If you’re a marketer who uses your technical expertise with both Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform to implement marketing solutions for your organization, the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate certification could be just right for you. A Microsoft Certification validates to the world that you have valuable skills—whether you’re just starting out, looking to use your functional consultant experience to advance your career, or wanting to change to a new, in-demand career.
IDC research shows that after professionals have achieved something challenging, like earning a certification, they’re more likely to continue learning and increase their value to their organizations. There’s a need for marketing professionals who innovate and bring better solutions to customers. The Microsoft approach to certification focuses on building a strong learning culture and encouraging learners on their journey. A Microsoft white paper on role-based tech training and certifications reports that 91 percent of IT professionals with certifications believe that the effort employees put into acquiring new skills strongly contributes to their success in digital transformation.
You can add your certifications to your résumé and your LinkedIn page to alert organizations to your expertise. LinkedIn is a very effective and easy way to call attention to your accomplishments. Did you know that LinkedIn members with profiles that list at least five skills on are messaged up to 27 times more than those who don’t?
In this post in our series on discovering your career path, we look at the benefits of earning the Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate certification. Plus, we suggest other certifications that can be useful for functional consultants who want to call attention to their broad variety of skills as seasoned professionals.
You fit the profile for this certification if you’re a functional consultant, a marketing or business professional using Dynamics 365 Marketing to empower your organization, a developer looking to hone your consulting and configuration skills, a solution architect on a path to the solution architect certification, or an IT professional. As a candidate for this certification, you must have knowledge and experience configuring Microsoft Power Platform, plus you need to know Dynamics 365 model-driven applications and data modeling principles. This certification helps you market yourself more effectively for projects and lets your organization know that you can create Dynamics 365 Marketing solutions.
Candidates for this certification implement marketing initiatives like campaigns, emails, and customer journeys. You have experience working with an organization’s stakeholders, such as solution architects, developers, and testers, to gather requirements and implement Dynamics 365 Marketing solutions. You extend Dynamics 365 solutions using Microsoft Power Platform components, such as Power Automate and Power Apps. You perform tasks like configuring the Dynamics 365 Marketing application and Dynamics 365 organizational security.
In this role, you need experience with both Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, so you’ll take two exams to earn the certification:
You know that certification validates your abilities and skills. Let certification work for you as you use those skills to strive for promotions and raises. In the 2020–2021 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey from Nigel Frank, 80 percent of respondents believe that Dynamics 365 certifications are important for increasing earning potential.
In that survey, 74 percent listed “understanding business models” and “having business acumen” as hard skills that would make them more attractive to employers. As a marketing professional working with Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, you need to know multiple technologies and your responsibilities need to span more than one domain. IDC research on role-based certifications indicates that people with a relevant certification perform on average 26 percent better than colleagues with the same responsibilities, but without certification.
Certifications can give you career flexibility and promising earning options. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report found that IT professionals with certifications, on average, earn more than their peers without them. Interestingly, the survey found that the more certifications a professional holds, the higher their average salary. In fact, 12 percent of individuals who received a raise attribute it to new skills. IT professionals who obtained a new certification saw their salary increase nearly $13,000.
In Pearson VUE’s Value of IT Certification report, professionals list their top reasons for certification as improving professional standing, increasing technical knowledge, and increasing their chances of a salary increase. Plus, 67 percent of the respondents indicate greater self-confidence in their abilities, and 55 percent note that the knowledge they gained was transferable to actual work situations.
Depending on the direction you want to take your career, you should investigate the different Microsoft Certifications available to you to help you take the next steps.
If you’re new to Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, check out Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals (pass Exam PL-900) and Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Customer Engagement Apps (CRM) (pass Exam MB-910).
If you want to use your skills to broaden your career options, consider exploring other Dynamics 365 associate certifications:
To further your career, when you’re ready, you might want to pursue an advanced solutions architect certification: Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Solution Architect Expert (complete a prerequisite and pass Exam PL-600).
Marketing acumen, business expertise, technical ability, and a passion for customers characterize marketing functional consultants. You’re driven by creating solutions that delight customers, and you have experience working on teams that focus on reaching customers by using technology in new and creative ways.
However, if you don’t feel ready to take the two required exams just yet, we have a few suggestions for you. Try working on a Dynamics 365 model-driven app implementation project. Or you might work with a functional consultant or a solution architect who regularly uses Dynamics 365 Marketing. Be strategic about taking your two required exams. One approach would be to focus on first passing the required exam that fits your skill set best. Just by reading this blog post, you’ve probably noted that Exam PL-200 is a paired requirement for this certification and several others, so it might be a good exam to take first. Find more support by exploring training opportunities or taking an instructor-led course. No matter where you are on your journey, we have training that can help you get underway.
To get started with this certification, check out our Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate certification journey map. You can also find the journey map in the resources section on the Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate certification and exam pages.
To map out your journey, follow the sequence on the Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate journey map. Start at the beginning by deciding whether this certification is a good fit for you.
Next, choose the training you’ll need to be prepared. To understand what you’ll be measured on when you take the two required exams, review the Exam PL-200 skills outline guide and the Exam MB-220 skills outline guide on their respective exam pages. Then sign up for the training that fits your learning style and experience:
Check the journey map to explore taking a practice exam for this certification.
After you pass the exams and earn your certification, you can continue to add to your technical expertise by taking one of the other certifications described in this blog post or by exploring other certification offerings. Consider our associate and expert certifications when you achieve the next milestones on your career journey. Use this diagram to map out the possibilities: Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 certification paths.
Join other marketing functional consultants in a community! Share your career journey with colleagues who have similar interests in Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 technologies. Here are some places where you can share and gather information and learn from your peers and others.
When you earn a certification or learn a new skill, celebrate your accomplishment with your network. It often takes less than a minute to update your LinkedIn profile and share your achievements, highlight your skills, and help boost your career potential. Here’s how:
When your Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate certification expires, we’ve got good news. You can renew your current certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn—anytime within six months before your certification expires. For more details, read our blog post, Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals.
Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform resources
As a marketing functional consultant, you have a passion for engaging customers and providing personalized customer journeys. People look to you when they want to deliver meaningful content to customers. You need to be ready with the best business and technical solutions. Certifications signal that you have what it takes to build a new future—for your organization and your customers.
 IDC white paper, sponsored by Microsoft, Leveraging Microsoft Learning Partners for Innovation and Impact, #US47225021, January 2021.
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