If you pursued different job boards in the industry, you would discover that there is hardly a job position that is not requiring certification. For the professionals looking to advance their career opportunities, earning an IT certification is one of the quickest ways to accomplish career goals. There are many certification paths that you can assess, and Microsoft is one of them. MCSA certification is fundamental certification offered by Microsoft.
What is MCSA Certification?
Microsoft’s MCSA Certification is a launching pad for IT professionals to achieve their MCSE Certification. This is a part of the certification program for Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP). A certification as MCSA also presents you with the basic core skills that qualify you for entry-level positions as an IT professional/developer. While MCSE represents “Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert,” the “A” in MCSA indicates the status of an “Associate.” An MCSA is, therefore, a “Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate.” Such certification as MCSA is a prerequisite to becoming an MCSE.
There are various paths and levels under the Microsoft certification program. One of such is MCSA. It is important to point out that Microsoft has recently modified its program, and the MCSA certifications are some of the most prevalent among them. If you are contemplating developing skills and expertise in the field of Microsoft products and services, you surely would have to earn MCSA at a certain point. There are different specializations under the Microsoft MCSA path, and this article focuses on each of them.
MCSA: BI Reporting
This certification confirms the expertise of an applicant in analyzing data with Excel and Power BI. It is important to mention that this certification is a prerequisite for MCSE: Data Management & Analytics.
To obtain the MCSA certification, you have to pass two exams (70-778 and 70-779), and after earning this Microsoft certification, you can proceed to obtain MCSE just by passing one relevant exam. The exams measure the knowledge needed for data analysis, data visualization, modeling, dashboard, and direct connectivity to data sources in Power BI and Excel.
- 70-778: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power BI
- 70-779: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel
MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operation
This certification validates skills in operations development, implementation, and customization. It is important to note that it will retire on December 31, 2019, that is, from this date, you will not be able to earn it. It is essential to point out that any certification achieved before the retirement date will remain to be valid. MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Operation confirms the expertise of a professional in Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies in executing the basic technical tasks required to conform them for operations. The targeted audience for this certification is IT personnel, technical consultants, and programmers, among others. You require to pass two exams (70-764 with MB6-894 or 70-765 with MB6-894) to achieve this MCSA certification. Moreover, there is no prerequisite needed for the certification.
MCSA: Office 365
This certification proves the skills needed in administering and transitioning to Cloud-hosted business applications utilizing Microsoft Office 365. Adequate to point out that this certification has already expired, which suggests you can no longer earn it. However, any certificate gained before the expiration will still be available on the applicant’s record on the Certification Board. The professionals with this certification can take over job roles as a Cloud applications administrator or a Service administrator.
MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
This certificate verifies the skills needed to transform, extract, and load data. It also evaluates the skills required for implementing BI solutions with tabular data and multidimensional models, along with online analytical processing cubes. A professional with this certification can take up a job role as a BI developer. You are required to pass two examinations to obtain this Microsoft certification:
- 70-767: Microsoft Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL
- 70-768: Microsoft Developing SQL Data Models
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration
The certification confirms the skills expected for database installation, maintenance, configuration, and provisioning. Acquiring the certification qualifies you for a job position as an infrastructure specialist or a database administrator. Two exams are needed to achieve this MCSA certification, and it is also a requirement for the MCSE certification.
- 70-764: Microsoft Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
- 70-765: Microsoft Provisioning SQL Databases
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development
This certification validates your skills and knowledge as a database professional both in Cloud-based and on-premises databases. The applicants with this certification can take up a job position as a database developer. You need to pass two exams (70-761 and 70-762) to earn the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development. You should also own basic IT skills before you sit for the exam.
MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014
This certificate qualifies the individuals for job profiles such as database analyst or a database developer. It confirms your skills and profound knowledge in developing and maintaining the next signal of mission-critical enterprises. The applicants must pass three exams (70-461, 70-462, and 70-463) to be granted this MCSA certification.
- 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
- 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases
- 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
MCSA: Web Applications
This certification reveals one’s skills in carrying out modern web applications. The certification comprises HTML5, C#, .NET, Framework 4.5, Visual Studio, and Mobile Apps technologies. To achieve the certificate, you are required to pass three exams (70-480, 70-483 and 70-746). The professionals having this certification can work as a web administrator or a web developer.
- 70-483: Programming in C#
- 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications
MCSA: Windows Server 2016
This certification proves your expertise in the primary set of Windows Server 2016 skills that are expected to reduce the costs of IT and provide more value for a business. The professionals pursuing this Microsoft certification must pass three distinct exams (70-740, 70-741, 70-742 and 70-743). With MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification, you can work as a computer network specialist or a computer system or network administrator with MCSA: Windows Server 2016.
- 70-740: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
- 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
- 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
- 70-743: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA – Windows Server 2016
MCSA: Windows Server 2012
This certificate represents the skills of the professionals in Windows Server 2012 as they are associated with reducing the IT expenses and providing higher value to the business enterprise. Three exams (70-410, 70-411, and 70-412 and 70-417) are needed to get this Microsoft certification.
- 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
- 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
- 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
- 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
MCSA: Windows 10
This certification has been retired, which means you can no longer pursue it. The professionals with this certificate own the skills to maintain, configure, and maintain Windows 10 enterprise systems, and they can take up the job roles as a computer support specialist.
Indeed, today, a significant number of job roles require certification from you. Without it, you will have lesser possibilities at the interviews than your certified colleagues. The significance of this is that there is no greater way to start earning a certification like now. In case you have been sitting on the wall wondering if you should go after a certificate or not, the time to take this step has arrived. Choose the certification you want from the above list and let your career potential expand.