Microsoft 365

Getting certified for Microsoft 365

With the shifts that are occurring with how Windows (and non-Windows) devices are provisioned, managed, and secured, there seems to be a resurgence of interest in certifications and training that show that you’re up to speed on the new technologies and scenarios.  While taking a month of vacation, I decided that if I was going to talk about Microsoft 365 certifications, I should probably actually earn one.  So I set a goal to obtain the Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert certification

If you aren’t familiar with that certification, here’s a good picture:

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So you start off with one of the more product-specific “associate” certifications, then prove that you have broader knowledge of Identity and Services and Mobility and Security – basically, that you are familiar with all the parts of Microsoft 365 (Windows 10, Office 365, EMS, and a plethora of security tools).

For the “associate” certification, I started off with the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification, which consists of two exams, MD-100 on Windows 10 and MD-101 on Managing Modern Desktops:

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Those are definitely in my comfort zone, covering Windows 10 provisioning, servicing, management (MDM, GPO), etc., including Windows Autopilot and Intune.  For those of you in a similar space, you shouldn’t find those exams too hard.  But the other two – because they cover a broad range of identity and security technologies (including management of them) – are much more interesting.  Some real hands-on work is recommended for those.  In addition to the standard multiple choice and “select the steps in order” types of questions, there are also live scenarios: here are the requirements, perform the scenario live (from a VM, to appropriate cloud services, e.g. Office 365, as needed), measure the results to prove you did it.  So if you’ve never administered Office 365, Teams, Intune, Azure AD, Defender ATP, Azure Information Protection, Cloud Application Security, etc. (basically, all the components of Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5) you’ll be hurting. 

Next up for me are the Azure exams – maybe the next time I take an extended vacation…

Categories: Microsoft 365

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