The MCSA certifications (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) are a range of entry-level certifications for a wide range of Microsoft’s different job areas, products and departments. Note that this must not be confused with the now phased out Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certifications.
These certifications can be obtained by passing exams for the same, and they indicate proficiency, skill and knowledge in a wide range of Microsoft’s different roles, products and knowledge areas.
Being an entry-level certification, they are precursors to the higher-level certifications, such as the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications. They act as prerequisites and must be passed in order to qualify for the higher-level ones.
These higher-level certifications are designed for more experienced and skilled IT developers. If you want to obtain one of these certifications, the path of MCSA certification is a great place to start. The MCSA certifications are useful for the following jobs:
- System Administrators
- System Engineers
- Network Specialists
- Network Administrators
- Technical Support Specialists
- Database Developers
- Cloud Application Administrators
Types Of MCSA Certifications
There are numerous Microsoft MCSA certifications, and we have listed some of the most popular ones below:
- MCSA: BI Reporting
This certification deals with data analysis, data visualization, modelling, dashboards and connectivity to data sources in Excel and Power BI.
- MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365
This certification prepares and makes you eligible for numerous roles specific to the IT industry, such as Dynamics 365 Developer, Implementation Consultant, Technical Support Engineer and System Administrator. It is an excellent option if you want to become a Business Applications Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
- MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
This certification requires foundational IT skills. It teaches you to extract, transform and load (ELT) and to create BI solutions. There are two exams to clear to earn this certification, on both SQL and BI development.
- MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration
This certification also requires you to pass two examinations, on administering SQL and provisioning SQL databases. It covers a broad area, including database installation, maintenance, configuration and provisioning.
- MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development
This certification is for database professionals and certifies proficiency in on-premises and cloud-based databases.
- MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
There are two exams for this certification on mobile app development and C# programming.
- MCSA: Web Applications
This certification prepares you to install, configure, and manage modern Microsoft web applications.
- MCSA: Windows Server 2016
This certification validates your technical skill in the 2016 version of Windows Server, especially with regards to reducing IT costs and bringing more value for the business.
This certification also serves as a stepping stone for the System Administrator or Computer Network Specialist certifications.
Cost Of MCSA Certification
Each MCSA exam has a uniform price of 165 USD, so if you are looking at a certification that requires multiple exams, you will have to pay the fee for each. The MCSA certification cost certainly isn’t inexpensive but is worth it as it provides excellent job opportunities.
MCSA certifications do not expire, so you do not have to worry about renewal fees. However, it must be noted that Microsoft retired certifications as their products and services get updated, revamped or discontinued, and you will have to obtain a new certificate.
Training For An MCSA Exam
Training is very important for passing an MCSA exam. Even if you do have prior experience in the subject area, it will be very helpful to join some form of an MCSA course, whether it is free resources, online courses or training with an instructor.
Microsoft themselves offer numerous options for training in order to help you prepare for the certification exams, and they have numerous training partners. All the instructor-led training courses are taught by experts who have “completed rigorous training and have met stringent technical certification requirements,” according to Microsoft’s own website.
Also Read: A Complete Guide for MCSA Certification
Getting an MCSA certification is very important for your career in Microsoft related IT development, as companies look for certified experts while hiring. Numerous resources and courses are available to help prepare for the wide variety of these certifications, and the MCSA certification cost is relatively affordable as well.