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Best Azure Certification Courses: The Top 16 You Need to Know

Written By

Chase Bolt

Microsoft Azure Certification is a high in-demand technological certification and is considered a ticket to a high-paying job in reputable companies. However, finding the correct certification course can sometimes prove challenging for established professionals looking to reach new heights and experience career growth. It’s the same case if you are a newcomer fresh out of college looking for your space in the cloud computing market. 

To save you the hassle of finding the right course to help you achieve your career growth aims, we have compiled a list of the most popular Azure Certification Paths and the best courses you need to know.

Table of Contents

Best Azure Certification Courses

Azure Fundamentals Certifications

1. Azure Fundamentals - AZ-900

2. Azure Data Fundamentals - DP-900

3. Azure AI Fundamentals - AI-900

4. Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals - SC-900

Azure Associate Certifications

5. Azure Data Scientist Associate - DP-100

6. Azure Security Engineer Associate - AZ-500

7. Azure Database Administrator Associate - DP-300

8. Azure Administrator Associate - AZ-104

9. Azure Developer Associate - AZ-204

10. Azure AI Engineer Associate - AI-100/AI-102

11. Azure Data Engineer Associate - DP-203

12. Identity and Access Administrator Associate - SC-300

13. Security Operations Analyst Associate - SC-200

Azure Expert Certifications

14. DevOps Engineer Expert - AZ-400

15. Azure Solutions Architect Expert - AZ-303 + AZ-304

Azure Specialty Certifications

16. Azure IoT Developer Specialty - AZ-220

Conclusion

Best Azure Certification Courses

This article explores the 16 most popular Microsoft Azure Certifications, the best courses to get you started, their costs, and what makes them attractive. These Azure certifications are divided into four categories being Fundamental, Associate, Expert, and Specialty.

Azure Fundamentals Certifications

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ900 Certification Badge

1. Azure Fundamentals - AZ-900

Price: $94.99

Instructor: Alan Rodrigues

Link: Microsoft Azure - Beginner's Guide + AZ-900 - UPDATED 2021

Alan Rodrigues' course delivers high-quality, updated, and understandable content. This Microsoft Azure certification course is built in a hands-on manner. It deals with real-world situations where the instructor does their best to not only explain situations and problems but show them in motion using Azure Portal so you can reproduce the results. If you want to dive into the world of Azure, getting your fundamentals down is mandatory, and this course will ensure you have a solid grasp on all subjects approached in the AZ-900 exam.

We also recommend taking XaaS Technologies practices exams. They will help you understand where you may be lacking, provide questions similar to those in the exam, and give you the confidence to pass.

Microsoft Azure Dats Fundamentals DP900  Certification Badge

2. Azure Data Fundamentals - DP-900

Price: $29.99

Instructor: Scott Duffy

Link: DP-900 Azure Data Fundamentals Exam Prep In One Day

The talented instructor Scott Duffy has put together an easy-to-understand and straight-to-the-point course where he details all the basic concepts of data handling. This Microsoft Azure certification course is structured to require no previous knowledge. Ideal for newcomers trying to get into Azure. Combine it with Microsoft Learn, and you have a solid base to study for the DP-900 exam.

We also would like to recommend John Savill's clear and well-structured explanation of data fundamentals. It's free, easy to understand, ad-free, straight to the point supporting material to round up your knowledge.

Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals AI900  Certification Badge

3. Azure AI Fundamentals - AI-900

Price: $99.99

Instructor: Alan Rodrigues

Link: AI-900 Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals Certification 2021

Alan Rodrigues has a simple and straight-to-the-point course, touching on AI workloads, machine learning principles, and conversational AI workloads, all in very understandable and well-explained examples. In addition, this Microsoft Azure Certification training course has a series of practice labs to help with the subjects covered. It also comes with a mock exam that will detail where your shortcomings are after answering.

John Savill has done a great job touching on the subjects learners have the most trouble with on the AI-900 exam. The video is filled with quality tips, tricks, and pointers to help you see if you have all your bases covered. If you want to round on your knowledge, the instructor has structured the video in a clean, concise, and easy-to-understand manner.

Microsoft Azure Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals SC A900  Certification Badge

4. Azure Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals - SC-900

Price: $94.99

Instructor: Phillip Burton

Link: SC-900: Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity Fundamentals

SC-900 has very few resources online. Mr. Phillip Burton took upon himself to change that by bringing a course with short but well-detailed lessons, with an easy-to-follow structure that aims to help you fixate the knowledge. The instructor also provides you with notes, a series of sample questions, tips, and tricks to set you on the path to becoming a certified Azure developer.

Since the material for this Azure certification course is incredibly scarce, we would like to recommend John Savill's 2-hour long SC-900 Cram, where he details the various offerings of Microsoft 365 and Azure security solutions and how to apply them to other Azure applications. John Savill is also open to answering questions, friendly, and easy to reach. You can find many of his answers and contact him directly at /r/AzureCertification, just mention /u/JohnSavill, and he is always available to engage. 

Azure Associate Certificates

Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate DP900  Certification Badge

5. Azure Data Scientist Associate - DP-100

Price: $99.99

Instructor: Jitesh Khurkhuriya

Link: DP-100: A-Z Machine Learning using Azure Machine Learning

Instructor Jitesh Khurkhuriya brings over 20 years of data science experience to the table in a well-structured, illustrated Microsoft Azure Certification course. It touches on almost all subjects approached in the DP-100 exam. The instructor does an excellent job taking large complex topics and breaking them down into much smaller, easier-to-digest subsections. The course also comes with quizzes to help you absorb what you have learned quicker.

However, there's very little online material for this exam. We recommend that you check some of the study material provided by Microsoft, such as Troubleshooting ML pipelines, Troubleshooting remote model deployment, Deploying machine learning models. Pluralsight also offers excellent supporting material. You can get a free 10-days trial which may be enough for you to study the material.

Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate Certification  Badge

6. Azure Security Engineer Associate - AZ-500

Price: $109.99

Instructor: Alan Rodrigues

Link: AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Exam Certification 2021

Once again, Alan Rodrigues brings an excellent prep course for professionals looking to become Azure Certified. The instructor not only breaks down complex subjects into smaller, easier-to-understand pieces, but they also make sure to explain and execute every step in the Azure portal, which makes it easier to understand and reproduce.

It is important to note that this Azure certification course has some problems with mock exams not covering all approached subjects, and you will have to look for other resources to supplement it.

Thankfully,  Suresh M put together a very detailed practice exam with incredibly tough questions that test your knowledge, help you understand where your shortcomings are, and give you adequate preparation for the actual exam. Suresh M is also very responsive in his Udemy forums and will quickly answer any questions you may have. He is also very open to feedback.

Microsoft Azure Database Administrator Associate DP300  Certification Badge

7. Azure Database Administrator Associate - DP-300

Price: $35 monthly (with free trial)

Instructors: Landon Fowler and Steven Moran

Link: Azure Database Administrator Associate

Landon Fowler and Steven Moran have teamed up to make a complete and detailed Microsoft Azure Certification course. They bring almost 20 hours of content approaching everything touched in the exam, such as securing SQL resources, using Transact-SQL for administrative tasks, monitoring, and optimizing Azure SQL databases. Aclouguru is one of the cheaper options of the pack. But it does not end there. If you're a quick learner, you can make this course completely free by using its free trial.

We also recommend Wade Henderson's practice exams. With this resource, you get a total of 440 questions, most of which bear close similarity with the actual exam questions. In addition, the explanations provided go into detail on every missed question and the thought process behind the correct answer.

Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate AZ104  Certification Badge

8. Azure Administrator Associate - AZ-104

Price: $109.99

Instructor: Alan Rodrigues

Link: AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification 2021

It is not a secret that the examination for this Microsoft Azure certification course is known to be very challenging. However, instructor Alan Rodrigues nails it with a comprehensive course filled with helpful practice tests and quizzes to help you retain what you have learned. The entirety of the content is updated to the latest version of AZ-104. It offers 186 practice questions that will help you prepare. In addition, the instructor provides detailed explanations for missed questions. The course also uses labs a lot, which will help you have a more hands-on experience if you follow and execute the examples.

If you have ever worked with AWS before, you probably know about Jon Bonso's incredibly detailed, comprehensive, in-depth practice tests. Suppose you want to round up your AZ-104 knowledge, head over to TutorialDojo, and check this fantastic practice exam. Additionally, since this is a difficult test, we recommend brushing up on some basics with John Savill's Azure Master Class.‍

Microsoft Azure Developer Associate AZ204  Certification Badge

9. Azure Developer Associate - AZ-204

Price: $109.99

Instructor: Alan Rodrigues

Link: AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Azure Certification 2021

To help you become a certified Azure developer, lan Rodrigues provides simple, straight-to-the-point explanations. The course also comes with practice questions and several case studies. Many of the questions presented in the provided practice tests are found in the most recent version of AZ-204, and the case studies help drill down on the subjects approached.

We would also like to recommend Scott Duffy's practice exams for AZ-204. The instructors go into incredible detail on each question you miss and provide clear explanations in an easy-to-follow format. If you're the kind of person who learns by doing, this will be perfect for you as most lessons are practical instead of just explained.

Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate AI100/AI102  Certification Badge

10. Azure AI Engineer Associate - AI-100/AI-102

Price: $74.99

Instructor: Anand Rao Nednur

Link: AI-100: Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solutions

It's important to note that the AI-100 exam is soon getting replaced by the AI-102 exam for this Microsoft Azure certification, and the material for it is soon to change. Instructor Anand Rao Nednur has done an excellent job of making a concise course that will give you quality information to work with. Just be warned that you will need to have some previous knowledge of AI concepts to get the most out of this course. We recommend that you brush up on the basics of Azure AI fundamentals before purchasing this course.

The amount of material online compiled and ready to study for this Azure Certification exam is tiny. If you want to supplement your study, Microsoft Learning Paths are a perfect and free way to increase your studies and prepare you for the test. Some of the learning paths we recommend you check are:

Microsoft Azure Data Engineer Associate DP203  Certification Badge

11. Azure Data Engineer Associate - DP-203

Price: $24.99

Instructor: Eshant Garg

Link: DP-200/ DP-203: Implementing an Azure Data Solution - Course

DP-200 is getting replaced by DP-203 very soon. Instructor Eschant Garg will update this course as soon as DP-203 leaves the beta phase. One thing about this Azure certification course is that it is complete since the instructor makes sure to touch every subject approached in the exam. It also comes with very comprehensive videos and practice tests approaching every topic discussed. You will need basic knowledge about database concepts, as the test assumes you have worked with it in a fundamental capacity before.

If you want to be ready for the change to the DP-203 exam, we would like to recommend checking Microsoft Learn. It will be the first place to update with DP-203 relevant info such as Storing Data in Azure, Azure for Data Engineers, Working with Data Warehouses using Azure, and Data integration at scale with Azure Data Factory.

Microsoft Azure Identity and Access Administrator Associate SC300  Certification Badge

12. Identity and Access Administrator Associate - SC-300

Price: $59.99

Instructor: Cristian Calinescu

Link: Microsoft Cybersecurity Pro Track: Managing Identity

In this Microsoft Azure certification course, Azure expert Cristian Calinescu details securing active directories, PAM infrastructures, dealing with authentication and authorization, and an in-depth explanation of Securing Privilege Access (SPA). The course also has numerous video lessons for those that prefer to watch than reading. Furthermore, he provides a hands-on lab to help you practice what you studied and links to recommend documentation to expand your knowledge.

Microsoft Learn is also essential for those trying to attain this certification. Some of the most valuable courses are:

We would also like to recommend Microsoft's Learning Partner program, where you can find other students that will help you study for this exam.

And lastly, if you prefer reading or want to deepen your knowledge about Identity and Access Management, Jochen Nickel has written a fantastic ebook on it, with a significant focus on lab. That way, you can reproduce much of what is taught in a free Azure subscription.

Microsoft Azure Security Operations Analyst Associate SC200  Certification Badge

13. Security Operations Analyst Associate - SC-200

Price: $99.99

Instructor: Riaan Lowe

Link: Introduction to Cloud Security with Microsoft Azure

In this course, Riaan Lowe goes over essential subjects in the test, such as understanding and dealing with cloud computing vulnerabilities, securing your Azure environment, introducing the basics and best practices of Azure security.

These Azure certification courses offer several examples, video content, and Riaan Lowe's willingness to answer students' questions directly.

But this course alone won't be nearly enough to prepare you for SC-200. So we would also like to recommend a reasonably accurate but straightforward practice exam by Pass IT Easy, which may seem basic at first, but has close questions to the actual exam. Author Yuri Diogenes also has made a great book on Azure security and infrastructure that covers most of what you will find in the exam.

Azure Expert Certifications

Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert AZ400 Certification Badge

14. DevOps Engineer Expert - AZ-400

Price: $29.99 (with free trial)

Instructors: Paul Hacker, Robby Millsap, Mike Benkovich, and others

Link: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions Exam (AZ-400)

LinkedIn Learning has plenty of AZ-400 related courses with experts in every area approached in DevOps, including getting Azure certified. The course teaches the implementation of the development process, designing an efficient delivery strategy, setting up and implementing continuous integrations, and much more. All of this and more come free for an entire month and then will charge you $29.99 a month afterward, so if you're a quick learner, this Azure certification course may be free.

You should also round up your knowledge with the Microsoft Learn paths for AZ-400. Resources you can utilize include: 

Essentially, the resources mentioned above, coupled with Pluralsight's AZ-400 learning path, give you everything you need to pass this exam.

Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert AZ303 + AZ304  Certification Badge

15. Azure Solutions Architect Expert - AZ-303 + AZ-304

Price: AZ-303, $69.99 | AZ-304, $79.99

Instructor: Scott Duffy

Link: AZ-303 Azure Architecture Technologies | AZ-304 Azure Architect Design

Instructor Scott Duffy once again brings us courses of the highest quality and in one of Azure's most difficult exams. Scott Duffy has structured this Microsoft Azure certification course beautifully. He has filled it with all that's addressed in both exams and in the process: 

  • Providing crucial industry tips
  • Teaching you how to eliminate wrong answers 
  • Delivering clear and concise explanations

What’s more? He offers hands-on tasks to help those that learn by doing.

However, this course alone won't cut it when it comes to becoming Azure certified under this pathway. 3-5 years of experience in Azure will go a long way to help deal with the problems the exam will throw at you. 

Pluralsight also has a helpful course on AZ-303 that you can take for free using its trial, and lastly, don't neglect Microsoft Learn to round out your knowledge. Microsoft also has handy tips and tricks youtube playlist, perfect to quickly jump and learn a subject, plenty of the topics on the playlist are touched in the exam.

Azure Specialty Certifications

Microsoft Azure IoT Developer Specialty AZ220  Certification Badge

16. Azure IoT Developer Specialty - AZ-220

Price: $129.99

Instructor: Venkatesh Varadachari and Betanabotla Kaushik

Link: Introduction to Microsoft Azure IoT

The instructors do a great job explaining IoT concepts, detailing IoT usage, and talking about most of the services you'll be using. The instructors are fantastic at being clear and concise, providing crucial visual aid, and answering questions in their Udemy forums. However, the course is quite expensive, so we recommend you go for one of the many Udemy sells to try it out.

Pluralsight also offers up-to-date IoT content, going in-depth on physical device configuration, Implementing IoT solutions using Azure, Configuring IoT hubs, and much more. Pluralsight is also expanding its library on IoT and updating many of its courses, so keep an eye on it, as they may add something that catches your eye.

And last but not least, give Microsoft Learn a chance. Microsoft’s free Azure certification courses, such as Securely Connecting IoT Devices to the Cloud, Introduction to IoT Using Azure, Developing IoT Solutions Using Azure Central, can be beneficial if you put in the time. If you wish to test all this knowledge and see if you're ready to take on AZ-220, be sure to try Wade Henderson's practice exams. They are detailed, provide you with straight-to-the-point answers to missed questions, and the instructor is open to answering questions regarding the exam.

Conclusion

Certifications may not land you a dream job, but they're an essential step to show recruiters and companies your commitment to your career. Recruiters look much more favorably at candidates with multiple certifications, and it translates to better pay, benefits, and sometimes a seniority position when joining a new company.

We have chosen courses built by industry veterans, talented in teaching, that want you not just to memorize for an exam but actually to learn and develop your career. Most professionals in this article can be contacted directly using their Udemy course forums or reached to answer questions at /r/AzureCertification. If you're unsure about a course, be sure to contact the instructor, as most of them are more than willing to provide additional help, clarifications, and some will even offer you free trials or samples of their tests!

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