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Pablo Gallardo's Blog
My professional web log about IT, Cybersecurity & Project Management

Microsoft Certifications

This post summarizes info about certifications offered by Microsoft.

Microsoft certifications

A certification is an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement.

Microsoft provides to people a set of certifications related to the technologies that they developed, and they are called Microsoft certifications.

Microsoft certifications do not have an ID, and they are identified by its title.

Example: there is a certification called “Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate”. I know it is long, but there is no official shorter name or ID to refer to it. We will refer to it on this post as “Modern Desktop”.

Before Microsoft grants a certification to a person, it needs to be ensure they has the knowledge and expertise. In order to assess them, certification candidates can perform Microsoft exams, that are exams defined by Microsoft.

In order to achieve a Microsoft certification, first you need to check which Microsoft exam or exams are set as a pre-requisite to get the certification. Then prepare and pass all these exams.

Example: if you check the web for “Modern Desktop” certification, you will find that  exams MD-100 and MD-101 are prerequisites for it.

Microsoft categorizes its exams on 3 certification levels, depending on its complexity.

Microsoft certification levels:

  1. Fundamentals (*): basic, beginner, starter, entry-level.
  2. Associate (**): intermediate, advanced.
  3. Expert (***): professional, specialist.

To browse among the existing Microsoft certifications, check this link.

Microsoft exams

Microsoft exams are identified by an ID and a title. The ID is permanent, but the title changes over the time. This is

The format of Microsoft exam IDs is XX-123.

  • The first 2 letters denote the area of knowledge.
    • Some examples of areas of knowledge:
      • 70: Administrator
      • 77: Business User
      • AI: Azure IA
      • AZ: Azure
      • DP: Data
      • MB: Microsoft Dynamics
      • MD: Modern Desktop
      • MO:  Microsoft Office
      • MS: Microsoft 365
      • PL: Power Platform
      • SC: Security
  • The last 3 numbers denote the exam level, that is sorted in descending order of complexity:
    • 100: Advanced
    • 200, 300, 500…: Intermediate
    • 900: Basic

Then, it make sense that if you want to become certified in an area of knowledge you start by passing the most basic exam and related certification, unless you consider is too basic for you.

To browse among the existing Microsoft exams, check this link.

Microsoft learning paths and modules

Each exam has a content that is assessed.

Microsoft offers modules that contain information about specific. A learning path is a combination of different modules that are related.

Microsoft suggest for each exam a list of learning paths. They can be found in the exam web.

Example: exam MD-100 web displays different learning paths related to it. One of them is learning path “MD-100 Install the Windows client“, that contains 5 modules.


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About pmgallardo

I studied Computer Science at University of Salamanca. Since then, I have been working first as developer and then as SAP consutant. This blog is about problems I dealt when using computers, and more important, the solutions I found. Whenever I am on an issue and suddenlly I have a flash that leads me to a solution, I document my discoveries in a post.

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