A Step by Step Guide on How to Become Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate


Overview of Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate Certification:

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing platform. It allows individuals and corporations to leverage the services of cloud systems without having to invest in expensive infrastructure or setting up specialized hardware. According to Microsoft, it gets 1000 new users on Azure for various certifications. That means it generates a whopping 365000 users on an average per year for its cloud computing platform. Previously, it was called Windows Azure, but it can work with platforms beyond Windows as well.

Microsoft has restructured all its Azure certifications to focus on the role that one would play after the certification rather than the concepts themselves. This, according to it, will focus on aligning job roles with what skills individuals will learn and develop during the process of this certification. This change was not a random strategy decision, either.

It was done after consulting their tech community and identifying how the performance in those roles could be made better. Cloud computing is the new face of IT, and companies are clamoring to be ahead in the race. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have already made several leaps in the industry to become leaders. Each of them is focusing on their proprietary platforms and certifications to equip individuals with the required skills.

Azure is highly flexible and affordable. Azure is pay-as-you-go and has top-notch security. This makes it one of the most trusted cloud computing platforms – a fact testified by the US government’s reliance on this software.

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Is This Certification Right for You?

According to Microsoft, “Azure Administrators implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions, including major services related to compute, storage, network, and security.” This certification requires a certain amount of role IQ to obtain the certification. According to Plural Sight, ‘Role IQ quantifies your technical proficiency in a specific role. By measuring your knowledge in relevant skills, Role IQ tells you what level you’re at and shows you what skills you need to work on to build your expertise.’

Also Read:  Top Paying IT Certifications 

What are the Eligibility Criteria for Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate Exam?

Professionals for this exam are Azure Administrators who manage cloud services that span storage, security, networking, and compute cloud capabilities. Professionals have a deep understanding of each service across the full IT lifecycle, and take requests for infrastructure services, applications, and environments. They make recommendations on services to use for optimal performance and scale, as well as provision, size, monitor, and adjust resources as appropriate.

According to Microsoft, ‘Candidates for this exam should have proficiency in using PowerShell, the Command Line Interface, Azure Portal, ARM templates, operating systems, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, storage structures, and networking.’

What is the Certification Process and the Cost for Azure Administrator Exam?

Azure Administrator exam combined AZ-100 and 101 into 103. AZ-900, Azure Fundamentals is an optional exam before this path. From May 1st professionals are required to pass only AZ-103 to complete Azure Administrator exam instead of both 100 and 101. Just clearing that exam will earn you the badge of Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate certification. The exam AZ-103 combines the skills and domains covered in the exams AZ-100 and AZ-101; more from the AZ-100 exam. This exam also acts as a prerequisite for the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert exam. AZ-103 will retire at 11:59 Central Time on August 30th. So, professionals may choose either AZ-103 or AZ-104 until then.

The domains covered in the exam are

Domain % Weight
Manage Azure subscriptions and resources 15-20%
Implement and manage storage 15-20%
Deploy and manage virtual machines (VMs) 15-20%
Configure and manage virtual networks 30-35%
Manage identities 15-20%

AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator

The AZ-104 certification exam is the ideal Azure certification for the role of Microsoft Azure Administrator. AZ-104 is the updated version of the existing exam for the Microsoft Azure Administrator exam (AZ-103). The exam tests the capabilities of candidates in implementation, management, and monitoring of identity, storage, virtual networks, computing and governance in cloud environments.

The domains covered in this exam are

Domain Weighting
Manage Azure identities and governance 15-20%
Implementation and management of storage 10-15%
Deployment and management of Azure compute resources 25-30%
Configuring and managing virtual networks 30-35%
Monitoring and backup for Azure resources 10-15%

The cost for the exam has not changed and has stayed at $165 for both the exams.

Job Description for an Azure Administrator

According to Whizlabs, the job description for an azure administrator are

  • Working in a combined Windows and Unix software environment
  • Managing cloud infrastructure service instances and multiple cloud servers
  • Leading, monitoring and maintenance of multiuser computing environment according to organizational requirements
  • Setting up public and private cloud systems
  • Balancing workloads and deploying them
  • Selection of cloud provides in accordance with requirements
  • Implementing cost-effective cloud-based systems according to technical specifications of the organization

What are the Salary and Job Prospects for Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Professionals?

The average salary that Azure administrators get varies between $100000 and $125000 with the average at around $115000. Then again, it is important to understand that these salaries need not be a reflection of the certification’s employability. As in the case of Azure fundamentals, people who need a peeking window into cloud computing. In that case, that certification is used to perform the role responsibilities better. The salaries might not be attributable to the certificate itself directly

Even in this case, validation of skills could involve someone in existing roles wanting to upgrade

Where to Get Online Resources for Azure Administrator Certification?

Microsoft offers a detailed guide on the skills required along with the tools for preparing for the exam. Apart from this, several websites like Udemy, Simplilearn, Plural Sight all offer several guides, preparatory materials, guides, study resources, as well as redirection to the exam portals themselves.