MD-100 is no longer the certifying exam for the Modern Desktop Administrator Associate, so it may not be worth it if the only thing you need is the certification. But the information on the MD-100 is still extremely useful for system administrators and desktop support techs. The material on the MD-100 is definitely worth it for junior IT professionals to learn as they prepare for a job configuring and maintaining Windows clients.
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Microsoft Windows 10/11 (MD-100) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value
When it was the certifying exam for the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate, the MD-100 cost $165, but it was retired as of September 2023. The new MDAA exam is MD-102, which also costs $165. And since the MD-102 is the only exam you need to earn it, the entire cost of the Modern Desktop Administrator Associate is $165.
Because it was designed for junior IT professionals just getting started with IT administration and desktop support, the MD-100 isn't especially difficult. What makes it challenging is that it covers official, "by-the-book" ways to install and configure Windows, manage connectivity and storage, and maintain Windows. If you're the sort of person who figured things out on their own, you might find the MD-100 hard.
Yes, the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification expires one year after you earn it. Microsoft has renewal certification exams for every cert, which cover updates and changes to the content in the intervening year. Although the MDAA's certifying exams change regularly, once you pass the exam and earn the cert, it's yours for as long as you keep passing the renewal exam.
First-hand experience with installing, configuring and maintaining Windows clients inside a domain infrastructure is the best way to study for the MD-100. You can learn the theory of doing all of that from most places. But the only reason to study for the MD-100 is to know how to actually do the work, so find online courses with virtual labs, simulated environments and hands-on practice.