Microsoft offers several different certifications across multiple expertise levels from Fundamental, to Associate, to Expert. The Microsoft Certified Associate certifications are the level of certification that is the most applicable to most jobs and experience levels. It’s always desirable to be labeled an Expert with the Expert certifications, but there is a ton of practical reasons to earn the Microsoft Certified Associate level certifications. These certifications are targeted towards professionals with 2+ years of experience with with the technologies covered, and are actually required prerequisites for the Microsoft Certified Expert level certifications too!

What is a Microsoft Certified Associate?

Microsoft offers a couple different levels of certifications for professionals with different amounts of expertise and responsibilities in their job roles. These levels start with the entry-level or beginner in mind with the Fundamentals certifications, to a more intermediate level with the Associate certifications, all the way to the top with Expert level certifications.

The Microsoft Certified Associate level certifications are applicable to many job roles in IT, and are also required prerequisites on the way to earning the Microsoft Certified Expert level certifications.

The following are the different levels of Microsoft certifications, along with the targeted level of expertise expected for certification candidates:

  1. Fundamentals – Certifications targeted towards entry-level and others just starting out with the technologies covered, such as the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification.
  2. Associate – Certifications targeted towards professionals working with the technologies covered who generally have about 2+ years of experience, such as the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification.
  3. Expert – Certifications targeted towards professionals with a more advanced level of expertise with 2-5+ years of experience with the technologies covered, such as the Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert certification.
What are the Microsoft Certified Associate Certifications? 2
Microsoft Certification Levels

Each of the Associate level certifications from Microsoft validate the skills needed by professionals working in the industry for a variety of job roles. There are actually 37 Associate level certifications from Microsoft to choose from.

The following are the Associate level Microsoft certifications that are available for Microsoft Azure and Office 365 technologies:

The most popular Microsoft Certified Associate level certifications are the Azure Administrator, Azure Developer, and Power BI Data Analyst Associate certifications.

To see a list of the top most popular Microsoft certifications overall, please read our article titled “Most Popular Microsoft Azure Certifications” written by Chris Pietschmann.

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect