Microsoft Launches New "Role-Based" Training and Certs at Ignite

Microsoft is making big changes to its Azure certifications.

The week of Sept. 24-28 played host to Microsoft's Ignite developer conference in Orlando, Fla., this year. Among a raft of announcements and copious information sharing, Microsoft Learning let fly with a certification salvo aimed at Microsoft's immensely popular Azure cloud computing platform.


Here's a list of related info and announcements or changes that popped up (so far, anyway — it's only Thurs., Sept. 27, as I write this post):


? Microsoft Learning Blog "Skill up and stand out, with new role-based training and certification!" 9/24
? Microsoft Learning Blog "New role-based certification and training is here, and we're just getting started" 9/24
? Microsoft Learning "Microsoft Role-based Certifications"
? Microsoft Docs "Introducing" 9/23


All of these new announcements touch only upon Azure, but it's clear that a new training and certification ethos is emerging from the Colossus of Redmond. The idea, apparently, is to address IT job roles in general, and cloud IT roles in particular with training and certification especially focused on upskilling and targeting people to fill specific job roles.


Given that so many companies are moving into the cloud (or already occupying its evaporative environs) Microsoft asserts that, "Although 70 percent of CIOs have a �cloud-first strategy' and 85 percent of enterprises want to incorporate cloud architecture, only 16 percent of organizations have the required skills and processes" (Skill Up item from above).


Obviously, Microsoft Learning wants to help companies fill that gap, and steer them toward Azure in the process.


How to Define Those Roles?


Microsoft conducted "market research" to help them "define and refine the overall list of roles and skills." Then, as you'd expect, they spoke with subject matter experts both inside and outside of their own ranks to make sure this new collection of training options and certs corresponds nicely with the roles and skills they worked out.


This introduces a change in the Microsoft Learning certification program, which hitherto has focused more on tools and technologies, rather than "skills and concepts needed for specific job roles."


Microsoft is making big changes to its Azure certifications.
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About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.