I must admit I enjoyed the security administration exam. I enjoyed studying for it. In fact, I congratulate Microsoft for introducing a Security certification which is so much more than a fundamentals exam (98-367).
In August 2018 I became a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). I had just passed MCSA Office 365 and having been a secondary school teacher (QTS) prior to IT (a Geography Teacher no less) it was a fantastic opportunity to dive head first back into the field. From a personal perspective, I don't think there has ever been a better time to be a learner. With so much uncertainty in the job market and in such a competitive market (at least, here in the UK) it is really important to get certified for both job security and career prospects. With Microsoft overhauling certifications with roles as opposed to products it really is an exciting time to follow the path for the job you do, or the job you want to do.
My experience with Azure parallels my experience of driving. Today, I am one of those who absolutely loves it; I'm out on the road every single day and now I can't quite understand how I actually got by before I had a set of wheels. But there was a time, and it was a long time, and during that time I had a lot of preconceptions that it wasn't for me; that maybe I was simply a person who was suited and destined to public transport as a passenger. So explaining all this to my wife she told me to get over myself and get on with it. That's what I really needed all along. And so it was with Azure - as someone who had spent many years in what is now termed Modern Workplace with Office 365 and Microsoft 365, I had to deconstruct all those preconceptions that Azure - and I mean here aspects that aren't Azure AD, Intune etc - wasn't for me. In the end it was force of habit and a degree of institutionalisation having worked with a set of SaaS apps for so long.
Buckle up Dorothy - we're not in Kansas anymore. In the previous blog post on MS-100 we saw that there was more than a passing resemblance to 70-346 - and even though there were some new subjects like Azure B2B, the core of the exam was pretty much there. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about MS-101 and 70-347. What was 70-347 has now been carved up between MS-100 (Office 365 Pro Plus) and the Associate workloads. What's in it's place? A amalgamation of the security aspects of 70-347, elements of 70-697 and 70-695. I would go as far as to say that what we are actually looking at is the Enterprise version of the Mobility and Security MTA's (98-367/368) in the context of Microsoft 365. Lots of EMS, lots of Windows 10, lots of the Security and Compliance .
The announcement of the new Azure exams at Inspire 2018 signalled the beginning of a complete overhaul of the Microsoft exam and certification structure. We have entered a world of role-based certs as opposed to product based certs - and the ones we worked so hard to get, such as Office 365, will be retired soon. Of course, there is still a little time left if you want to get these for posterity.
Back before I did my Office 365 MCSA, I used to wonder which of the two exams would be harder - 70-346 (Office 365 Identities & Requirements) or 70-347 (Enabling Office 365 Services). Most people I talked to said they thought 346 was the harder of the two - mainly because they had far less experience with, and exposure to, ADFS and Powershell. Most took 346 after 347 and some didn't take 346 at all. That's a real shame. I took 346 first and would always recommended others to do so. Not because it was harder (it was significantly more focused than 347 in terms of scope) but because I feel that Identity really is the starting point for everything else. As an admin, how and what and where users can access services is as fundamental as it gets.
I’ve always liked and recommended Microsoft Fundamentals exams. Last year, before this new generation was created, I went back to gap fill my Office 365 MCSA with the Cloud, Mobility and Security Fundamental MTA’s (98-367, 368, 369). And even though these new generation MCF’s - like MTA’s - are optional (they don’t count towards the associate workloads) I don’t personally believe in bypassing them. No shortcuts. But Others may disagree. I respect that.