Are Microsoft Certifications Worth It? (2024)

Landscape to becoming Microsoft certified gives you several different paths to choose from, depending on your job requirements. And while they may seem attractive, the question remains, are Microsoft certifications really worth it?

Microsoft Certificates will get your resume recognized by HR and will help get you through the door. Microsoft Azure certs, in particular, are highly sought after and will let the company know that at least you have a minimum of knowledge for that job position.

Certificates validate your skill and give certain assurance to the hiring manager. Most Microsoft certs are beneficial, and Azure ones especially, even more than Google’s GCP certificates.

What’s more, if the company uses Azure or AWS, then Microsoft Azure certificates are worth it regardless of what kind of cloud provider it is, AWS or Azure or some other. Getting a Microsoft certification verifies that your experience is transferrable to industry knowledge, not just your company.

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Can Microsoft Certifications Get You a Job?

Are Microsoft Certifications Worth It? (1)

Since having a Microsoft certificate grants a certain assurance of minimum knowledge to an employer, it most certainly can get you a job, especially for an entry-level position. For some job positions, it’s a requirement and often discussed during an interview.

Azure certificates are highly sought after, more so if you can back up the skills. Additionally, getting Microsoft certified can get you some prestige with your management, which you can use to prove that you deserve a raise.

Recruiters love to see Microsoft certifications, especially the Azure ones.

This is especially true on LinkedIn. You may want to post your certs on LinkedIn to look more attractive to other prospective recruiters, which can land you a job. Certain other certificates are especially attractive to recruiters on LinkedIn, such as an AWS Certification and GCP. Doing this will almost certainly increase the number of opportunities you’re presented with, and the number of offers you get.

Additionally, getting a Microsoft cert makes it easier to change career paths. For example, if you get an AZ-400 certificate, then you can generally transition into a DevOps role at many companies.

Azure certificates are highly sought after.

When it comes to getting into the Azure cloud, you also need some actual experience to start working in this field. For a junior-level position, if you can set up a personal project and document your technique via a git repository, you will stand out in the sea of potential applicants.

Having a certificate is a plus, but the most important thing a hiring manager will look for in an applicant is experience in the field, and this will give you some.

Where to Start With Microsoft Certifications?

Generally, the best place to start with Microsoft certs is with AZ-900 (Azure fundamentals), MS-900 (Microsoft 365 Fundamentals), AZ-104 (Azure Administrator), and SC-900 (SCI). These are highly sought after, and teach you the fundamentals for different career paths.

You don’t even need to take the certs, just learn from the modules and then at the end decide where you want to go, depending on your job requirements. You can even branch out to the rest of computer science, by checking out which computer science certifications are worth it.

Highly recommended to check out this landscape to become Microsoft Certified, which gives an overview of all the available Microsoft certificates you can get.

How to Get Get Microsoft Certified?

Generally, Microsoft Learn is sufficient (plus free) to get your Microsoft certs. Additionally, most employers offer some kind of reimbursem*nt to get a certificate. If they’re Microsoft partners, then they may get a certain number of certs per year, which you can take.

Ask your HR person or MS partner contact to figure out if you can get any of the Microsoft certificates from your company.

Another great way to learn about Azure/M365 is John Savill’s content on YouTube. The AZ-900 video is pretty good:

How Hard Is It to Get Microsoft Certified?

Depending on your skills and hands-on experience, getting Microsoft Certified is generally harder than it seems, especially for Azure Certifications. If you don’t have any cloud background, it will be harder than you think.

All Azure certificates require some prior familiarity with the platform. As far as other paths go, such as 365, Power Platform certificates, or Security certs, they are usually harder than they seem, regardless of your experience.

One of the easiest Microsoft certificates to get is AZ-900, which is an entry-level certificate teaching you fundamentals in the Azure cloud. This is a highly useful certificate and is generally recommended as an entry-level cert.

How Long Does It Take To Get Microsoft Certified?

The scope for most of the Azure certs is broad, and even with experience, you’ll need 2-3 months on average per Azure certificate. As far as other paths/roles go, the timeframe is similar of at least 2 months per certificate.

Typically, completing AZ-900 takes about two months for a novice and the same with AZ-104. With some experience, you can complete AZ-305 in 2 to 3 months. In general, the time it takes for you to learn will depend on your skill and experience, and the type of certificate you’re pursuing.

How Long Does a Microsoft Certification Last?

Microsoft role-based Certificates and specialty certifications are valid for one year from the date that you complete all the requirements to earn that certification. Microsoft fundamentals certifications do not expire, and it’s the same with MOS, MTA, and MCE.

For those that do expire, you need to renew the certification with a test on Microsoft Learn for free before your certification expires. If it expires, you won’t be able to renew it but will need to re-earn the certification by having to pass the exams again.

This isn’t so bad when you think about it. You can renew certs for free, and if you fail, study the areas you missed and take the test the next day. Microsoft has made it simple and cost-effective.

If you’re wondering what the renewal is like, it’s just a quiz via Microsoft Learn, with the same style of questions as the standard exam. The difficulty is about the same if not a bit easier.

Here’s a good video on the experience with Azure Certification Renewal:

Is Microsoft 365 Certification Worth It?

There are several great 365 certs to pursue, not only because there are jobs that want employees who specialize in Microsoft 365, but also because some certification exams require knowledge in other areas, such as Azure AD, which is a valuable skill.

A couple of M365 certs are highly useful, such as MD-100 (Windows), MD-101 (Managing Modern Desktops), MS-100 (Identity and Services), MS-101 (Mobility and Security).

You can choose your path and go for what’s relevant to you so you don’t have to do all of these, but specialize in a certain role.

Some certs, such as Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate Certificate focus heavily on security and compliance in an Office 365 environment. If you’re going towards a security admin role, this certificate is definitely worth it, but only if your company has the appropriate M365 enterprise and Azure licenses.

Is Microsoft Azure Certification Worth It?

Azure skills are highly sought after, and getting an Azure certification is generally recommended because it’s considered to be at the level of AWS and GCP certificates. All very popular, all generally recommended, and definitely worth it.

They can also be mandatory for some positions, or a plus on your resume depending on what you’re pursuing to do.

Some Azure certs are more in demand than others, but they can all help you in your career. For example, AZ-104 is probably the Azure certification that is most demanded if you’re trying to move in the Azure cloud towards a sysadmin role, while AZ-900 (Fundamentals) is best for those new to the cloud platform and will get you familiar with some terminology.

Both of these are well-known certs and are generally recognized as a positive bonus. AZ-900 can also help you articulate the basics of Azure from a commercial perspective.

Are Microsoft Certifications Worth It? (2)

But what gets you the job is mostly experiences, not the certs. These are just the bonus. If you can deploy a simple solution, document it on Github, and mention it during an interview (or in your resume), then you’ll have a much higher chance of getting contacted afterward, passing to another round of an interview, or even landing a job.

And if you’re worried that you have an Azure cert while moving into a company where they use AWS or vice-versa, you shouldn’t worry because they’re all a similar set of tools. Fundamentally, if you can drive one cloud provider it’s just a matter of terminology and familiarity to get up to speed with another.

Is Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Worth It?

Being one of the most widely used computer application suites in the world, this is a good cert to get, especially if you lack job experience, or if you’re teaching Office.

A resume that claimed competence in Microsoft Office could mean a lot of things, but having a proper certification on it tells the hiring manager that at least you meet a certain minimum. The certificate can also get you some legitimacy if you’re looking for clients, in regards to the Office 365 suite.

However, what’s far more important is the knowledge and skills you’ll gain regarding the O356 stack while doing the course, so keep that in mind.

Is Microsoft Power BI Certification Worth It?

Getting a Power BI Cert such as a DA-100 (now called PL-300) is very useful to a novice to learn some fundamentals. In addition to that, the average salary for a skill of Power BI is quite high, so this cert is almost certainly worth it, especially for a beginner.

The module PL-300 goes through a wide range of topics, but only on the surface, so keep that in mind. If you’re a beginner, it may take you 2-3 weeks of studying.

Hands-on experience plays a major role in your ability to pass this exam, which for experienced people shouldn’t be difficult. Once you finish the exam, you’ll get your results instantly. If you passed, you get your Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate Certification.

The average salary for the skill of Power BI is about $100k in the US, according to Radacad and ZipRecruiter. Therefore, it’s not a bad skill to learn and have in this day from a monetary standpoint. The price of the certification is $165.

Is It Worth Getting Excel Certified?

Getting Excel certified isn’t very expensive or hugely time-consuming, but whether you’ll benefit from it will depend on two factors: whether the job requires an Excel expert, and whether you’re just starting out your career.

Excel certificate is great for junior roles, where no one has anything much to set them apart. A hiring manager will recommend this for anyone just setting out in their career, but not so much if you’re an accountant veteran.

Therefore, if the job requires an Excel expert, some employers will care whether you simply wrote “excel expert” on your resume, compared to actually having a proper Excel certificate.

How much do Excel experts earn?

According to Zip Recruiter, Excel experts earn about $47,621 on average in the US, with the highest paying cities being San Jose and Oakland, California. It’s not the highest paying job, but it’s still a job worth pursuing, and the skill used almost everywhere.

Is getting Excel certification hard?

Getting an Excel certification doesn’t take a lot of effort for most people, while on the other hand, it may bring you a few more interviews simply because of the cert. And, once you’re good at it, excel can be fun and much easier to learn.

What is the highest paid Microsoft Certification?

According to ZipRecruiter, the highest-paid Microsoft certification is Expert in Azure Solutions Architecture, with an average salary for Azure solutions architect in the US of $145,472 a year, or about $70 an hour.

Since there are about 15 MS certs that have been retired a few years ago, the 2nd highest right now appears to be Azure Administrator Associate, with Global Knowledge reports the average salary being $121,420.

Final thoughts

Don’t just pursue certifications, no matter how attractive they may seem. Try to pursue actual professional experience, as it’s much more valuable. If you can’t get any, try to do a few projects as you’re pursuing certificates, and document them. You can mention this during an interview or in an application for a job to raise your chances of landing that dream job of yours. Learn what you need first, and get certificates only as a bonus. Good luck!

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Are Microsoft Certifications Worth It? (2024)


Are Microsoft certification exams worth IT? ›

That's what makes Microsoft Certification so valuable. It demonstrates that you're proficient in the specific, real-world skills associated with recognized industry roles. It verifies that you know how to apply technical knowledge to solve today's business challenges.

Are Microsoft certifications hard? ›

Microsoft certification exams are usually hard, really hard. They are generally not very fun to take. The exams dive into minutia, asking questions that people with years of experience can't answer. Every question is a trick question so they are pretty hard to guess at.

How many times can you fail Microsoft exam? ›

You may not take a given exam more than five (5) times within a 12-month period from the first attempt. If you failed the exam 5 times, you'll be eligible to retake it again 12 months from the date of your first attempt.

Is Microsoft 300 certification worth IT? ›

So why would you need the PL-300 Microsoft certification for Power BI? This certification is important because it confirms that you know how to use Power BI to manage reports and dashboards.

Can I get a job with just a Microsoft certification? ›

Although Microsoft's certifications are typically voluntary, earning one or more might increase entry-level job opportunities in information technology because many employers prefer to hire individuals with certification.

Do employers care about Microsoft certifications? ›

Microsoft is used not only by individuals but also by companies. Therefore, most companies value Microsoft certification and consider certified professionals more than non-certified counterparts.

Are Microsoft certifications worth IT 2022? ›

Earning a certification is one of the quickest ways to increase your salary. According to Zip Recruiter, the average salary for an expert in Azure Solutions Architecture is raking in $152,142 a year. Even the associate-level Azure certs can command an average salary of $125,000.

What is the highest paid Microsoft certification? ›

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Undoubtedly a challenging and top highest-paying certification in the cloud. It is estimated that the average salary for a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert is around USD 135,000.

What certification is easiest to get? ›

Easy certifications to obtain
  • First aid certifications. ...
  • Project management certifications. ...
  • Software certifications. ...
  • Government certifications. ...
  • Notary public certification. ...
  • Forklift operator license. ...
  • Computer programming certifications. ...
  • Marketing certifications.
25 Feb 2020

Do I have to pay again if I fail Microsoft exam? ›

If you fail an exam the first time, you can reschedule to take it a second time within 24-30 hours starting the moment you failed it. Please note that you will need to pay again to retake the exam.

Are Microsoft interviews hard? ›

Practice with Microsoft ex-interviewers. Microsoft coding interviews are really challenging. The questions are difficult, specific to Microsoft, and cover a wide range of topics. The good news is that the right preparation can make a big difference.

How long does it take to study for a Microsoft exam? ›

Give yourself a time budget, an estimate on how much time you think you will need to be exam ready. I roughly estimated I'd need at least 30 hours of study minimum, with really 40 to 50 hours all together to be more confident. Keep a rough estimate on how much study time you complete as you go along.

Who is the youngest Microsoft certified? ›

Arfa Karim

Which Microsoft certification is most in demand 2022? ›

Top Azure Certifications in 2022
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer.
  • Azure AI Engineer Associate.
  • Azure Data Scientist Associate.
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate.
  • Azure Data Engineer Associate.
  • Azure Database Administrator Associate.

Is A+ certification still worth IT? ›

When it comes to what you put in versus what you get out, the CompTIA A+ certification is most definitely worth it – just ask the people who hold the almost 1.2 million CompTIA A+ certifications issued to date.

Is getting hired by Microsoft hard? ›

This makes it a difficult task to get a job at Microsoft, especially if you're light on education and experience. Due to this high competition, the Microsoft hiring process involves 4 to 5 rounds of interviews before you'll land an offer.

Is getting job at Microsoft difficult? ›

Microsoft hires candidates who are strong-willed and curious about the technology and company. What is the job acceptance rate for Microsoft? Due to the tough competition and many rounds of interviews, the acceptance is less than 2%. No doubt why it is considered to be one of the toughest interviews to crack.

How much does a Microsoft Certified Professional make? ›

Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Jobs by Salary
Job TitleRangeAverage
Systems AdministratorRange:$51k - $95kAverage:$69,641
Senior Software EngineerRange:$87k - $147kAverage:$115,640
Software DeveloperRange:$54k - $113kAverage:$80,504
Senior Systems AdministratorRange:$69k - $119kAverage:$91,936
3 more rows
16 Nov 2022

Should I put Microsoft certification on resume? ›

Yep! As long as the certifications are relevant for the job, you can include them on your resume. Online certifications can especially help you if you're a recent graduate with not a lot of work experience.

Are people happy working at Microsoft? ›

The employee happiness at Microsoft is listed in the Top 10% of similar size companies on Comparably. Compensation is an important aspect of employee happiness and at Microsoft, 74% of employees feel they are paid fairly, 84% are satisfied with their benefits, and 68% are satisfied with their stock/equity.

Do certificates actually help you get a job? ›

The bottom line is that certifications can help you get a job. They showcase a certain skill level that can beat out the biggest competition. They also help you build valuable skills that will prove the claims stated on your resume. However, be smart about it.

Is IT better to get IT certifications or a degree? ›

If you want a strong foundation and an unparalleled breadth of knowledge, a degree is the best path. If you're interested in quickly gaining skills and certifications that will get you employed in IT, certification training is a great option.

Do certifications increase salary? ›

Although many people find themselves working from home, or with reduced hours of employment, it could be the ideal time to acquire a professional certification that helps increase salary and expand professional possibilities.

Which certification is most demanding? ›

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
  • Nutanix Certified Associate.
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Oracle Database Administration 2019 Certified Professional.
  • Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I.
7 Oct 2022

Who pays better Google or Microsoft? ›

Salaries. Of the top 3 common jobs between the two companies, Google salaries averaged $12,224 higher than Microsoft.

Who pays higher Google or Microsoft? ›

Of the top 3 common jobs between the two companies, Microsoft salaries averaged ₹2,83,508 higher than Google.

What is the lowest salary at Microsoft? ›

Minimum salary at Microsoft Corporation depends on the role you are applying for. For Technical Support Engineer the minimum salary is ₹14.3 Lakhs per year, for Support Engineer the minimum salary is ₹14.8 Lakhs per year and so on.

What certification pays well? ›

10 Certifications that Pay Well
  • Phlebotomist Certification Programs.
  • Medical Assistant Certification Programs.
  • Certified Nurse Assistant Certification Programs.
  • Medical Coder or Biller Certification Programs.
  • Flight Attendant Certification Programs.
  • Welder Certification Programs.
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Programs.
15 Sept 2022

How many certifications is too many? ›

There isn't something called "Too many certifications" because the certification is as good as it's journey and it is merely an indication that someone do poccess indepth knowledge in a certain topic or field but certainly doesn't prove competency.

What is the minimum passing score in Microsoft exam? ›

All technical exam scores are reported on a scale of 1 to 1,000 and are scaled such that the passing score is 700. Others like Microsoft Office exam passing score varies from exam to exam and is provided on the score report.

What is the passing score for Microsoft Certification? ›

Technical exams: All technical exam scores are reported on a scale of 1 to 1,000. A passing score is 700 or greater. As this is a scaled score, it may not equal 70% of the points. A passing score is based on the knowledge and skills needed to demonstrate competence as well as the difficulty of the questions.

Can Microsoft Certification be revoked? ›

If you are found to have engaged in other behaviors that violate Microsoft's security policies or our NDA, the ban will be permanent, and all exams and certifications earned will be revoked.

Is it harder to get into Amazon or Microsoft? ›

Microsoft was close behind at 47%. Employees at Amazon rated their interviews easiest, with 30% saying the interview was “easy” or “very easy.”

What is Microsoft's acceptance rate? ›

The Microsoft interview for software engineers is one of the toughest technical interviews to crack. That's mainly because of the stiff competition, an arduous interview process, and an acceptance rate of less than 2%.

What field has hardest interviews? ›

According to reviews, the job sector with the hardest interviews is the technology industry, with an average interview difficulty rating of 3.10 out of a possible five.

Which Microsoft Certification should I get first? ›

Beginners can start with the Power Platform Fundamentals certification and then pursue either an associate or expert certification. The available certifications for Power Platform are: Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals Certifications: Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals (PL-900)

Can I get Microsoft Certification for free? ›

By Attending Free Microsoft Training Days

If you enroll and complete such training, you will be eligible for free Certification. Microsoft conducts the training on Azure, Business Applications, Microsoft 365, and Security. You can enroll for the respective training and attend the same based on your domain and interest.

Can I study for an exam in 6 days? ›

Fortunately, a week can be enough time to get ready for a test. Just study a little every day so you can keep your stress levels low. You might even have fun while you study!

Is being Microsoft Certified worth IT? ›

That's what makes Microsoft Certification so valuable. It demonstrates that you're proficient in the specific, real-world skills associated with recognized industry roles. It verifies that you know how to apply technical knowledge to solve today's business challenges.

Are Microsoft certifications valid? ›

Microsoft role-based (associate and expert) and specialty certifications are valid for one (1) year from the date that you complete all requirements to earn that certification.

Is there an age limit for Microsoft Certification? ›

There is no specific minimum age to apply for exams/certificate. On the other hand, for minors who are under the age of 18 are permitted to present a valid student ID as a form of identification. The candidate's guardian must also present a valid ID and must provide verbal consent during the check-in process.

What is the highest paying job at Microsoft? ›


What is the hardest IT certification exam? ›

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

Here's our vote for #1 toughest certification! It's Cisco's top level certification and a highly valued "badge of competency" in the industry.

Can I get a job with only a+ certification? ›

There are many advantages to having a CompTIA A+ certification under your belt, and simply earning the certification is often considered sufficient to be hired for an entry-level IT position. Earning the certification can also be a way for those already established in the IT field to level up their skills.

How many people are A+ certified? ›

CompTIA A+ Is Held By More Than 1 Million People

When you earn your CompTIA A+ certification, you join more than 1 million other IT professionals who have built their IT career on this certification.

How much does someone with a+ make? ›

According to, the potential median salary for an A+ certificate holder in the United States is $54,663 (between $28,833 and $80,500 as of April 26, 2022). The pay will vary significantly depending on where you live.

Are Microsoft certifications are not respected in the industry? ›

Microsoft Certifications are globally recognised and respected; they show dedication, expertise, and intelligence.

Is Getting A+ certification worth IT? ›

The Dice report lists CompTIA A+ as one of the highest-paying IT certifications in the United States – with A+ holders earning $78,629. Keep in mind that this salary represents IT pros at all levels – both those who are just starting out and those who earned CompTIA A+ years ago and have advanced their careers.

Which Microsoft certification has highest salary? ›

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Undoubtedly a challenging and top highest-paying certification in the cloud. It is estimated that the average salary for a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert is around USD 135,000.

Which Microsoft certifications are most in demand 2022? ›

Top Azure Certifications in 2022
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer.
  • Azure AI Engineer Associate.
  • Azure Data Scientist Associate.
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate.
  • Azure Data Engineer Associate.
  • Azure Database Administrator Associate.

Do recruiters care about certifications? ›

Certificates Can Help Make Up for a Lack of Experience

In some cases, adding a professional certificate could make up for a lack of real-life experience. “In the eyes of a hiring manager, they want someone who can jump right in, add value right away, and become a long-term employee,” Feldman says.

Do employers actually check certifications? ›

Many employers will ask you to do a test to see if you qualify for the job or even just for the next round of interviews. They are trying to filter out the unqualified applicants. Sometimes, if there are certain certificates or diplomas stated on the resume, they will ask you to present a copy of it too.

Which certifications are most in demand? ›

Top Certifications to Acquire in 2022
  • Web Development Certification.
  • Cloud Solutions Architect Certification.
  • Salesforce Certification.
  • Big Data Certification.
  • Digital Marketing Certification.
  • Cybersecurity Certification.
  • RPA Certification.
  • AI Certification.

Should I get a+ if I already have an IT job? ›

Whether you are already working in IT or are hoping to land an entry-level job in computer tech, CompTIA A+ will open the door for better salary opportunities.

What certifications will get me a job? ›

10 in-demand certifications and their careers
  • Project management certifications. ...
  • Business analyst certifications. ...
  • Supply chain certifications. ...
  • Marketing certifications. ...
  • Skilled trade certifications. ...
  • Human resources certifications. ...
  • Sales certifications. ...
  • Accounting certifications.
25 Feb 2020

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