MCSA certifications validate the skills to implement cloud-optimized technology solutions using a single Microsoft product.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications are the foundation of Microsoft’s new generation of cloud-optimized credentials. Each MCSA certificate demonstrates your ability to design and create technology solutions in one of Microsoft’s core business platforms, e.g., Windows, Office, SQL Server and Azure.
The next step after MCSA certification is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), which validates your abiliity to build more complex, cross-platform technology solutions.
If you are completely new to IT, you may want to begin with Microsoft’s entry-level MTA certifications.
Here are the most marketable MCSA certificates, including exam requirements, key skill sets and career paths that align with each credential:
Demonstrates the ability to install, migrate, manage and support Windows 10 desktops and mobile devices at the enterprise level. Leverage this certificate to secure employment as a technical support specialist.
Proves you have the expertise to wield the Windows Server network platform to improve performance and increase IT ROI. This certificate also covers virtualization in Microsoft Hyper-V. Leverage this credential for job roles like network administrator and systems administrator.
Validates your skills in the installation, configuration, provisioning and support of modern SQL databases. Certified professionals can pursue such job roles as database administrator, database developer and infrastructure specialist.
Demonstrates knowledge in migrating to and managing the widely-used, cloud-based productivity apps in Microsoft Office 365. Leverage this certification to secure sought-after positions like Software as a Service (SaaS) Admin and Cloud Applications Manager.
Validates the skills to increase efficiency, reduce IT spend, and deliver greater business value using Microsoft's latest cloud computing and data processing software, featuring Microsoft Azure.
Demonstrates the skills to design, setup and manage a variety of cloud computing solutions using Linux that integrate with Microsoft's Azure platform.
Demonstrates the knowledge to use machine learning to process and analyze big data using Microsoft Azure, R Server and SQL R. Typical job roles for certification holders include data scientist and business intelligence analyst.
Microsoft continuously revamps its career certification program, and this page will continue to be updated to reflect the latest changes. For further information, including a complete list of MCSA certifications, testing fees and exam blueprints, visit Microsoft's official MCSA certifications page.
Insider Tip: The latest MCSA certifications do a good job of covering key tools and techniques from previous software versions, so unless your employer specifically requests an old version, always train and certify in the latest iteration, even if the new software isn't widely adopted yet. You're getting certified for your future career, not your past!
Global Knowledge's IT Skills & Salary Report offers the best wage data for Microsoft’s next-gen certifications (MCSE, MCSA and MCSD) but keep in mind some of these credentials are relatively new, so the lower the respondent count the less reliable the data.
Average Salary for Microsoft Certified Professionals:
Average salary by Microsoft certification class.