Your Path to Microsoft Azure Employment

Knowledge of Microsoft Azure can unlock a bright employment future.

With the public cloud market growing at a healthy pace, prospects look good for the big players Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Microsoft, with its worldwide network of data centers and wide range of solutions, is able to provide scalability, high availability, security, flexibility, and cost efficiencies, making it the first choice of many enterprises.


Azure comprises part of Microsoft's "commercial cloud," the other components being Office 365, Dynamics 365, and LinkedIn services. There's no directly public disclosure of how successful Azure has been — Microsoft doesn't yet single out Azure revenues in its public disclosures. Amazon did the same with AWS in the initial years.


What is widely known is that Azure is second only to AWS in the cloud infrastructure services market. Though AWS is still far ahead of Microsoft Azure, Azure's market share is steadily growing. According to Gartner, Microsoft Azure commanded 15.5 percent of the IaaS market in 2018. Microsoft's Q4 Earnings report for FY19 stated that Azure grew at 64 percent.


Microsoft has not only built up a robust network of channel partners, it has a large and well-trained workforce. ZDNet reports that analyst Daniel Ives believes this will enable the company to convince more enterprises to move to Azure and adopt other Microsoft commercial cloud offerings.


Jump Into Azure


Learning Azure is easier if you have some experience with Microsoft Office 365 and PowerShell, as well as a fundamental understanding of cloud computing services and familiarity with Azure terminology. This includes knowing and understanding such terms as Azure Stack, Azure Active Directory, and Resource Group, to name a few.


There are a range of resources available to help you understand the basics of Azure and develop essential skills. Microsoft offers several learning paths, which are detailed online.


You can't learn Azure, however, by just reading a study guide or watching videos. You need hands-on experience and solid training materials. You will also need Microsoft tools, which you can access through your browser. Thanks to Microsoft, you can sign up for a free Azure account, navigate the portal, and experience how Azure services work. It's also helpful to refer to Microsoft's Azure documentation, which is available through the portal.


The Azure fundamentals learning path is a good starting point. It consists of 12 modules that will help you become familiar with cloud concepts, including scalability, availability, agility, and disaster recovery. You will also gain some knowledge of Azure services, and understand the advantages, including cost efficiencies, of Azure cloud computing.


The Microsoft Official Curriculum, Microsoft Official Courses on Demand, and the Microsoft Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are also reliable learning sources. For those who have decided on a specific Azure role, Microsoft offers learning paths that map to the role, such as Administrator, Developer, and Solutions Architect. More information about these paths is available online.


Become a Skilled Azure Professional


Knowledge of Microsoft Azure can unlock a bright employment future.

With more and more enterprises migrating to the cloud, the demand for skilled Azure professionals is expected to grow. Direct experience with Azure is the most important requirement. Hands-on experience will help you gain familiarity with Azure services and hone your technical skills.


Azure is complex and evolving fast, so you need to keep learning in order to stay abreast of technological changes. Earning relevant Microsoft Azure certifications is a key aspect of skill development. They demonstrate domain knowledge and familiarity with current technologies.


If you are a developer, then fluency with a number of cloud-supported programming languages is also required.


What is most important is hands-on experience. You need to develop clear concepts and hone technical skills. Few companies will hire on the basis of certification alone, but certification validates domain expertise and proves you have current skills.


There are plenty of tutorials, courses and other learning sources online. Cloud Foundation offers an Azure course that you can access free of charge for a month.


Many recruiters, of course, require Microsoft Azure certifications for specific roles. So, while you can develop cloud computing concepts and hone your skills through real-world experience gained as a trainee or a tech professional, you may need to earn relevant Microsoft Azure certifications to specialize in a domain of your choice and advance your career.


Azure Certifications


Certification is an important part of learning and skill development for Azure professionals looking to advance their careers. Microsoft Azure certifications demonstrate the holder's familiarity with current technologies and ability to work with Azure cloud services.


Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals


Though this certification is not a prerequisite for all the new Azure role-based credentials, it is helpful for candidates looking to develop a fundamental understanding of cloud services and Microsoft Azure services in particular.


Azure Fundamentals is designed for technical professionals who need to demonstrate their basic knowledge of cloud services to potential employers as well as non-technical personnel who deal with cloud-specific services and solutions.


Different Certification Tracks


Microsoft's Azure role-based certifications map to job roles and are suitable for candidates looking to build a career as an Azure administrator, developer, solutions architect, or DevOps engineer. It's important to select the right area of specialization, keeping in mind your interests and aptitude.


Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate


This certification is intended for those who wish to administer cloud services, including compute, networking, storage, and security. Candidates need to pass the AZ-103 exam to earn this certification. It's necessary to be proficient enough to work from the CLI, perform tasks through the Azure portal, and execute PowerShell commands to pass this exam.


Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate


This certification is designed for developers who design and develop cloud applications and services for the Azure platform. Candidates are required to be proficient in a minimum of one cloud programming language and have at least one year of professional experience building cloud solutions to scale from start to finish. To earn this certification, you need to pass the AZ-203 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure exam.


Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert


This credential is suitable for Azure Solutions Architects who aim to advance their ability to design robust and scalable Azure solutions. Candidates are required to be experienced in virtualization, networking, database management, business continuity, security, and other aspects of cloud operations. To earn this certification, you need to pass the AZ-300 Azure Architect Technologies and AZ-301 Azure Architect Design exams.


Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert


Knowledge of Microsoft Azure can unlock a bright employment future.

This credential is intended for DevOps professionals who aim for improved communication and collaboration between the development and operations teams. The Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification demonstrates the ability to design a DevOps strategy, and implement processes, continuous integration, continuous delivery, dependency management, application infrastructure, and continuous feedback.


Microsoft requires candidates to hold either a Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification or a Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification. You will need to pass the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam.


Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate


This certification is suitable for professionals looking to work as Azure security engineers. It demonstrates the ability to implement security controls to protect the platform as well as data and applications, administer identity and access, and manage threats.


The Azure Fundamentals certification is an optional prerequisite for this credential. To earn this credential, you need to pass the AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies exam.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author
Reena Ghosh

Reena Ghosh is an independent ghostwriter who writes promotional, developmental and explanatory content for individuals and businesses. She came to professional writing with work experience in financial services operations and corporate communication. Reena speaks three languages and hopes to learn Sanskrit.