We’re taking Azure certifications for data and AI to the next level
Published Jan 14 2021 10:00 AM 40.6K Views

Qualified data professionals and cloud experts have promising job prospects in today’s world of digital transformation. And they’re in demand for good reason. These pros help migrate data to the cloud, use AI and analytics to provide actionable insights, and manage significant volumes of data—including reporting and visualizing. If this is your skill set, earning your Microsoft Certification can help you prove that you have the necessary knowledge and experience and that you’re ready for the job.


We’re constantly working to keep our certifications current. Today, I’m excited to announce upcoming changes for two role-based Azure certifications for data and AI—Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate and Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate—taking these certifications to the next level. We know how essential data and AI expertise is to the digital revolution, and these updated certifications better-align to the evolving skills of real-world data and AI engineer roles.


We use our regular portfolio reviews to ensure that our certifications remain technically relevant. Certifications can open career opportunities, so we’re committed to keeping them current for you. To understand our process, check out my blog post Updating Microsoft Certifications: How we keep them relevant.


Here’s what you need to know about the updated certifications

On February 23, 2021, we’re releasing the following changes:

For the Azure AI Engineer Associate certification, Exam AI-102: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution replaces Exam AI-100. The skills for the role have been updated to focus more on AI software engineering and less on solution architecture, and the new version of the exam reflects those new skills.


This certification is for professionals who build, manage, and deploy AI solutions that leverage Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Cognitive Search, and Microsoft Bot Framework. Candidates should be proficient in C#, Python, or JavaScript and should be able to use REST-based APIs and SDKs to build computer vision, natural language processing, knowledge mining, and conversational AI solutions on Azure. They should also understand the components that make up the Azure AI portfolio and the available data storage options. Plus, candidates need to understand and be able to apply responsible AI principles.


To understand the skills measured by the new exam, explore the Exam AI-102 skills outline. To start preparing, check out some refreshed content on Microsoft Learn.


For the Azure Data Engineer Associate certification, Exam DP-203: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure replaces both Exam DP-200 and Exam DP-201. The updated skills for the role are aligned to data engineering skills required to build analytics solutions.


This certification is for candidates with subject matter expertise in integrating, transforming, and consolidating data from various structured and unstructured data systems into structures that are suitable for building analytics solutions. Candidates must have solid knowledge of data processing languages, such as SQL, Python, or Scala, and they need to understand parallel processing and data architecture patterns.


To understand the skills measured by the new exam, check out the Exam DP-203 skills outline. To start preparing, check out some of the new content on Microsoft Learn we are working on.


Still have questions? We’ve got answers

I was preparing for the current exams. What should I do?

If you’ve been preparing for Exam AI-100, you have still have time to take it before it retires on June 30, 2021.


If you’ve already taken one of the two exams for Azure Data Engineer Associate (Exam DP-200 and Exam DP-201), you have time to complete your journey before they retire on June 30, 2021.


If you’re just beginning your exam prep, consider taking the new exams instead. To compare versions, check out the skills outlines.


I’ve already earned an Azure AI Engineer Associate or Azure Data Engineer Associate certification, and it’s expiring soon. What’s the best way to keep my certification up to date?

Starting in early February 2021, you’ll be able to renew your current certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn. The renewal assessment can be completed online on your own time, anytime within six months before your certification expires.


If your certification was set to expire between January 1 and June 30, 2021, it was automatically extended for six months to give you enough time to renew it when the assessments become available. The new certification expiration dates are reflected on your Certification Dashboard.


For more information, see Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals and our FAQs, Renew your Microsoft Certification.


Can I renew my current certification by passing the new beta exam or by retaking the current exams before my certification expires?

No. Starting in early February 2021, to renew your certification, you need to pass the renewal assessment before your certification expires.


Ring in the new!

Want to get more involved in our certification and exam creation process this year? During our portfolio review, we listen carefully to feedback on the skills that need to be measured for specific roles—like we did for these Azure certifications for data and AI. If you want to share your voice and insight, check out my blog post Help Us Create Exams and Learning Content! Join Our SME Database Today!


Plus, stay tuned on February 23, 2021, for the blog post announcing the release of the updated certifications and the beta versions of these new exams. But you can start preparing now with the skills outlines and the content on Microsoft Learn. Your Microsoft Certification can help validate that you have the skills to stay ahead with today’s technology. It can also help empower you with a boost in confidence and job satisfaction—and maybe even a salary increase. Want to know more? In our blog post, Need another reason to earn a Microsoft Certification?, we offer 10 good reasons to earn your certification. It’s time to get ahead of the curve with certifications that put a spotlight on your data and AI skills.


Related announcements

Updating Microsoft Certifications: How we keep them relevant

Help Us Create Exams and Learning Content! Join Our SME Database Today!

Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals

Understanding Microsoft Azure certifications

Finding the right Microsoft Azure certification for you

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