The Microsoft Information Protection Administrator is a weighty credential, but whether or not it's worth it for all careers is unclear. For IT professionals who work in large organizations powered mostly by Microsoft tools and who work with sensitive information on a regular basis, it's definitely a worthwhile certification. But if you don't engage seriously with information protection and governance solutions on a regular basis, it may not be worth it for you.
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Microsoft Information Protection Administrator (SC-400) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value
Earning the Information Protection Administrator credential costs $165, which is the price of taking the SC-400. It's worth noting that if you fail on your first attempt, although you can retake the exam again after 24 hours, you will have to pay for the exam again. The pass rate of SC-400 seems to be low, so you may want to add the cost of training and preparation to the $165 exam cost.
Although the content of the Microsoft Information Protection Administrator certification itself isn't especially hard, Microsoft doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to their question wording or exam difficulty consistency. A common complaint about Microsoft certification exams is that phrasing can be arbitrary and ambiguous. So even for highly experienced and knowledgeable information protection professionals, the exam could still be challenging if you don't deliberately prepare for the test.
Yes, just like all of Microsoft's role-based certifications, the Information Protection Administrator is good for one year. That's a lot shorter than the industry standard, but Microsoft also offers free renewals on their certs that retire annually. After holding the certification for six months, you can take a free renewal test for it. It's a shorter version of the certifying exam that covers changes and updates to technologies and best practices.
In a perfect world, the best way to study for the SC-400 would be by mastering information protection, records management, and data lifecycle management. But actually, the best way to study for any Microsoft certification is with an online course designed specifically with that exam in mind. Take a course developed by someone who passed the exam and knows how to prepare you not just for what you need to know, but how you'll be asked.