Which Azure Exam Should I Take? From an Azure Architect

So you need to know which Azure Exam you should take and in what order you should take subsequent Azure exams. 

Maybe your employer is wanting to upskill you to ensure their IT department can provide them with the best possible solutions. Or maybe you are on a journey of self-development and want to further open up new job opportunities. In the post, we are going to dive into which Azure Exam you should take first and what subsequent exams you should be taking.

Which Azure Exam should I take first?

Straight off the block, the AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam is considered the first step in Azure certifications. It is a foundation-level exam based on core principles of cloud services and how them services can be delivered with Microsoft Azure. 

Do I need to be familiar with Azure Cloud to take the AZ-900?

Before you start studying for the AZ-900, you do not need to have any prior experience. By by the time you are ready to take the certification, you should have a core understanding of cloud concepts and Azure services. 

If you are looking to start studying for this exam I suggest you take a look at the post: Pass the AZ-900 Exam.

Azure Exam Paths and Careers Paths

There are many different paths you can choose when you are looking for the right certification to earn. Whether you are looking to start employment in a particular role or are looking to validate your skills to progress in your current role, here are the most popular careers path and their associated Azure exam and certification paths. All of the below paths are assuming you have already completed the Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) certification.

Azure Solutions Architect

By becoming an Azure solutions architect you are able to design and manage an Azure project. Although you will likely not need to implement every aspect of a project from Infrastructure to code, you should know how each service or decision will affect your overall solution. 

In this role, you will likely be working for a larger enterprise organisation or Azure service provider designing and implementing client solutions. 

Azure Architect Certification path

There are 2 exams to complete to earn this certification, this is the AZ:104 Azure Administrator Associate exam and the AZ:305 Azure Infrastructure Solutions Exam. If you would like to see feedback on taking the AZ:305 Exam check out the post: AZ-305 Exam Completed with Feedback and Preparation Guidance. Also, you would like to know if this exam is right for me, check out: Is the Azure Architect Certification Right For Me?

DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineer Experts are should be able to design and implement solutions to allow development teams to work efficiently. This may include designing and implementing workflow and automation infrastructure, designing code pipelines and working with revelant architects and developers.

Devops engineer expert azure exa,

This path will require you to complete the AZ-104 Azure Administrator Associate Exam or the AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate Exam. Once either of them are completed you can take the AZ-400 Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions Exam.

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator

This certification path is fairly new in the Azure world… However the need for hybrid Windows Server administrators is not. In this role, you are likely to be designing and implementing new on-premise and cloud Windows Server virtual machines as well as migrating server workloads from on-premise to Azure Cloud. Now this may not always be the case, Windows Server administrators are (and have always been) expected to be a jack of all trades. Expect with this role to be handling day to day management of Azure Directory and Azure Active Directory, as well as backup and data management (and everything in between). 

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate Path

The two exams required to earn this certification are the AZ-800 Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure and the AZ-801 Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services.

Power Platform Solution Architect

The Power Platform Solution Architect Expert certification proves your experience and expertise using both Microsoft Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and related cloud solutions and 3rd party products that will integrate. For a job as a solutions architect in this field, you would be expected to have an excellent and in-depth understanding of Power platform and Dynamics 365, including the Power Platform SDK. There will likely be some requirement around CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) with platforms such as Azure DevOps and understanding of structured architecture frameworks also.

Power platform solutions architect expert path

There are 2 required exams to meet this certification, firstly you must complete either the PL-200: Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant exam or the PL-400: Microsoft Power Platform Developer Exam. Secondly you must complete the PL-600: Microsoft power Platform Solution Architect Exam. 

Changes to Azure Exams

There is no set schedule on when changes are made to Azure exams. However you should know that Azure role based exams are likely always being renewed. So if you have began studying 6 months ago, it is likely that the material you have covered has either, changed slightly, been completely replaced, or is still relevant. 

If you are studying for an extended period of time, you should occasionally review the exam skills outline to ensure what you are covering is relevant to the certification path you are following.


Thank you for taking the time to read this after. I hope the information laid out in the post is helpful to those looking to choose an Azure certification path. Remember if you are looking to take any of these exams for free, check out our post, How to get Free Microsoft Exam Certifications.

Daniel Bradley

My name is Daniel Bradley and I work with Microsoft 365 and Azure as an Engineer and Consultant. I enjoy writing technical content for you and engaging with the community. All opinions are my own.

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