Nick Colyer

With digital transformation underway, the cloud is becoming widespread at all organizations and redefining IT as we know it. In the past, IT used to be siloed into separate roles (e.g. network admin, storage admin, Linux admin, and VMWare admin), but today, these lines are being blurred into an overarching cloud administration approach. With this shift, every IT pro must transition their skills to be relevant in the context of the cloud. If you’re a Linux admin or a network admin, your job is not going away, but it’s more important than ever that you become well-versed in cloud skills like Azure. My advice to IT leaders: your entire IT team should be certified in the cloud, regardless of their specific role. For a Udemy for Business subscription for your entire IT team, click here.

Why Azure is on the rise

The trend toward a preference for multi-cloud providers is opening the door for Microsoft Azure to make inroads into the cloud space. While Amazon is still the market leader, Azure grew by 90% and Google Cloud by 73% versus AWS’ 46% growth in 2017. Companies like Home Depot are “cloud-agnostic” and use both Azure and Google Cloud. “The philosophy goes to show that as long as there is more than one major cloud provider in the mix, enterprises will continue trying, comparing, and adopting more than one at a time,” writes Chris Parlette on ITProPortal.

Microsoft Azure’s recent demand is driven by large enterprises who increasingly choose Azure as their cloud provider. This preference is driven by Microsoft’s robust security and encryption technology (which previously was the main worry about the cloud) as well as its integration with the Microsoft stack and easier IT infrastructure management. Microsoft has also become more open and less Windows-centric, making it more attractive for any organization to adopt Azure, regardless of its operating system. In fact, today, Linux counts for more workloads than Windows.

What’s new about the Microsoft Azure Certification AZ-100

In the past, the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) exam bundled all the different certifications together. This generalist approach meant people weren’t doing the certification for the right reasons. In September 2018, Microsoft revamped its certification exam to be more focused on specific roles and the day-to-day tasks of Azure admins. For example, the first exam AZ 100 focuses on infrastructure and deployment. It’s foundational and helps IT admins get Azure up and running. The second exam AZ 101 zeros in on integration and security and the tasks needed to migrate data centers to Azure.

We worked closely with Microsoft while the certification exam was still in beta and were aware of the new changes coming down the pipe. With this new certification exam, we knew there would be training gaps. We strategically restructured our curriculum and with focused concentration created our new training videos quickly–enabling us to release our new Microsoft Azure AZ-100 certification course and Microsoft Azure AZ-101 certification course on Udemy in October 2018, only a month after Microsoft launched the new certification exams.

Microsoft Azure Admin Certification skills you should master

If you’re an Azure admin or a systems admin looking to expand into Azure, here are the areas you’ll need to master which I cover in my Microsoft Azure AZ-100 certification course and Microsoft Azure AZ-101 certification course:

Preparing IT admins for real-world problems

Finally, my course isn’t just about passing the exams but also focuses on preparing IT admins to be ready for real-world problems. By providing IT admins with real-world scenarios, I help build the troubleshooting skills for day-to-day challenges that arise on the job. I’ve structured my course with short lectures to educate IT admins on the fundamental terms and principles of the Azure platform as well as included demos of real-world scenarios for hands-on experience. I also continually update my learning modules based on feedback from students and based on the latest trends in Azure. Start learning here and good luck!

Page Last Updated: February 2020

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