Cloud-based solutions have been high in demand in the last several years, and this is not likely to change in the future. Today, organizations of all shapes and sizes increasingly use cloud-based software and services.
In this guide you will learn about the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification and the exam you can take to achieve it.
The Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification follows Microsoft's departure from broader certifications like the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) or its older sibling, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Nowadays the focus is on specific roles. Please note that this exam is currently in beta.
This exam is designed for candidates looking to demonstrate foundational-level knowledge on the considerations and benefits of adopting cloud services in general and the Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud model. You should have knowledge of available options and benefits gained by implementing Microsoft 365 cloud service offerings.
You should also have the requisite knowledge to recommend solutions that address common organizational IT challenges and to differentiate Microsoft 365 solutions from the competition in the market, as well as a fundamental knowledge of offerings, optimizing licensing for cost-effectiveness, and support options for organizations. You should be able to differentiate between Microsoft’s services and products (Microsoft 365, Azure, and Dynamics 365).
A single exam, the MS-900, is required to gain the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification. It is important to understand that Microsoft has taken up the practice of retiring and replacing exams at a much faster pace than in the past. Since the cloud is ever-changing, Microsoft updates live exams frequently.
The price of the exam is US$99/€99. Microsoft offers a student discount if you verify your academic status when booking the exam by using one of the following: a school email account, a school account, an International Student Identity Card, a verification code, or other documentation proving your eligibility for the student discount.
While there are no specific prerequisites to taking the MS-900 exam, it is worth noting that experience with the required skills is key to a successful experience.
Ensure that you possess sufficient experience and invest the time to go through the relevant Pluralsight courses and other resources.
Your skills will be measured in the following four categories:
These categories are broken down into details as follows:
Describe the different types of cloud services available
Describe the benefits of and considerations for using a cloud service instead of on-premises services
Identify core Microsoft 365 capabilities
Describe options for deploying and supporting Windows and Office
Describe analytics capabilities in Microsoft 365
Describe Microsoft 365 collaboration solutions
Explain zero-trust security principles for Microsoft 365
Explain unified endpoint management concepts
Explain identity and access management concepts
Explain Threat Protection in Microsoft 365
Describe the Service Trust portal, Security center, and Compliance Manager
Describe information protection and governance solutions
Plan, predict, and compare pricing
Identify licensing options available in Microsoft 365
Describe the service lifecycle in Microsoft 365
Describe support offerings for Microsoft 365 services
The cloud business has been booming over the last several years. Microsoft is a leader in this area and keeps growing. While COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, it certainly doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on Microsoft's cloud growth.
Gaining an up-to-date certification like the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification from a household name like Microsoft should make you much more attractive to both your current and future employers, especially since the cloud is booming. Your current employer might not raise your salary, but the next time you go looking for a job make sure you check trusted Internet sources for up-to-date information on salaries in your region.
It's difficult to provide absolute figures because they will depend on numerous factors like your experience, company type and size, industry, and region. Expect salaries for Microsoft 365 professionals—be that an administrator, engineer, consultant, or architect—to range from US$62,000 to US$149,000 in the United States.
As a fundamentals-level certification, the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals credential, while challenging, will earn you recognition as aa subject matter expert in this field. All it takes is a single exam.
Sign up at Microsoft Office 365 for a one-month trial and book the exam, which you can take right in your home or in one of many testing centers.
I hope that this guide is useful and wish you good luck in gaining your certification.