Microsoft is partnering with Coursera in a trio of Azure-related Specializations. The first of these, covering Azure Fundamentals and providing preparation for the AZ-900 Exam, is already enrolling. Microsoft is also offering 600 Scholarships for members of Women In Cloud.
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Spurred on by the global pandemic businesses are increasingly moving to the cloud. This has led to a noticeable increase in demand for professionals with Azure skills. Looking at the IT Jobs Watch website, currently Azure is the number 3 top skill in demand in the UK having risen by three places in the last year. Microsoft. Obviously passing the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam (AZ-900) is something useful to put on your resume if you are applying one of these new jobs.
Commenting on the new partnership with Microsoft to offer Azure-related Specializations, Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO, said
“Azure is just such an incredible value creation platform and job creation platform. We are excited to be part of this process, of helping people get the kinds of skills that will be where jobs are going.”
At beginner level, the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam Prep Specialization is expected to take approximately 5 months to complete at a suggested pace of 2 hours/week. It is intended to gives learners the foundational understanding of Azure cloud services along with the knowledge to help build cloud solutions. Learners can expect to learn about Azure general security, network security, identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features, as well as pricing and support. Not only does the course help learners to gain a solid foundation in Azure, as its content is tightly aligned to the AZ-900 exam objectives it constitutes good exam preparation. Moreover those who pass all four of its courses will receive a voucher for 50% off the AZ-900 certificate exam.
The four courses are:
- Introduction to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services
Learn the basics of cloud computing, its advantages, and how to choose the right Microsoft Azure solution for different business scenarios. Learners use the Microsoft Azure portal and a sandbox to create and test Microsoft Azure resources free of any cost.
- Microsoft Azure Management Tools and Security Solutions
Having been introduced to Azure’s wide array of management tools and services, learners choose the best one for a given business scenario.
- Microsoft Azure Services and Lifecycles
With the rise of remote work, bring your own device (BYOD), mobile applications, and cloud applications, the primary security boundary has shifted from firewalls and physical access controls to identity. In this course, learners discover how Azure can help you secure access to cloud resources, what it means to build a cloud governance strategy, and how Azure adheres to common regulatory and compliance standards. This course also looks at the factors that influence cost, tools for estimating and managing cloud spend, and how Azure’s service-level agreements (SLAs) can impact application design decisions.
- Preparing for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam
As well as a refresher to cloud concepts, Microsoft Azure services, Microsoft Azure workloads, security and privacy in Microsoft Azure, as well as Microsoft Azure pricing and support this course lets learners test their knowledge in a series of practice exams mapped to all the main topics covered in the AZ-900 exam. It includes tips and tricks, testing strategies, useful resources, and information on how to sign up for the AZ-900 proctored exam. By the end of this it learners will be ready to sign-up for and take the AZ-900 exam.
In May, Microsoft will launch two further Specializations on Coursera. Azure AI Fundamentals will teach learners about artificial intelligence topics, like machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, and conversational AI. Azure Data Fundamentals will dive deep into the roles and tasks involved in using Azure to store, process, manage, and analyze data.
With over 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies using Azure, learners can be confident that after taking these courses and completing their certifications, they will have a strong set of skills that are in high demand in today’s workforce.
As part of its drive to ensure that more women have an opportunity to secure economically fulfilling jobs, Microsoft is offering 600 scholarships to all three of the Coursera Azure Specializations to members of Women In Cloud. According to its website these places are available to US Residents only and while that are “Inclusive to All Genders” priority will be given to women and to those facing career displacement due to the current pandemic or career change.
Enrollment in Specializations normally costs $39 per month. but if you are keen to enroll in multiple courses Coursera Plus, whichcosts $399 per year, gives access to the majority of its courses including all three of the Microsoft Azure Specializations.
While these new Coursera Specializations are for beginners, Microsoft also has more advanced, developer-focused, training. As we reported in Azure, Azure Everywhere – New Developer Nanodegree, last September Microsoft partnered with Udacity to offer the Developer for Microsoft Azure Nanodegree Program , a four-month program which serves as preparation for Microsoft’s AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate Expert certification exam.