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John Munjoma
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Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate (MS-500) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

Is the Security Administrator Associate (MS-500) worth it?

Although the MS-500 exam was retired in 2023, it remains worth it for people who need to learn or prove advanced Microsoft 365 security administration skills. Microsoft 365 itself obviously wasn't retired, and neither were Microsoft tools and services like Dynamics 365, Power Platform or Microsoft Entra. Microsoft may have split this certification into multiple specialized credentials, but it's still worth it to take this course and master implementing and managing security solutions for 365 and hybrid environments.

How much does Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate (MS-500) cost?

Microsoft retired MS-500 and its associated certification, Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate, on June 30 2023. That means that not only does it no longer cost anything, it cannot be taken and the certification can't be earned. Similar (unretired) exams like AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies or SC-400: Administering Information Protection and Compliance in Microsoft 365 usually cost $165.

How difficult is the MS-500 Security Administrator Associate exam?

Even though Microsoft retired MS-500, there are still organizations who use practice exams or former versions of certification exams for their internal credentials or job validation positions. One of the reasons Microsoft retired the MS-500 was that it was discovered to cover too wide an array of Microsoft 365 security features and cybersecurity skill sets. Many people struggled to familiarize themselves with enough cloud-based tools and options to pass the exam.

Does the Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate (MS-500) expire?

Yes, not only has the Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate certification itself been retired by Microsoft (meaning no one can earn it any longer), but the credential expires one year after earning it. Microsoft left the option to renew their certification open for six months after the exam retired, but by December 2024, there will no longer be any active Security Administrator Associate certifications, nor any way to renew them.

How to study for the MS-500?

The best way to study for the Security Administrator Associate – and any cybersecurity-related certification – is with hands-on practice. It's possible to set up Microsoft 365 tenant accounts and create fake networks and configure security settings on them, but it's much easier to find an online course that offers virtual simulations and practice environments where you can navigate and implement various Microsoft 365 security options.
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