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A Complete Microsoft Certification Guide

Microsoft remains a preferred vendor at the enterprise level despite increased competition in recent years. Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Server technology are used by organizations across many different industries. Meanwhile, Azure and Office 365 have seen a recent surge in popularity among the enterprise. As such, the demand for professionals who can help companies leverage Microsoft products and services is high.

Microsoft certifications validate the knowledge and skills an IT professional uses to be successful in managing and maintaining Microsoft technologies. This CBT Nuggets certification guide covers Microsoft certifications, how to earn those certifications, and the roles that Microsoft certification can prepare learners for.

What are the Microsoft Certifications?

Microsoft offers both technical certifications and Microsoft Office-based certifications. The Microsoft Certification Program consists of the following credentials.

MTA: Microsoft Technology Associate
Microsoft MTA certifications are entry-level and designed to provide basic foundational knowledge in areas including Windows, networking, security, the cloud, and even programming. It’s an ideal starting point for those who are new to IT or Microsoft certification. MTA certifications emphasize providing the core knowledge needed for various IT, developer, and database roles. There’s no prerequisite to sit for MTA exams. Microsoft offers 14 MTA certifications. Earning MTA certification can prepare learners to earn MCSA certification.

MCSA: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate
Microsoft MCSA certifications are designed to help learners learn and validate the knowledge needed to perform entry-level IT roles. Microsoft offers 15 MCSA certifications that cover areas from Windows Server 2012 to Microsoft Dynamics to Business Intelligence Reporting. MCSA is a prerequisite for more advanced Microsoft certifications.

MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
Microsoft MCSEs are expert-level certifications aimed at IT professionals who need to keep developing their skill sets and stay up to date on the latest technologies and best practices. Microsoft offers 5 MCSE certifications that cover topics such as migrating organizations to the cloud, managing BYOD devices, and building data center infrastructures.

MCSD: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
Microsoft MCSDs are expert-level certifications aimed specifically at developers. As of January 31, 2019, Microsoft offers one MCSD certification: MCSD App Builder. The exam tests learners’ abilities to build web and/or mobile applications and services.

Microsoft Role-Based Certifications
The newest addition to the Microsoft Certification Program, role-based certifications, aim to address the disconnect between the knowledge needed to pass certification exams and the knowledge needed to successfully perform job roles. As of January 31, 2019, Microsoft offers 10 role-based certifications that focus on Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

MOS: Microsoft Office Specialist
Microsoft offers certifications for its Microsoft Office suite including Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. There are three different levels of MOS certification: Specialist, Expert, and Master. There’s no prerequisite to earn MOS: Specialist certification. However, learners need the specialist certification before they can earn expert certification, and so forth.   


What is the difference between MCSA and MCSE?

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert) are the entry- and expert-level certification tracks, respectively. Not only do they have separate requirements and validate different skills, but the two exams also prepare learners for different IT career roles.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is an entry-level Microsoft certification that validates the knowledge and skills an entry-level IT professional will learn in the first year working with a Microsoft product. That’s why Microsoft recommends that test takers have at least one year of experience working in a Microsoft environment.

Though recommended, Microsoft does not verify work experience in the exam process. To earn the MCSA, IT professionals typically must pass three exams. Certification at the associate level prepares IT professionals for jobs like system or network administrator, desktop support specialist, or other support roles. The MCSA certification is also a prerequisite for the MCSE.

MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert) is an expert-level Microsoft certification. While the MCSA is a two- or three-exam series, the MCSE only requires passing one exam. The MCSE validates a higher level of expertise than MCSA. It may only require an additional exam to earn the MCSE, but the subject matter is more difficult and technically in-depth than the MCSA. The MCSE typically qualifies the recipient for management roles like IT manager.

Until 2017, the biggest difference between the MCSA and MCSE was the recertification process. Prior to 2017, MCSE certifications expired every three years. But that’s no longer the case. In 2017, Microsoft changed its recertification policies. MCSEs not longer expire. Just like MCSA certifications, they are valid for the life of the Microsoft product — or more accurately the life of the certification exam.



The biggest difference between CCNA and MCSA are the vendors’ respective approaches to certifications. Microsoft certifications are largely product-based. For example, the MCSA library comprises dozens of certifications that validate knowledge about Microsoft products, including Windows, Server, SQL Server, Dynamics, and Office.

Cisco’s certification program is more role-centric. Their certification exams cover topics such as routing and switching, security, collaboration, and wireless. Cisco certifications also test product knowledge, but typically within the context of networks.

There is one similarity between the MCSA and CCNA certifications — they are both entry-level certifications. System and network administrators are typically responsible for managing both Cisco and Microsoft products. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for IT professionals to earn both the MCSA and CCNA certifications relevant to their job roles.



IT professionals often ask which should they pursue more MCSE certification or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification? Both certifications are highly regarded within the IT industry and among employers, but each path develops specific knowledge and skill sets.

The Cisco CCNA ICND2 is the second exam in the entry-level CCNA certification. The first exam, Cisco CCENT ICND1, aims to validate the knowledge entry-level networking professionals need to acquire during their first year on the jobs. In that sense, the CCNA is roughly equivalent to the Microsoft MCSA certifications, which similarly validate entry-level knowledge about various Microsoft products.

The CCNA ICND2 exam validates the knowledge and skills IT pros use to successfully install, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size and enterprise branch networks. It’s much more in-depth than the CCENT, and it’s the gold standard for any IT professional working with Cisco hardware.

The CCNA is geared toward IT professionals who have one to three years experience creating business solutions specifically using Cisco switches and routers. These IT professionals configure, install, and maintain LANs, WANs and dial-up networks using IP, Ethernet, frame relay, and other protocols. Though more advanced, the CCNA would be more closely aligned to the entry-level MCSA series than the expert-level MCSE.

MCSE is an expert-level certification and validates the ability to work with Microsoft technologies. Microsoft offers MCSE certifications in data management, virtualization, productivity, cloud technologies, and networking. Either MCSE or CCNA certification can be useful for engineer or administrator roles. However, the CCNA provides a solid networking foundation. The MCSE, on the other hand, is very specific to Microsoft.

When considering whether to advance to MCSE from MCSA or earn a CCNA, IT professionals should consider the technology they work with daily — and the career path they want to take. In reality, most networking professionals will manage a Microsoft product, and many desktop or systems support administrators will encounter Cisco products. IT certifications are a way to specialize as an expert in one or the other, but there are many valid reasons to pursue both.

The CCNA or MCSA certifications will give learners a broad networking foundation that will benefit their entire career. If a learner wants to work with Microsoft products and technologies, earning an MCSE is their best bet.


What is the MCSD Certification?

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is aimed at developers. This certification credential validates that IT professionals have the skills to build modern mobile and/or web applications and services. The technologies MCSD certification focuses on are Azure, C#, SharePoint, Office Client, Visual Studio, .NET, and HTML5. MCSD certification is especially beneficial for developers who have an interest in working with Windows Store apps and SharePoint applications.

To be eligible to earn MCSD certification, learners must earn either an MCSA: Web Applications certification or an MCSA: Universal Windows Platform certification. Depending on the exam, Microsoft recommends anywhere from 1 to 5 years of experience working with the technology associated with exams.

To earn MCSD certification, learners are required to pass one of the following five exams:

  • Developing Mobile Apps (Exam 70-357)
  • Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (Exam 70-480)
  • Programming in C# (Exam 483)
  • Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications (Exam 70-486)
  • Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services (Exam 70-486)

How to Get a Microsoft certification

Microsoft offers a wide range of certifications to help learners validate their knowledge and skills with Microsoft products and services. Learners can get certified on everything from Windows Server to Microsoft Azure to Office 365.

Microsoft has varying levels of certification, which enable learners to build on their existing skills. For example, when a learner earns MCSA certification, the next logical step is to earn MCSE certification — Microsoft’s expert-level certification. Most recently, Microsoft unveiled role-based certifications to help bridge the gap between the knowledge needed to pass certification exams and the knowledge needed to be successful on the job in IT.

While Microsoft MTA and some MCSA certifications have no prerequisites, all MCSE certifications have prerequisites. This means learners will have to have earned a required prerequisite certification to sit for MCSE exams.  

This section covers the different types of Microsoft certifications and the exams learners need to pass to earn each Microsoft certification.


MTA Certification

There are no prerequisites to earn Microsoft MTA certifications. However, Microsoft strongly recommends that learners have familiarity with the technologies associated with the exams they choose to take. This means learners would benefit from having foundational knowledge of, or hands-on experience using those technologies.

To earn MTA certification, learners are required to pass one exam. Here are the different MTA certifications learners may earn — and their associated exams.

  • Windows Operating System Fundamentals (Exam 98-349)
  • Software Development Fundamentals (Exam 98-361)
  • Database Fundamentals (Exam 98-364)
  • Windows Server Administration Fundamentals (Exam 98-365)
  • Networking Fundamentals (Exam 98-366)
  • Security Fundamentals (Exam 98-367)
  • Mobility and Devices Fundamentals (Exam 98-368)
  • Cloud Fundamentals (Exam 98-369)
  • HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals (Exam 98-375)
  • Introduction to Programming Using Block-Based Languages (Exam 98-380)
  • Introduction to Programming Using Python (Exam 98-381)
  • Introduction to Programming Using JavaScript (Exam 98-382)
  • Introduction to Programming Using HTML and CSS (Exam 98-383)
  • Introduction to Programming Using Java (Exam 98-388)

MCSA Certification

Microsoft recommends at least one year of experience with technology before attempting an MCSA exam, so IT professionals should earn MCSA certifications that best match their job roles and responsibilities. However, there are no prerequisites required to sit for MCSA exams. For individuals with less than a year of experience, though, MTA certifications might a more ideal starting point.

Each MCSA certification requires passing at least two exams, but several require three. Here are the current MCSA certifications and their required exams (in alphabetical order):

MCSA: BI Reporting

  • Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI (Exam 70-778)
  • Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel (Exam 70-779)

MCSA: Data Engineering and Azure (retires June 30, 2019)

  • Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft HD Insight (Exam 70-775)
  • Perform Big Data Engineering on Microsoft Cloud Services (Exam 70-776)

MCSA: Machine Learning (retiring June 30, 2019)

  • Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (Exam 70-773)
  • Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (Exam 70-774)

MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (retiring April 30, 2019)

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement Online Deployment (Exam MB2-715)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration (Exam MB2-716)

MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations

  • Administering a Microsoft SQL Database Infrastructure (Exam 70-764)
    – OR-
    Provisioning SQL Databases (Exam 70-765)
  • Development, Extensions, and Deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (Exam MB6-894)

MCSA: Office 365 (retiring March 31, 2019)

  • Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements (Exam 70-346)
  • Enabling Office 365 Services (Exam 70-347)

MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development

  • Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse (Exam 70-767)
  • Developing SQL Data Models (Exam 70-768)

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration

  • Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure (Exam 70-764)
  • Provisioning SQL Databases (Exam 70-766)

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development

  • Querying Data with Transact-SQL (Exam 70-761)
  • Developing SQL Databases (Exam 70-762)

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014

  • Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (Exam 70-461)
  • Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases (Exam 70-462)
  • Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (Exam 70-463)

MCSA: Universal Windows Platform

  • Programming in C# (Exam 70-483)
  • Developing Mobile Apps (Exam 70-357)

MCSA: Web Applications

  • Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (Exam 70-480)
  • Programming in C# (Exam 70-483)
  • Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications Exam (70-486)

MCSA: Windows 10 (retiring March 31, 2019)

  • Installing and Configuring Windows 10 (Exam 70-698)
  • Configuring Windows Devices (Exam 70-697)

MCSA: Windows Server 2012

  • Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (Exam 70-410)
  • Administering Windows Server 2012 (Exam 70-411)
  • Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 (Exam 70-412)

MCSA: Windows Server 2016

  • Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016 (Exam 70-740)
  • Networking with Windows Server 2016 (Exam 70-741)
  • Identity with Windows Server 2016 (Exam 70-742)

MCSE Certification

In order to be eligible for Microsoft MCSE certification, learners must first earn MCSA certification. After earning a prerequisite certification, learners must take one additional exam to earn an MCSE certification. For expert-level certifications under Microsoft’s new certification structure, learners can choose from a pool of exams — to customize a certification to their needs.

Typically, learners pursuing MCSE certification should have three (3) or more years of experience working with Microsoft products, particularly Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, and/or Microsoft Azure.

Below are the five Microsoft MCSE certifications, along with the exams learners can take to earn each MCSE:

MCSE: Business Applications

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (Exam MB2-717)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service (Exam MB2-718)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing (Exam MB2-719)
  • Financial Management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (Exam MB6-895)
  • Distribution and Trade in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (Exam MB6-896)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail (Exam MB6-897)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent (Exam MB6-898)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service (Exam MB2-877)

MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

  • Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions (Exam 70-532)
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (Exam 70-533)
  • Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (Exam 70-535)
  • Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (Exam 70-473)
  • Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions (Exam 70-475)
  • Securing Windows Server 2016 (Exam 70-744)
  • Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter (Exam 70-745)
  • Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure (Exam 70-413)
  • Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure (Exam 70-414)
  • Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack (Exam 70-537)

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

  • Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (Exam 70-473)
  • Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions (Exam 70-475)
  • Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (Exam 70-464)
  • Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server (Exam 70-465)
  • Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server (Exam 70-466)
  • Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server (Exam 70-467)
  • Developing SQL Databases (Exam 70-762)
  • Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL (Exam 70-767)
  • Developing SQL Data Models (Exam 70-768)
  • Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (Exam 70-773)
  • Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (Exam 70-774)
  • Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (Exam 70-775)
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions (Exam 70-777)

MCSE: Mobility

  • Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications (Exam 70-695)
  • Administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Cloud Services Integration (Exam 70-703)

MCSE: Productivity Solutions Expert

  • Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 (Exam 70-345)
  • Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 (Exam 70-339)
  • Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015 (Exam 70-333)
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015 (Exam 70-334)
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (Exam 70-331)
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (Exam 70-332)
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (Exam 70-341)
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (Exam 70-342)

MCSD Certification

In order to be eligible for Microsoft MCSD certification, learners must first earn one of the following two MCSA certifications: MCSA: Web Applications or MCSA: Universal Windows Platform. Microsoft recommends that learners have between 1 to 5 years of experience working with technologies, depending on the certification.

Earning MCSD certification requires passing one of the following exams. Here is the current MCSD certification and its required exams:

MCSD: App Builder

  • Developing Mobile Apps (Exam 70-357)
  • Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (Exam 70-480)
  • Programming in C# (Exam 70-483)
  • Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications (70-486)
  • Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services (70-487)

MOS Certification

The Microsoft Office Specialist track consists of three levels: Specialist, Expert, and Master. The MOS Specialist and Expert certifications carry no prerequisites. That said, experience working with the technologies associated with the exams for those certifications is beneficial.

To be eligible to earn MOS Master certification, learners must first pass the following three exams: Microsoft Word 2016 Expert: Creating Documents for Effective Communication (Exam 77-726), Microsoft Excel 2016 Expert: Interpreting Data for Insights (Exam 77-728), and Microsoft PowerPoint 2016: Core Presentation Design and Delivery Skills (Exam (77-729)

For each MOS certification, learners are required to pass at least one exam. Below are the three different MOS certification levels and their required exams:

MOS: Microsoft Office Specialist

  • Word 2016: Core Document Creation, Collaboration, and Communication (Exam 77-725)
  • Excel 2016: Core Data Analysis, Manipulation, and Presentation (Exam 77-727)
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2016 (Exam 77-729)
  • Microsoft Office Access 2016 (Exam 77-730)
  • Microsoft Outlook 2016 (Exam 77-331)

MOS Expert: Microsoft Office Specialist Expert

  • Microsoft Word 2016 Expert: Creating Documents for Effective Communication (Exam 77-726)
  • Microsoft Excel 2016 Expert: Interpreting Data for Insights (Exam 77-728)

MOS Master: Microsoft Office Specialist Master

  • Access 2016: Core Database Management, Manipulation, and Query Skills (Exam 77-730)
  • Outlook 2016: Core Communication, Collaboration and Email Skills (Exam 77-731)

Role-Based Certification

Microsoft’s role-based certifications consist of three levels: Fundamentals, Associate, and Expert. There are no prerequisites for Fundamentals- or Associate-level certifications. However, learners will benefit from having familiarity and experience with using with the technologies associated with the exams they take. To be eligible to earn Expert-level role-based certifications, learners are required to have earned at least one Associate-level certification.

Here are the current Microsoft role-based certifications and their required exams. Most Associate- and Expert-level certifications require at least two exams to be passed.

(Note: Microsoft has role-based certification exams in beta and plans to keep releasing new role-based certifications. You should regularly check Microsoft’s certifications page for updates.)


Fundamentals-Level Role-Based Certifications

Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals

  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (Exam AZ-900)

Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals

  • Microsoft 365 Fundamentals (Exam MS-900)

Associate-Level Role-Based Certifications

Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator

UPDATE: 3/20/2019: Microsoft announced that it’s retiring the AZ-100 and AZ-101 exams on May 1, 2019. At that point, you’ll only need to pass one exam, AZ-103, to earn Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification.

  • Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment (Exam AZ-100)
  • Microsoft Azure Integration and Security (Exam AZ-101)

Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer

  • Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition (Exam AZ-202)
  • Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure (Exam AZ-203)

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate

  • Implementing an Azure Data Solution (Exam DP-200)
  • Designing an Azure Data Solution (Exam DP-201)

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate

  • Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure (Exam DP-100)

Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate

  • Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution (Exam AI-100)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator

  • Windows 10 (Exam MD-100)
  • Managing Modern Desktops (Exam MD-101)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate

  • Microsoft 365 Security Administration (Exam MS-500)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate

  • Deploying Microsoft 365 Teamwork (Exam MS-300)
  • Deploying SharePoint Server Hybrid (Exam MS-301)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate

  • Planning and Configuring a Messaging Platform (Exam MS-200)
  • Implementing a Hybrid and Secure Messaging Platform (Exam MS-201)

Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate

  • Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Core (Exam MB-200)
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Service (Exam MB-230)

Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Sales Functional Consultant Associate

  • Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Core (Exam MB-200)
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales (Exam MB-210)

Expert-Level Role-Based Certifications

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect

  • Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (Exam AZ-300)
  • Microsoft Azure Architect Design (Exam AZ-301)

Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer

  • Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions (Exam AZ-400)

Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator

  • Microsoft 365 Identity and Services (Exam MS-100)
  • Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security (Exam MS-101)

Microsoft Certification Cost

Most Microsoft exams cost $165 (USD) for test takers in the United States. Exams will cost international test takers from $55 to $165 per exam in their local currency. Because MCSA and MCSE certifications require either two or three exams, the cost to earn MCSA and MCSE certifications ranges from $330 to $495 in the United States.

Microsoft exams have a reputation for being challenging. It’s not uncommon for learners to take Microsoft exam more than once. Fortunately, Microsoft is aware that their exams are difficult. As a result, most years it offers an Exam Replay, allowing an exam retake at a fraction of the original cost. Because Exam Replay availability varies by exam, test takers should regularly check their availability for certain exams.

Most Microsoft certifications are relatively inexpensive compared to certifications offered by other vendors. However, as with any certification, learners will accrue more expense on training resources like study guides or online training.

Microsoft Recertification and Renewal

Microsoft certifications do not expire or require recertification/renewal. Microsoft certification holders can find all their certifications listed on their official Microsoft Certified Professional Transcript. Certifications are classified as “Active” or “Legacy.” Certifications will remain in “Active” status until Microsoft retires their associated exams. Microsoft typically retires exams when products or services associated with exams reach the end of life. When that happens, certifications will be listed as “Legacy,” but they aren’t expired.

While not required, recertification exams are currently available for all MCSE and MCSD specialties. Recertification exams cover material from the exams taken to originally earn the credential, with particular emphasis on the most recent technology and process changes. As new technologies and products are released, learners should strongly consider earning associated certifications to keep their knowledge and skill sets up to date.

With the new elective exam structure for continuing education, learners have the option to take an elective exam of their choosing each year to “re-earn” an annual badge on their certification. This verifies that the candidate is keeping their skills current with changing technologies.

Microsoft Certification Salary and Career Information provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with Microsoft certifications. reports a range of salaries between $50,075 and $144,966 for IT pros who hold Microsoft certification.

Common roles for those who hold MOS certification include executive assistant, office manager, and receptionist. According to, the average salary for MOS-certified professionals is $50,000.

Common roles for those who hold MTA, MCSA, and MCSE certification includes IT manager, IT director, systems administrator, and senior systems engineer. According to Payscale, the average salary for MTA-certified professionals is $66,000, MCSA-certified professionals is $73,000, and MCSE-certified professionals is $93,000.

Continuing to earn Microsoft certifications is a worthwhile endeavor and investment. For example, reports the average salary for MCSA-certified IT pros is $73,000 per year, while $93,000 is the average salary for MCSE-certified IT pros. The more specialized a learner’s certifications, the higher average salary they can command.

Microsoft’s new role-based certifications are designed to prepare learners for on-the-job success from the start. They represent Microsoft’s attempt to address a common concern among IT professionals: The knowledge required to pass certification exams doesn’t always apply to real-world situations. For those who are new to IT and Microsoft certifications, these role-based certifications represent an excellent opportunity to build a strong career foundation.

Microsoft Certification Training

CBT Nuggets offers a wide variety of Microsoft training. Our Microsoft training is broken down into areas of expertise, which include Azure, networking, systems administration, server administration, and Office.

CBT Nuggets also has certification playlists for in-demand Microsoft certifications — meaning all the training learners need to earn those certifications can be accessed in one place. Microsoft certification playlists include Office 365 and Server 2016.

A CBT Nuggets subscription includes access to Virtual Labs that cover Microsoft technologies. Virtual Labs enable learners to get hands-on experience with products in a sandbox environment.

A CBT Nuggets subscription also includes access to Kaplan IT Training Practice Exams, which include practice tests for a variety of Microsoft certifications.

If you’re interested in Microsoft certification, CBT Nuggets offers a complete IT learning experience that includes a wide variety of Microsoft courses and training resources. Watch. Learn. Conquer Microsoft today!


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