Even if you’re completely new to Microsoft technology—or technology as a whole—Microsoft has some great tools and resources to assist you in getting skilled up, topic by topic, course by course, one certification at a time.
One thing that could help is having a knowledge partner—someone who understands that you might be new to all this stuff. No matter what piques your interest, whether it’s development, AI, security, or another tech topic altogether, the Microsoft Learn Community is here to help. Microsoft—and more specifically, Microsoft Learn—can help you to build the skills you need to take your career to the next level or even to kick-start a new career in technology.
Microsoft Learn is a family of skill-building offerings that brings together all Microsoft technical content, learning tools, and resources. It contains not only the technical documentation that underpins Microsoft products and services but also all related content, like training material, curricula for Microsoft Certifications and exams, and much more. In essence, learn.microsoft.com is the place to find and access all these resources.
Though many of us land on the Microsoft Learn website via a search engine, it’s worth noting that there are several key aspects of the site that make it worth a visit and browsing from the landing page. Of course, it has some of the expected revamped technical documentation and in-depth learning paths, but Microsoft Learn also showcases all Microsoft skill-building offerings, so I highly recommend bookmarking the site.
Track your learning progress, and continue where you left off
After you’ve created and signed in to your Microsoft Learn profile, you can start a module, work your way through it, and even come back at a later time to complete it. Microsoft Learn lets you pick up where you left off, which means this is not something you have to keep track of, manage, or remember! To pick back up, on Microsoft Learn, simply select Training and then, on the module or learning path, select Resume. There is also a See all activity link that navigates to all your activities on your Microsoft Learn profile.
Share your transcript
Your Microsoft Learn profile is rich with information about your training activities, certifications, badges, and even trophies for completed learning paths. Your transcript is essentially the details about all of the current and past certifications you’ve earned, and it includes the number of exams you’ve passed and the number of Microsoft Learn modules you’ve completed. When you’re in your transcript, the Transcript settings option lets you select the data you want to share or print. You can also share your transcript URL by going to the Share link option and selecting Show MCID (Microsoft Certification ID).
TIP: Consider sharing your transcript on your LinkedIn profile. This makes sense, since that’s likely where recruiters will be looking for skills first.
Group your favorite content by creating custom collections
Microsoft creates official collections of curated content for courses, learning paths, or certifications. But you can also create your own custom collections and group together modules in a way that makes sense to you, based on a specific service or technology. With the Save to a collection option, you can save any module on Microsoft Learn to a custom collection on your profile.
On Microsoft Learn, Microsoft Assessments allow you to work through a scenario of questions and recommendations, resulting in guidance reports that are both actionable and informative. Certain assessments, like Azure Well-Architected Review, even allow you to import and connect your Azure subscription and resource groups to evaluate your actual resources or a subset thereof. Even though assessments can take time, don’t underestimate how valuable they can be in getting official feedback about your implementations and how they stack up against recommended best practices.
Microsoft Learn is not just about learning directly from Microsoft and its content teams—it’s also about learning from one another and from other folks who are willing to share their own knowledge and experiences. This is why there’s a whole new flavor of Microsoft Q&A on Microsoft Learn, and Reputation Points are why you want to get in there as early as possible. Ask questions, answer others, and vote on the answers to find out which is the right one. You can also follow a question by selecting I have the same question.
Organizations can track employee progress
For organizations, if employees sign in to Microsoft Learn with their corporate identities, the site can export their training progress to your corporate Microsoft tenant on an Azure Data Share. This allows your organization to help employees set goals and even to reward them if they meet the challenge. Information that can be exported includes:
Training learning paths completed.
Achievements earned (badges, trophies, certifications, and experience points [XP]).
This really is a great feature and, if approached in the right way, it can not only assist employers to build the learning paths that employees need to be successful in their careers but also can help them to be more successful in deploying workloads with Microsoft platforms.
Microsoft Learn Catalog API
Finally, there is also a technical side to Microsoft Learn that folks might not know about. The Microsoft Learn Catalog API lets you integrate your custom applications with Microsoft Learn, programmatically exposing the content to your applications. This information includes:
Why would you want to access this information? Well, one reason might be to include Microsoft Certification or training offerings on your organization’s intranet or on an in-house portal where your employees could explore these options. Another might be to view metadata, like module popularity or duration, which is available via the API. After connecting to the API, your application will constantly be updated with the latest and greatest info on the learning material—and you don’t have to do a thing.
As you can tell, Microsoft Learn isn’t just technical content published for your consumption—it’s much more than that. Microsoft has created a family of skill-building offerings, tools, and resources to support your learning journey and your organization’s training and certification goals. I hope to see you there soon!
Meet Johan Myburgh, Microsoft Learn expert
Originally from South Africa, Johan Myburgh is a Microsoft Technical Trainer for Microsoft in the United Kingdom. Johan is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge and has been focused on Microsoft technology for over 20 years. He does lot of community work and is currently doing some open community sessions with Microsoft Reactor in London. Johan invites you to talk to him about Azure architecture and Microsoft DevOps technologies.