Updates to Azure , Data & AI Certifications are coming Q1 2020

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Microsoft Learning Worldwide has announced  upcoming changes to the Microsoft Azure and Data & AI certifications. These certification exam changes are to be released by end of Q1 2020,
and will affect the Azure Administrator, Azure AI certifications, Azure Solutions Architect, and Azure Developer. Most notably, these changes include new certification exams that will be replacing existing exams.

Microsoft continues to perform and review the job task analysis (JTA; the process the defines the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are critical success in a job role) that is the basis of each of their role-based certifications every year. This review, that the certifications remain relevant, are technically accurate, and are assessing the right skills.

According to MicrosoftOne of the luxuries we didn’t have during the initial launch of the new program was the ability to see across the certifications within a portfolio to understand how the skills being measured aligned with each other—to see if we were telling a cohesive certification story and providing a streamlined certification journey. Because we didn’t have this holistic view, we had to make some educated guesses about where and how to cover certain skills. While we got some of this right, in some cases, we inadvertently duplicated skills across exams and certifications, and we added unneeded complexity into assessment process than was really necessary.

So, we are taking advantage of now knowing what we didn’t know then to improve our exams and certifications as we revisit and refresh the JTAs. We are taking the time to look at all of the certifications within a portfolio to ensure that not only are we assessing the right skills for a given job role but that we are assessing only what really needs to be assessed for that job role. At the end of this, we will have designed a coherent portfolio of certifications with less duplication of skills and an increased emphasis on what is truly important for that job role.”

Microsoft is currently finalizing the updates related to Azure Administrator, Developer, Architect, and AI Engineer. They will be publishing the updated exams in the next few months, but will leave the old exam in market for 90 days after the new version becomes available (they’ve said). They are doing this to give you time to transition to the new exam. If you have been preparing for the current version of the exam, you can still take it during this transition period if you want; however, these versions of the exam will retire at the end of that 90 day window—no extensions and no exceptions. Here’s what we know right now:

  • AZ-103 becomes AZ-104 (this update will be published in March)
  • AZ-203 becomes AZ-204 (this update will be published in late February)
  • AZ-300 becomes AZ-303 (this update will be published in March)
  • AZ-301 becomes AZ-304 (this update will be published in March)
  • AI-100 becomes AI-102 (this update will be published in March)

[NOTE that there will be a few more, but these are the only ones that we know of currently.]


Does the name of the certification change?

  1. The name of the associated certification does not change. Regardless if you earned it with the old or new exam,
    you have the same certification, but the skills that appear on your badge will reflect those that were part of the exam(s) that you took to earn it.

I’ve been studying for the current version of the exam. What should I do? Continue on this path or start on the new one?

  1. Truly, this is up to you. You need to do what makes sense for your certification journey. You will be tested on the new skills as part of our recertification requirements eventually, even if you choose to take the old version now instead of the new version. The key consideration is whether you want to be validated on skills that Microsoft believes are more closely aligned to the job role today or if you want to continue as you have been planning and update your skills through our recertification process and your own ongoing continuous learning journey after you earn the certification with version of the exam in market today. We are providing you with sufficient notice of these changes so you can make the decision that makes the most sense for you.

Will the instructor led training be updated at the same time?

  1. Microsoft is committed to having content updated within 30 days. If you are planning to take an instructor led training course, please make sure that you choose the learning for the version of the exam that you want to take.  

Updates to Follow : keep Tuned and/or email us at transform@cttl.net

D.M.Ramdathsingh MSc, PgD – UK & Singapore
Chief Solutions Architect (CSA) – West Indies