Microsoft Learn Tunes Up Its Certification Search Tool
Microsoft has spent a great deal of time retooling its professional certification over the past few years. One of my favorite things to come out of the overhaul is an updated certification search tool. Let's take a look at some of the cool features:
Source: Microsoft Learn
You can find this tool at Browse Certifications and Exams, which is part of Microsoft's ever-expanding "docs" library (a trove of online resources at the docs.microsoft.com domain). The stuff in the left-hand column is what I find especially interesting, because it slices and dices what Microsoft offers by product, job role, and level.
It's a way of dissecting the elements of the current Microsoft training and certification regime in an interesting and helpful way. That's why I'm going to reproduce information about these things as a wayfinding guide for readers to understand when using the tool.
As for that latter task, you can select one or more checkboxes under the Products, Roles and Levels headings shown, as well as Certification Types and Types headings not shown, to control what shows up on the right-hand side of the exam and certification browser.
Be sure to check it out at your leisure if you have any potential or actual interest in Microsoft training and certification. It's good stuff, actually.
The Products Heading
This shows how Microsoft divides up it collection of platforms, products, and offerings from a certification and training perspective. I find it revealing that Microsoft Windows, Server, and Office appear nowhere in this list at first glance. A partial list of its contents consists of the items in the following bulleted list.
Interestingly, products pop up when certain items are checked, then disappear as soon as they're unchecked — most notably Office. I'd say at least another 20-to-30 such items are part of these menus, though I'm challenged as to how to represent them properly.
.NET (2 items)
ASP.NET Core (1 item)
Azure (79 items)
Active Directory Domain Services (7 items)
API Apps (2 items)
API Management (1 item)
App Configuration (2 items)
App Service (13 items)
Application Gateway (2 items)
Dynamics (3 items)
Dynamics 365 (48 items)
Business Central (2 items)
Commerce (2 items)
Customer engagement apps (8 items)
Customer Insights (2 items)
Microsoft 365 (38 items)
Cloud App Security (4 items)
Microsoft 365 Security Center (4 items)
Security Score (2 items)
Threat Protection (4 items)
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (5 items)
Microsoft Endpoint Manager (4 items)
Intune (2 items)
Microsoft Graph (2 items)
Microsoft Power Platform (19 items)
Office (74 items)
Access (10 items)
Advanced Threat Protection (4 items)
Excel (19 items)
Exchange Server (2 items)
Office Add-ins (2 items)
OneDrive (9 items)
OneNote (5 items)
Outlook (10 items)
Planner (2 items)
Powerpoint (10 items)
Project (2 items)
Project Server (2 items)
Publisher (2 items)
SharePoint (9 items)
SharePoint Designer (2 items)
Visio (2 items)
Word (17 items)
Yammer (3 items)
This list is revealing in many ways. First, it shows how Microsoft divides up its own product space. Second, it shows where Microsoft is putting current emphasis on training and certification. Third is shows the importance of subscription ("365") platforms and their cloud-supplied platforms and capabilities (especially Azure).
Microsoft really is a changed business from the Windows, Server, and Office company it was once — but is no longer.
The Roles Heading
You must navigate to the roles section of this site to get information about roles in the following list. I'll spare you the effort and cut and paste those brief descriptions after the role names, of which there are many (23 or so). Please note: a surprising number of roles appear in the Certification and Exam Browser that are currently missing from the roles list in the Microsoft Learn pages.
I can only imagine MS will fill those gaps at some point — soon, I hope. In most cases, you can learn more about the role by searching online using the role name as your search string.
Administrator: Scale technical solutions across the company. You're in charge of implementing, managing, and monitoring your company's cloud environments and solutions. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful Administrator.
AI Engineer: Define and implement cutting-edge AI solutions: Whether in the cloud or hybrid environments, AI Engineers develop and deploy cognitive services, machine learning, and knowledge mining solutions to help their organization stay ahead of the game. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful AI Engineer.
App Maker: Build business applications the easy way. You build apps with low-code techniques to simplify, automate, and transform business tasks and processes. Discover the tools and skills you need to grow your career.
Business Analyst: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Business Owner: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Business User: Increase efficiency and productivity in your business. You use Microsoft applications to move your business forward. Learn how tools like Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and AI can support your team and grow your business.
Data Analyst: Make meaningful decisions with your data. You make data easy to understand through designing and building data models to drive meaningful business value. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful Data Analyst.
Data Engineer: Make your complex data available and accessible. You design and implement the management, monitoring, and security of data solutions. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful Data Engineer.
Data Scientist: Find the trends and develop data-driven solutions for your business. You're skilled in technology and the social sciences, using your expertise to experiment and develop solutions to complex business needs using big data. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful Data Scientist.
Database Administrator: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Developer: Make technology work for everyone. You design, build, and test the software and systems that make technology work, from commercial apps to enterprise cloud solutions. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful Developer.
DevOps Engineer: Blend your technical expertise with business savvy. You lead people across the organization to create the processes that oversee code releases along with managing the development cycle to continuously deliver business value. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful DevOps Engineer.
Educator: Not in the Browser (Microsoft has separate credentials for educators), this appears in the roles list anyway. Digitally transform teaching and learning. As an educator, you play a pivotal role in empowering students for future success! Microsoft Learn provides educators with free professional development, certifications, and supporting training materials to use in the classroom.
Functional Consultant: Implement custom business applications. You're a domain expert who helps others implement the latest technology solutions to meet their needs. Discover the skills and gain the expertise needed to become a successful Functional Consultant.
Identity And Access Administrator: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Information Protection Administrator: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Network Engineer: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Risk Practitioner: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Security Engineer: Secure your systems and protect your data. You're responsible for the design and implementation of digital security controls, managing access, and protecting your data in cloud networks and hybrid environments. Get the skills and knowledge needed to build your career as a successful Security Engineer.
Security Operations Analyst: Not in roles list, no text to quote.
Solution Architect: Define the vision and implementation of great technological solutions. You use your technical expertise to integrate and optimize technologies across an organization, tailoring your solutions to meet developer and business needs. Get the skills to build your career as a successful Solutions Architect with Microsoft Learn.
Student: Build tech skills for the future. Master new concepts at your speed and on your schedule. Start here to develop practical skills through fun, interactive modules and paths. Plus, educators can get access to Microsoft classroom materials and curriculum.
Support Engineer: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
Technology Manager: Not in roles list; no text to quote.
This is a rich and complex way to divide up IT and related roles and (where applicable) to describe who these people are and what they do at work. To me, this taxonomy says a lot about how Microsoft sees IT's place in business, technology and the workplace. Absolutely fascinating!
Check It Out, and Draw Your Own Lessons and Conclusions
Be sure to visit Microsoft Learn, and to check out the Browse Certifications and Exams tool. It certainly sheds a lot of light on where Microsoft is going with training and certification. You can tell what the company thinks is important and worthy of study and learning. Good stuff!