Become a Microsoft Certified
Microsoft has certification paths for many technical job roles. Each of these certifications consists of passing a series of exams to earn certification.

The pathway to AI, Data Science, and Cloud Computing.
The Microsoft Certified Fundamentals exams are the pathway to fully understanding what cloud computing is, what options are available from Microsoft, and which options make sense for businesses to invest in. This set of exams is the starting point for students who are looking to start a career in artificial intelligence, data science, and cloud computing. With the usage of big data and artificial intelligence on the rise, the demand for data scientists is not being met—and the gap is widening.
Help your students get on the pathway to a prosperous career by administering Microsoft Certified Fundamentals exams in your classroom.

Technical certifications could help drive business optimization 
There is a rich opportunity for organizations to optimize and bring more comprehensive digital transformation to the forefront. With a pandemic shifting how we work today and likely in the future, a new question about business comes to mind: Can change drive optimization in your business?  
A lot of us are novice to this new normal. Some elements of the business need urgent help with technology, like the rapid shift to remote work. Supporting a workforce that is suddenly remote comes with increased time investment. Other parts of the business might need to be put on pause in order to focus on more immediate needs. Maintaining business continuity, keeping up with the digital landscape, and meeting demands are all part of the job – and now more than ever, IT departments need to stay focused and remain confident during these changing times.
What are the most important IT skills to support business optimization?
A recent IDC report1 may help set you on a path to relevant training and certifications for your team to be successful in keeping pace with technology. In the report, a finding that stands out is that the skills most needed in your organization depend on the stage the business is in. Is your organization working to maintain continuity? Have you already returned to growth?
One of the requirements to being a proactively supportive IT team lead is understanding the current stage of growth.
Five stages of business growth
  • Business continuity – where we were before the pandemic.
  • Economic slowdown – where we were shortly after the pandemic hit and many may still be here.
  • Recession – experiencing layoffs and restructuring.
  • Return to growth – pivoting the business model or rebounding from the early economic slowdown
  • The next normal-looking ahead settled into a growth pattern that’s appropriate for the uncertainty of the times

For each stage of business growth, there are specific IT skills that seem to take precedence, with cybersecurity taking the lead.
Five most important IT skills for business growth
Cybersecurity, IT Operations, Data analytics, Digital innovation, Software development.
At a time when Artificial Intelligence (AI) was an important IT skill pre-pandemic, research shows it gives way to software development as an organization moves through the stages of business recovery. It could be that AI requires more investment in capital and time, both of which were more abundant to organizations pre-pandemic. Moving to a "necessities only” IT position can help a business move back into growth.

Certified IT leads have a significant influence on the organization
Your team's training and certifications are essential for business recovery. Why? IDC research has discovered that certification leads to professional influence. In several ways, certification offers tenure that prescribes professional recognition because of the skills required to be accredited, especially when businesses need subject matter experts during recovery mode. Having an IT expert in-house gives business agility, security, and responsiveness, all of which can greatly impact the speed of recovery and optimization.

1. Source: IDC, Road to Recovery: What Are the Most Important IT Skills Worldwide to Support Organizational Recovery..., July 2020

Fundamentals certifications
Recommended as a start. Ideal for individuals just starting in technology or thinking about a career change.

Role-based certifications
Choose a role-based certification to begin learning valuable job-role skills.

Additional certifications
Explore specialty, Microsoft Certified Educator, and Microsoft Office technical certifications.

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