time only (they are slated to be retired after June 30th 2019):
- 70-533 > AZ-102: Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition
- 70-532 > AZ-202: Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition
- 70-535 > AZ-302: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition
What's in the pipeline?
The sweeping changes are not just limited to the Azure curriculum
News of the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate and Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert certifications recently surfaced.
These are rumoured to also require two exams to be passed in order to earn each full qualification. Although full details of these paths have not yet been publicised, they are expected to be made available by the end of 2018.