Microsoft 365 Certifications

By 10th August 2019No Comments

Now that the full set of Microsoft 365 role based certifications are released, I thought I would summaries what is available if you are looking to get your Microsoft 365 skills certified.

Microsoft announced at Ignite 2018 that they would be introducing new role-based certifications and they have finally delivered on this journey.  The idea of the new certifications is that they should map to job roles and that you should be able to see a route from Foundation to Associate then on to Expert. I’ve put together a quick graphic showing how this flows together.

If you are looking for the Azure certifications map – its here

The Changes

Microsoft took this opportunity to revamp the way that the questions are asked focusing more on familiarisation than memorisation.

The first thing I noticed when i took several of these exams was the mix of how the questions are asked, some were presented with a case study giving lots of detail around current configuration, requirements and deliverables and then a series of questions were asked in relation to that case study, which you had to ensure your solution dealt with all of the requirements and deliverables. Once you had answered those questions you had an opportunity to review them then but you cant go back to them once you move on to the next case study. The exam does warn you before hand.

The second thing was not all the questions are multiple choice anymore, some were put these tasks in the correct order, others were drop downs with PowerShell examples which you had to complete. In one exam I was even presented with a live Azure Portal and asked to complete a series of tasks.

The third thing is that each exam will have between 40-60 questions, some being worth more than 1 point and Microsoft will be rotating the pool of questions regularly to ensure that the questions are always fresh and cover the latest features!

Each exam has a “cut score” set at 700 out of a maximum 1000, the thing to remember here is that it is a scaled score and NOT 70%

Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals

I wasn’t able to sit the MS-900 exam in beta because it was released straight to the public in March 2019.

This exam is listed as optional for each certification path, and covers the core understanding of Microsoft 365. The guidance on this exam is that its for both technical and non-technical people looking to validate their foundation knowledge of Microsoft 365 services.

  • Understanding Microsoft 365 Concepts (15-20%)
  • Understand core Microsoft 365 services and concepts (30-35%)
  • Understand security, compliance, privacy, and trust in Microsoft 365 (25-30%)
  • Understand Microsoft 365 pricing and support (25-30%)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate

This certification requires you to sit and pass two exams (MD-100: Windows 10 and MD-101: Managing Modern Desktops).

To attain this certification you will have to be able to demonstrate how to deploy, configure, secure, manage, and monitor devices and client applications in an enterprise environment and should manage identity, access, policies, updates, and apps.

You must be familiar with Microsoft 365 workloads and  be proficient and experienced in deploying, configuring, and maintaining Windows 10 and non-Windows devices and technologies.

Each exam measures the candidates ability to accomplish the tasks listed below, please use the tabs to navigate through each exam’s learning objectives.

  • Deploy Windows (15-20%)
  • Manage devices and data (35-40%)
  • Configure connectivity (15-20%)
  • Maintain Windows (25-30%)
  • Deploy and update operating systems (15-20%)
  • Manage policies and profiles (35-40%)
  • Manage and protect devices (15-20%)
  • Manage apps and data (25-30%)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate

This certification requires you to sit and pass two exams (MS-200: Planning and Configuring a Messaging Platform and MS-201: Implementing a Hybrid and Secure Messaging Platform)

To attain this certification you will have to be able to demonstrate how to who deploy, configure, manage, troubleshoot, and monitor recipients, permissions, mail protection, mail flow, and public folders in both on-premises and cloud enterprise environments. If you manage hygiene, messaging infrastructure, hybrid configuration, migration, disaster recovery, high availability, and client access on a daily basis then this is the certification for you.

You should also have a working knowledge of authentication types, licensing, and integration with Microsoft 365 applications.

  • Manage modern messaging infrastructure (45-50%)
  • Manage mail flow topology (35-40%)
  • Manage recipients and devices (15-20%)
  • Plan and implement a hybrid configuration and migration (35-40%)
  • Secure the messaging environment (40-45%)
  • Manage organizational settings (15-20%)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate

This certification requires you to sit and pass two exams (MS-300: Deploying Microsoft 365 Teamwork  and MS-301: Deploying SharePoint Server Hybrid). As this is a replacement for the old 70-339 exam if you have already passed that you can sit the transition exam (MS-302 Microsoft 365 Teamwork Administrator Certification Transition). As with other transition exam in the Microsoft 365 area this one will also expire in September 30th 2019.

If you are involved daily in managing apps, services, and supporting infrastructure to meet business requirements and are able to demonstrate your ability to deploy, manage, migrate, and secure SharePoint (online, on-premises, and hybrid), OneDrive, and Teams.

These exams are aimed at people who have a fundamental understanding of integration points with the following apps and services: Office, PowerApps, Flow, Yammer, Microsoft Graph, Stream, Planner, and Project. The administrator understands how to integrate third-party apps and services including line-of-business applications. Candidates also have an understanding of SQL Server management concepts, Azure Active Directory, PowerShell, networking, Windows server administration, Domain Name System (DNS), Active Directory mobile device management, and alternative operating systems.

Each exam measures the candidates ability to accomplish the tasks listed below, please use the tabs to navigate through each exam’s learning objectives.

  • Configure and manage SharePoint Online (35-40%)
  • Configure and manage OneDrive for Business (25-30%)
  • Configure and manage Teams (20-25%)
  • Configure and manage workload integrations (15-20%)
  • Configure and manage SharePoint on-premises (55-60%)
  • Configure and manage hybrid scenarios (30-35%)
  • Migrate to SharePoint Online (5-10%)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate

To earn the Azure Security Engineer Associate certification you have to be able to demonstrate how to proactively secure Microsoft 365 enterprise and hybrid environments, implement and manage security and compliance solutions, respond to threats, and enforce data governance.

  • Implement and manage identity and access (30-35%)
  • Implement and manage threat protection (20-25%)
  • Implement and manage information protection (15-20%)
  • Manage governance and compliance features in Microsoft 365 (25-30%)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert

To attain this certification you have to sit two additional exams on-top of any of the related associate certifications listed above.  (Modern Desktop Administrator, Messaging Administrator, Teamwork Administrator or Security Administrator) or the older MCSE: Productivity certification

These exams are for you if you take part in evaluating, planning, migrating, deploying, and managing Microsoft 365 services and perform Microsoft 365 tenant management tasks for an enterprise, including its identities, security, compliance, and supporting technologies.

You will also need to have a working knowledge of Microsoft 365 workloads and should have been an administrator for at least one Microsoft 365 workload (Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Windows as a Service). Candidates also have a working knowledge of networking, server administration, and IT fundamentals such as DNS, Active Directory, and PowerShell.

  • Design and implement Microsoft 365 services (25-30%)
  • Manage user identity and roles (35-40%)
  • Manage access and authentication (20-25%)
  • Plan Office 365 workloads and applications (10-15%)
  • Implement modern device services (30-35%)
  • Implement Microsoft 365 security and threat management (30-35%)
  • Manage Microsoft 365 governance and compliance (35-40%)

Kudos to Microsoft as all these changes bring a fresh look to the certifications. 


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