Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals—Is It Worth It?

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Find out what Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals certification is and the benefits to being certified. Discover the requirements, salary, and job outlook.

[Featured Image]:  Cloud engineer working on laptop, preparing for azure certification.

Certification in Azure Fundamentals offers numerous benefits, and the knowledge and skills to use it effectively justify the investment of time and effort needed to pass the exam. The certification verifies your understanding of cloud services and how to deliver using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The Azure suite contains over 200 products and services that range from AI and machine learning to web services [1]. Discover how Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals Certification boosts your positioning within the cloud profession, whether you're a beginner, cloud developer, business decision-maker, or sales and marketing professional.

What is Microsoft Azure Fundamentals?

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals is both a certification exam and a learning series designed to prepare you for the exam. The six-part learning series provides a high-level overview of the core Azure cloud platform components. You will participate in exercises that provide hands-on experience as you explore everything Azure can do. 

Your study can be either self-paced at no charge or instructor-led for a fee. The six learning paths of Microsoft Azure Fundamentals guide you to learn how to describe:

  1. Core Azure concepts

  2. Core Azure services

  3. Core Azure solution and management tools

  4. General and network security features

  5. Identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features

  6. Microsoft service level agreements and cost management

Once you feel proficient in these areas, you can register for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 exam, which covers the concepts above. Your certification will show current and potential employers or clients your expertise using the Azure cloud platform and cloud concepts. 

Why get the Azure Fundamentals certification?

Certification in Microsoft Azure Fundamentals is valuable if you want to acquire or prove your fundamental knowledge of cloud services, specifically Microsoft Azure. The exam is meant for people new to Azure or at the beginning stages of learning how to use cloud services and solutions. Benefits of Azure certification include:

  • Flexible career options as companies and enterprises participate in a mass migration to the cloud

  • An efficient learning experience that allows you to learn quickly and thoroughly

  • The ability to reduce IT costs for your company since Azure can significantly lower IT costs 

  • Utilizing Azure's highly robust security standards

  • Validation that you are committed to improving your skills and advancing in your career

  • Increased job opportunities as you qualify for opportunities that require certification

  • Potential for a higher salary  

  • Possible college credit through the American Council on Education

Prerequisites for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification

Before taking the certification exam, you should know basic IT concepts, such as app development, app support, networking, computing, and storage. You should also understand Azure architecture, services, management, governance, and cloud concepts. Taking the Azure Fundamentals learning series and other learning paths can help you meet these prerequisites.

Azure Fundamentals learning paths

To prepare for the certification exam, you can study on your own, take courses led by instructors, or a combination of the two. Within these learning paths are both paid and free options.

Self-paced training

Learn the core concepts of Azure by accessing Microsoft's collection of six learning paths. The coursework is online, free, and includes both text and video instruction. The modules take approximately 10 hours to complete in total.

Instructor-led training

Microsoft also offers preparation for the Azure Fundamentals exam through instructor-led classes. You'll learn the same concepts as in its self-paced modules with the added benefit of a live instructor. You will have access to lectures, hands-on labs, and demonstrations to aid your learning. The course takes one day to complete and is primarily virtual. Prices vary by location.

Practice tests

After learning the basic concepts, practice tests are an excellent approach to preparing for the exam. Practice tests designed by Microsoft professionals assess all the objectives you'll encounter on your exam. You can access an official practice exam for a fee through Microsoft's educational partner Pearson.

Azure resources

Microsoft also provides a host of additional resources that you can access to learn about and keep up with the latest advancements in Azure concepts. These include:

  • The Microsoft Azure blog

  • Azure Friday vlogs

  • Microsoft Learn community

  • Azure documentation library

Are Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certificate holders in high demand? 

Cloud technologies are in high demand, and Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud platforms. Nearly 70 percent of organizations worldwide use Azure as their cloud provider, according to Statista [2], and Microsoft reports over 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure [3].


What jobs can you get with Azure Fundamentals certification?

You can work in nearly any industry with Azure Fundamentals certification. Microsoft Azure provides cloud solutions for many industries, including but not limited to: 

  • Financial services

  • Government

  • Health care

  • Manufacturing

  • Retail

  • Energy

  • Media and entertainment

  • Agriculture

  • Gaming

  • Banking

Gaining Azure Fundamentals certification can enhance your employability and success at work in many IT roles that work within the cloud, including:

  • Cloud developer: $95,208 [4]

  • Security engineer: $92,066 [5]

  • Data engineer: $94,233  [6]

  • Web developer:$77,719 [7]

Other Microsoft Azure Certifications you may consider earning for full cloud technology jobs

Beyond Azure Fundamentals, Microsoft offers about 30 cloud-based and Azure-specific certifications at the Associate, Expert, and Specialty levels. Every Azure certification, whether foundational, role-based, or specialty, includes training to help you improve your skills and show your accomplishments. These credentials allow you to hone your skills and establish yourself as a more skilled practitioner in the technology sector. A sampling of Microsoft Azure Certifications you can get include:

  • Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

  • Azure AI Fundamentals

  • Identity and Access Administrator Associate

  • Azure Administrator Associate

  • Azure Database Administrator Associate

  • Azure Data Scientist Associate

  • Teams Support Engineer Associate

  • Azure Data Engineer Associate

  • Power Platform Solution Architect Expert

  • Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty

You can progress to more advanced positions as you increase your knowledge, skills, education, and experience. Microsoft Associate, Expert, and Specialty certifications are helpful for advancement to and success in these roles:

  • Solutions architect: $122,677  [8]

  • Azure cloud architect: $115,417 [9]

  • Cloud DevOps engineer: $109,353[10]

  • Big data specialist: $76,481[11]

  • Storage engineer: $101,422[12]

  • Enterprise architect: $125,752 [13]

  • Director of information technology: $134,537[14]

Job outlook and career prospects for Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification holders

US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms web and software developers, which includes Azure professions, are in high demand, with a projected increase in jobs of 25 percent between 2021 and 2031 [15]. The average job growth rate is only 5 percent. 

As more businesses move to the cloud, the need for talented cloud Azure developers will only grow. Among the added advantages of Microsoft Azure occupations is the ability to choose which path to take based on your goals and skill set.  

Kickstart your cloud technology career with a Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification

To advance in your current career or find a high-paying position in the cloud industry, consider taking the Getting Started with Azure offered by LearnQuest on Coursera to learn more the Azure platform. When you're considering certification, you can get ready with the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam Prep Specialization prep course offered by Microsoft on Coursera.



Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam Prep

Launch your career in cloud computing. Prepare for the Microsoft AZ-900 certification exam.


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