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Prioritizing Microsoft AZ 900 or AZ 104: Which Comes First?

  • Should I get AZ-900 before AZ-104?
  • Published by: André Hammer on May 17, 2024
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Starting your Microsoft Azure certification can be confusing. Should you start with AZ-900 or AZ-104? Both are good, but choosing the right one is important.

This article will compare AZ-900 and AZ-104 to help you decide. Let's see which one is best for your goals.

Understanding Microsoft Azure Certifications

If you want to get a Microsoft Azure certification, think about the benefits of getting certifications like AZ-900 and AZ-104.

Start with AZ-900 because it teaches the basics of cloud computing and is good for beginners. AZ-104 is more technical and practical, for people who already know how to manage cloud services.

If you want to be a data analyst, machine learning engineer, data scientist, or Azure administrator, start with AZ-900. It’s not required, but it helps you understand the basics before moving to the more technical AZ-104.

Taking AZ-900 first helps you build a strong base, so you can handle the technical parts of AZ-104 better.

Importance of AZ-900 and AZ-104 Certifications

Getting AZ-900 and AZ-104 certifications is important if you want to grow your career in Microsoft Azure.

These certifications give you a strong base in cloud computing and show you know a lot about cloud services. For example, an Azure Data Scientist can learn basic cloud ideas from AZ-900, and an Azure Security Engineer can learn about security and identity management from AZ-104.

These certifications are needed for higher-level ones like Azure Data Engineer and Azure Solutions Architect, which are important for specific cloud jobs.

Having AZ-900 and AZ-104 can help you get better-paying jobs because many companies want people with Microsoft Azure certifications.

Career Opportunities with Microsoft Azure Certifications

Azure certifications can boost your job opportunities and career growth in tech. They show your expertise in cloud computing, machine learning, data analysis, and security. With these certifications, you can access roles like Azure data scientist, administrator, security engineer, and solutions architect. 

Taking exams like AZ-104 helps you demonstrate your skills and experience with Microsoft Azure. While AZ-900 isn’t required, it can help. Online courses and instructors will help you prepare. Azure certifications often lead to higher salaries and benefit those pursuing cloud-based careers.

Benefits of Prioritizing AZ-900 Before AZ-104

Gaining a Strong Foundation with AZ-900

AZ-900 is a great start for roles like Azure Data Scientist, Azure Security Engineer, or Azure Administrator. It's especially useful if you have a background in data engineering or machine learning.

Starting with AZ-900 helps you understand the basics and prepares you for advanced certifications like AZ-104. 

Understanding Azure Basics for Success in AZ-104

You don’t need the AZ-900 certification before taking the AZ-104 exam in Microsoft Azure, but it can be helpful, especially if you’re new to cloud computing or have a non-technical background. AZ-900 covers basic cloud concepts and Azure’s fundamentals, which are useful for AZ-104.

Completing both certifications gives you a strong understanding of Azure, which is beneficial for roles like Azure administrator, data analyst, data scientist, security engineer, or solutions architect.

Should I get AZ-900 before AZ-104?

It's a good idea to start with AZ-900 before moving to AZ-104. AZ-900 covers the basics of Microsoft Azure, making it easier to understand more advanced certifications like AZ-104. 

This helps you grasp cloud concepts, cloud services, and the Azure environment, which is valuable for roles such as Azure administrator or Azure security engineer.

Having a foundation from AZ-900 is important for technical fields like data engineering and other Azure certifications. The hands-on experience from AZ-900 helps with the technical aspects of AZ-104, like storage and Azure solutions.

Starting with AZ-900 can improve your certification journey and boost your success in the cloud computing industry.

Tips for Preparing and Passing Microsoft Azure Certification Exams

Effective Study Techniques for AZ-900 and AZ-104

To succeed in Microsoft Azure certifications like AZ-900 and AZ-104, use hands-on experience and online courses. Focus on cloud concepts, data systems, and solutions. Create a study schedule, practice with sample questions, and get help from a certified instructor. 

Start with AZ-900 if you're a beginner, then move to AZ-104. These certifications can boost your salary and job demand in the cloud computing industry.

Utilizing Training Resources for Microsoft Azure Exams

Starting with basic certifications like AZ-900 is a good foundation before advancing to more complex exams. Use training resources to gain the necessary knowledge to prepare for Microsoft Azure exams like AZ-104. 

Take online courses and seek guidance from instructors to understand cloud computing, storage, and other technical aspects. These resources provide you with hands-on experience in cloud solutions. 

Strategies for Success on Exam Day

If you want to excel in Microsoft Azure certifications like AZ-900 and AZ-104, focus on these steps:

  • Have a solid understanding of cloud concepts, cloud services, and Azure fundamentals.
  • Get hands-on experience in cloud computing and practical knowledge of Azure solutions.

  • Engage in online courses, study the official certification learning path, and gain technical backgrounds in data engineering, machine learning, or Azure security.

  • Consider taking the AZ-900 exam as a foundation for Azure knowledge before attempting AZ-104.

  • Use the Azure certification roadmap to plan certifications and understand the benefits like average salary and job demand.

  • Study thoroughly, practice in a cloud-based environment, and seek guidance from an experienced instructor for improved performance on exam day.

Over to you

When deciding between Microsoft AZ-900 and AZ-104 certification exams, think about your knowledge and experience.

AZ-900 is great for beginners or those new to Azure. It covers basic concepts and terms. AZ-104 is for those with more Azure experience. It focuses on implementing, managing, and monitoring Azure resources. Choose the exam that fits your skills and career goals.

Readynez offers a 1-day Azure Fundamentals Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification. The Azure Fundamentals course, and all our other Microsoft Azure courses, are also included in our unique Unlimited Microsoft Training offer, where you can attend the Azure Fundamentals and 60+ other Microsoft courses for just €199 per month, the most flexible and affordable way to get your Microsoft Certifications.

Please reach out to us with any questions or if you would like a chat about your opportunity with the Azure Fundamentals certification and how you best achieve it.


What are the differences between Microsoft AZ 900 and AZ 104?

AZ-900 is a basic certification that teaches fundamental cloud concepts. It covers topics like IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

AZ-104 is more advanced and focuses on implementing, managing, and securing Azure services. It teaches technical skills such as setting up virtual machines and implementing storage solutions.

Which certification is more foundational, AZ 900 or AZ 104?

AZ-900 gives you a basic understanding of Azure cloud concepts, making it a foundation for beginners. AZ-104 focuses more on practical skills needed by Azure administrators. Start with AZ-900 to build a strong foundation before you move on to AZ-104.

Should I prioritise studying for AZ 900 or AZ 104 first?

You should start by studying for AZ-900 first to learn the basics of Azure services. This will help you understand the more complex topics covered in AZ-104 later on.

What are the benefits of obtaining the AZ 900 certification before AZ 104?

Getting the AZ-900 certification before AZ-104 gives you a strong base in Azure basics. This makes it easier to grasp the more advanced concepts in AZ-104. It also demonstrates to employers that you're dedicated to learning and have a thorough grasp of Azure services.

Is it recommended to take both the AZ 900 and AZ 104 exams consecutively?

No, it's not a good idea to take both the AZ-900 and AZ-104 exams back-to-back. It's better to focus on one exam at a time. This way, you can understand the material better and improve your chances of passing. 

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