The Azure certification pathway evaluates a candidate’s proficiency in handling various cloud computing and Azure-related situations. Microsoft offers more than thirty Azure certifications with exams organized into four levels — Fundamental, Associate, Expert, and Specialty.In this guide
Regardless of the level, Azure certifications are highly recognized throughout the global IT industry, with companies paying higher salaries for certified Azure professionals. In fact, the Azure Administrator Associate and the Azure Solutions Architect Expert have ranked among the top-paying IT certifications in two consecutive years (2020 and 2021).
Microsoft updates its Azure exams every two months. This not only aligns it to the latest IT trends, but it also makes the cloud-based exam quite challenging to pass, but not impossible. As such, attending an Azure certification bootcamp tailored to the latest update and the specific certificate is an effective way to prepare for your exam.
The Azure certification bootcamp is an intensive part-time or full-time program that prepares students for the Microsoft Azure certification exams depending on their preferred level. This bootcamp helps students learn essential Microsoft Azure administration and security skills with expert instruction, practical labs, simulations, and applying skills in the real world.
A bootcamp is one of the best ways to kickstart your career. CIRR data shows that 79 percent of bootcamp graduates find employment in just 180 days. According to Indeed, 99.8 percent of hiring managers who employed bootcamp graduates would do so again. This shows employers trust bootcamp graduates, and the knowledge in the programs almost guarantees success in exams.
Each Azure certification level has its purpose and prerequisite. Azure Fundamentals is the first in the pathway for applicants new to Azure or cloud-based services and workloads. The Azure Associate exam assesses your technical proficiency in managing Azure identities and governance, deploying and managing Azure computer resources, configuring and managing virtual networking, and monitoring and maintaining Azure resources.
The Azure Expert level tests your proficiency in designing infrastructure solutions, data storage solutions, business continuity solutions, identity, governance, and monitoring systems. Finally, the Azure Specialty gauges how well you can design and manage Azure Cognitive Services, Computer Vision Solutions, knowledge mining, and conversational AI solutions.
Looking for more info on cybersecurity certification bootcamps? Be sure to check out the related series of guides.
Azure certificate bootcamp curriculum
All Azure certification bootcamps are meant to prepare students for the respective exam. However, there are certificates suitable for cybersecurity professionals. These include the Azure Security Engineer Associate, Security Operations Analyst Associate, Cybersecurity Architect Expert, and Solutions Architect Expert, among others.
This means each Azure certificate bootcamp will have its unique curriculum. Students must remember that these bootcamps will not make them experts in the field but will provide the required knowledge to pass the exam and understand how to apply the skills in the real world.
If you’re planning to register for an Azure certification bootcamp, here are examples of bootcamp curriculum outlines for cybersecurity-related Azure certificates:
Azure Certification bootcamp course outline
Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate (Exam AZ-500)
Manage Identity and Access
- Azure Active Directory
- Azure Identity Protection
- Enterprise Governance
- Azure AD Privileged Identity Management
- Hybrid Identity
Implement Platform Protection
- Perimeter Security
- Network Security
- Host Security
- Container Security
Secure Data and Applications
- Azure Key Vault
- Application Security
- Storage Security
- SQL Database Security
Manage Security Applications
- Azure Monitor
- Azure Security Center
- Azure Sentinel
Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect (Exam AZ-305)
- Management groups
- Azure subscriptions
- Resource groups
- Resource tagging
- Azure policy
- Azure role-based access control
- Azure Blueprints
Design a Compute Solution
- Choose a compute service
- Design for Azure virtual machine solutions
- Azure Batch solutions
- Azure App Services solutions
- Azure Container Instances solutions
- Azure Kubernetes Service solutions
- Azure Function solutions
- Azure Logic App solutions
Data Storage Solution for Non-Relational Data
- Data storage
- Azure storage accounts
- Azure blob storage
- Data redundancy
- Azure files
- Azure disk solution
- Storage security
Data Storage Solution for Relational Data
- Azure SQL Database
- Azure SQL Managed Instance
- SQL Server on Azure VM
- Solution for database scalability
- Solution for database availability
- Security for data at rest, data in transmission, and data in use
- Azure SQL Edge
- Azure Cosmos DB and tables
Design Data Integration
Design data integration solution with:
- Azure Data Factory
- Azure Data Lake
- Azure Databricks
- Azure Synapse Analytics
- For Hot/warm/cold data path
- For Data Analysis
- Message and event scenarios
- Design a messaging solution
- Event hub messaging solution
- Event-driven solution
- Automated app deployment solution
- API integration
- Application configuration management solution
- Caching solution
Authentication and Authorization Solutions
- Identity and access management
- Azure Active Directory
- Azure Active Directory Business to Business
- Azure Active Directory Business to Customer
- Conditional access
- Identity protection
- Access reviews
- Service principals for applications
- Azure Key Vault
Monitoring Azure Resources
- Azure Monitor data sources
- Log Analytics
- Azure workbooks and Azure Insights
- Azure Data Explorer
- Monitor resources for performance efficiency
- Network architecture solution
- On-premises connectivity to Azure Virtual Networks
- Azure network connectivity services
- Application delivery services
- Application protection services
- Migration with the Cloud Adoption Framework
- Azure Migration Framework
- On-premises workloads
- Migration tool
- Migrate databases
- Online storage migration tool
- Migrate offline data
Microsoft Azure Network Engineer (Exam AZ-700)
- Hybrid Network Connections
- Core Azure Networking Infrastructure
- Routing and Load Balancing in Azure
- Secure and Monitor Networks
- Private Access to Azure Services
- Network Security and Monitoring
After completion, most bootcamps ensure students take a practice test to familiarize them with potential exam questions for their respective exams. Some bootcamps allow students to take multiple practice tests.
Each bootcamp provider may have hardware specifications to ensure no student is left behind during the training. However, many on-site bootcamp providers have computers that meet these specifications at their facilities. This means you may not need to come with your device. It’s important to confirm this before registration.
Timeframe for Azure certification bootcamps
Azure certification bootcamps’ timeframe varies based on the certification, provider, delivery format, and student. However, they last between one day and two weeks on average. Azure Fundamentals bootcamps and certain Microsoft Azure events are usually held for only a day.
Instructor-led bootcamps, whether classroom or online, are usually time bound with labs for hands-on learning. This makes them immersive and tasking. Such bootcamps last between 9 AM to 5 PM for the duration of the program. Students are also expected to follow up on the training with personal preparation after classes.
Remote options with recorded bootcamp videos are different. These self-paced e-learning options include text-based study materials, courseware, and videos. Completing such bootcamps depends on the student and how many hours they’re willing to dedicate daily to the program.
Self-paced Azure bootcamps may last up to 40 hours or less, depending on the certification, bootcamp provider, and student. For example, Skillsoft’s Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Bootcamp lasts about 24 hours with video recordings and books.
If you prefer virtual bootcamps (live), Microsoft has training days for different Azure certifications, such as the one-week Azure cloud skills bootcamp. Other options include Certification Camps and leading information security giant Infosec Institute. These bootcamp providers also have classroom options for those who prefer on-site training.
Regardless of the bootcamp delivery format, most bootcamp providers offer additional perks as part of the program. This means candidates will enjoy other services beyond just the training. Depending on the bootcamp provider, here are some additional services you should expect at an Azure bootcamp:
- Microsoft test voucher
- 100 percent satisfaction guarantee
- Microsoft official course
- Free subscription to one of the provider’s services
- Retake voucher if needed
- Knowledge transfer guaranty
- Microsoft study labs and simulations
- On-site proctoring of exam
- Onsite Pearson Vue Test Center
- Post-class meeting with Microsoft-certified instructors
Some Azure bootcamps, such as Certification Camps, also provide lodging and airfare, but these understandably attract extra costs.
Cost of Azure certification bootcamps
Like the timeframe, Azure certification bootcamps vary depending on the training provider, delivery format, additional services included in the package, and extra services such as airfare and hotel.
The one-week Azure cloud skills bootcamp from Microsoft is a free online event regardless of the sessions you’re interested in. However, this may not be sufficient training for some students in preparation for their exams.
You’ll find tons of free courses online with videos. However, if you want to register for an Azure certification bootcamp with Microsoft-certified instructors, the costs are between $1,200 and $5,000. For example, suppose you’re new to cloud computing or Microsoft Azure. In that case, Training Camp has a one-day virtual classroom training called the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Bootcamp (AZ-900), which costs $1,295.
On the other hand, Certification Camps’ 6-day Microsoft Azure Administrator bootcamp costs $4,495. The price is the same regardless of the delivery format. However, on-site classroom training costs could rise to $5,745 with airfare and lodging.
Some providers also organize dual or triple Azure certification bootcamps. This means students will attend one bootcamp but will be trained for two or three certificates and exams. These bootcamps cost more and may reach up to $8,000 with additional costs.
For example, Infosec Institute’s Microsoft Azure Dual Certification Bootcamp combines Azure Administrator Associate and Azure Security Engineer Associate. This is great for information security professionals. The 7-day bootcamp costs $4,399 and comes with a limited-time offer of a free 8-inch tablet.
Certification Camps has a triple “COMBO Training & Certification Bootcamp.” It is a 10-day program that combines three Azure certifications and costs $5,995 without airfare and lodging. The price is the same for the remote classroom live delivery format.
Bootcamps providers usually provide all the courseware you need for personal studying, so you don’t need to buy anything else. Ultimately, your overall costs will depend on the number of study materials you want to buy.
What happens after the Azure bootcamp?
The purpose of every Azure bootcamp is to train professionals who are capable of handling cloud computing and Azure-related situations. More importantly, the bootcamp’s goal is to ensure you pass your professional examination, depending on the certification you want.
Azure exams are challenging but not impossible to pass. Pass rates vary based on the training provider and the certification. The passing score for the entry-level Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) exam is 700 points or around 70 percent. The exam contains 40 to 60 questions and lasts 85 minutes.
According to Microsoft, the following are the skills measured and their respective weights:
|Describe cloud concepts||25-30 percent|
|Describe Azure architecture and services||35-40 percent|
|Describe Azure management and governance||30-35 percent|
The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals costs $99. The associate level certifications cost $165, while expert level certifications cost range between $330 to $495.
Most bootcamps come with an exam voucher, so you will not have to pay these fees after paying for the bootcamp.
If a candidate fails the AZ-900 exam the first time, they are required to wait at least 24 hours before retaking the exam, and 14 days if they fail on the second attempt. For all Azure certifications, a candidate cannot retake more than five times within 12 months from the first attempt.
The Fundamentals role-based certificates (Microsoft Azure Fundamentals) have lifetime certification validity. On the other hand, the Associate, Expert, and Specialty role-based certificates are valid for only one year. To recertify, you must complete a 20–25 question free online test at Microsoft Learn for free.
These assessments ensure you stay updated in the ever-changing IT industry, especially cloud computing and information security.