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Understand the Microsoft AZ-800 vs AZ-801 Difference

  • What is the difference between AZ-800 and AZ 801?
  • Published by: André Hammer on Feb 12, 2024
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Are you confused about what the Microsoft certifications AZ-800 and AZ-801 are all about? Worry not! In this article, we will explain the differences in a way that is simple and easy for you to understand.

By the time you are done reading this piece,  it will be clear to you which certification aligns better with your career goals.

Hope on, and let’s explore the differences between AZ-800 and AZ-801 so that you can decide which best suites your goals.

What is the difference between AZ-800 and AZ 801?

AZ-800 Exam Topics

The difference between the two exams is that AZ-800 deals with foundational concepts, while AZ-801 goes deeper into more complex topics.

For example, AZ-800 may test you on core cloud services and security principles. In comparison, AZ-801 might require you to have a deeper understanding of hybrid networking configurations and compliance best practices.

Shifting from AZ-800 to AZ-801 certification levels shows you are making progress towards more specialised and in-depth knowledge.

AZ-801 Exam Topics

The AZ-801 exam covers various important topics for cloud computing professionals. It includes virtualization, networking, security, and storage. This helps you have a good understanding of cloud technologies.

In comparison, the AZ-800 exam focuses on basic cloud concepts and services. The other difference is that the AZ-801 exam looks into advanced cloud services, hybrid cloud solutions, and management tools. This shift allows you to demonstrate that you can handle complex cloud environments effectively and make strategic decisions to optimise cloud resources.

Target Audience

If you are in the following fields, the AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams apply to your career progression goals:

  • IT administrators
  • Cloud architects
  • Solution architects

These are jobs that require you to be able to design and implement cloud solutions. So, you must understand cloud concepts, services, and best practices. To pass these exams, you need to do the following:

  • Moderate to advanced experience in cloud technologies like:
  • Networking
  • Security
  • Storage
  • Virtualization

Moreover, you should have mastery of relevant cloud platforms, tools, and services. You also need to have hands-on experience in deploying and managing cloud solutions.

The group that this applies to includes seasoned IT professionals who have good working knowledge of  cloud computing. If you are in this category, you must possess practical expertise in designing and implementing complexe cloud solutions.

Windows System Administrators

The role of a Windows System Administrator is very important. Your job involves configuring, maintaining, and troubleshooting Windows-based systems. Essentially, your job is to make sure make sure these systems are secure and perform well. This means implementing security measures, monitoring performance, and applying relevant software updates.

As a Windows System Administrator, you will have to use tools like Active Directory, Group Policy, PowerShell scripts, and monitoring software. These tools make it easier for you to perform user management, configure your system, automate tasks, and monitor the overall health of the system in your charge.

Azure Developers

You need to understand cloud computing principles and various Azure services if you are an Azure Developer preparing for the AZ-800 or AZ-801 exam. You should also be familiar with networking concepts, security protocols, and data storage solutions. This is important because the two exams test your their ability to design, implement, and monitor Azure solutions effectively.

Getting certified through the AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams proves your expertise and dedication to mastering the platform. This sets you apart apart from peers, creates more opportunities for your career to grow, and places you in a position to get better-paying roles.

Most employers value certified professionals for Azure-related projects. This because they can demonstrate that they have the required skills to help the employer meet their organizational goals.

Cost and Value

It's important to look at the exam fees as you compare the AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams. The cost of the AZ-800 exam might be higher than that of the AZ-801. However, it's not just about the cost. Think about the value each certification offers you.

The AZ-800 certification could offer more advanced knowledge and skills. This makes it a worthy investment, even though it demands a higher initial fee. The AZ-801 certification may seem more more affordable, but offers you fewer career advancement opportunities.

Exam Fees

The exam fees for the AZ-800 and AZ-801 vary from time to time. Because there different certification providers and exam levels.

Fees generally cover the exam itself, study materials, and possibly a registration fee. Additional costs apply if you retake the exam or if you intend to use third-party study materials.

Discounts only apply if you are eligible, but there is not guarantee that you will be offered one. so, be sure to confirm from the certification provider.

The AZ-800 and AZ-801 exam fees are fairly competitive when compared to similar certifications. Some certifications can be much more expensive because of their prestige or difficulty level. So, compare fees across different certifications to ensure that you get value for money.

Is it Worth It?

The difference between AZ-800 and AZ-801 is in what they test. AZ-800 focuses on Windows System Administration, while AZ-801 evaluates Azure Development skills.

When deciding whether to take these exams, it's important to consider the cost and how they can benefit your career. Passing these exams can validate your expertise in these fields, but preparing for them takes a lot of time and effort.

So, think about whether the value of getting these certifications is worth the dedication required. Base your decision on your career goals and how these certifications could help you in the future.

Improving Learning Skills

Improving your learning skills for exams involves:

  • Actively engaging with study materials
  • Practicing information retrieval
  • Creating study guides
  • Teaching the material to someone else

These strategies help you:

  • Retain information better
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the subject

Validating and enhancing learning skills can be done in the following ways:

  • Spaced repetition
  • Self-testing
  • Seeking feedback from peers or instructors

These methods are important because they:

  • Reinforce information retention
  • Promote long-term memory recall

Validating Skills

Validating skills in a professional setting often involves getting certifications to show your expertise. For technical skills like those needed for AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams:

  • You can pursue industry-recognised qualifications or undergo training programmes to enhance your competencies.
  • Have experience through hands-on projects and real-world applications.
  • Build connections with other professionals and attend industry events where you can showcase skills and receive feedback.

Study Experience

The study experience for the AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams may be different. Here's why:

  • The AZ-800 exam focuses on foundational concepts and basic principles.
  • The AZ-801 exam goes deeper into more detail and practical applications.

The challenges you experience during preparation may also vary. The challenges may range from having difficulty understanding complex technical concepts to time management during study and practice.

Engaging with practice tests, hands-on labs, and interactive study resources can really help you do well. You will be able to strengthen your knowledge and skills and prepare better for the exams.

Over to you

The main focus of Microsoft AZ-800 is Microsoft 365 security and compliance solutions. As for AZ-801, it is more about Microsoft 365 messaging, teamwork, collaboration, and productivity solutions. Knowing this will help you pick the right certification in line with your career goals and expertise.

Readynez offers a 4-day Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification. The AZ-800 Administering Windows Sever Hybrid Core Infrastructure course, and all our other Microsoft courses, are also included in our unique Unlimited Microsoft Training offer, where you can attend the Administering Windows Sever Hybrid Core Infrastructure 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 Administering Windows Sever Hybrid Core Infrastructure certification and how you best achieve it. 


What are the differences between Microsoft AZ-800 and AZ-801?

The main difference between Microsoft AZ-800 and AZ-801 is that AZ-800 focuses on implementing and operating security controls, while AZ-801 focuses on designing and implementing security solutions.

For example, AZ-800 covers topics like access management, network security, and threat protection, while AZ-801 covers topics like identity and access management, encryption, and security assessments.

Which exam is more focused on Azure solutions architecture design?

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert exam, AZ-304, is more focused on Azure solutions architecture design compared to other exams such as AZ-900 or AZ-104. This exam covers topics such as designing identity and security, designing data storage, and designing business continuity.

What skills are tested in Microsoft AZ-800 exam?

Skills tested in Microsoft AZ-800 exam include designing Azure solutions, implementing security, managing identity and access, architecting data platforms, and designing deployment strategies. Examples include creating Azure Resource Manager templates, configuring role-based access control, and designing backup and recovery solutions.

Is there an overlap in content between AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams?

No, there is no overlap in content between the AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams. AZ-800 focuses on designing and implementing Azure solutions, while AZ-801 focuses on managing and operating Azure solutions.

How can I prepare effectively for both AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams?

To prepare effectively for both AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams, create a study schedule, practice with mock exams, use official Microsoft study materials, and join online study groups for support and additional resources.

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