How should I start with SharePoint? Can a SharePoint certificate push my career? What do I have to pay for a SharePoint exam? - If any of these or other SharePoint related questions are bothering you, then this is the right blog to read.
Microsoft SharePoint can help you scale in your career as an IT professional. You will have a basic introduction, various levels of SharePoint certification, advantages of choosing this exam, and information about different certifications and their cost. Let's start with understanding SharePoint.
What is SharePoint?
According to Microsoft - "Microsoft SharePoint is used by businesses to make websites.. It serves as a safe location where you may store, arrange, share, and access data from any device. All you need is a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox."
SharePoint is a web-based primary portal that facilitates collaboration and content administration. With many features to learn, SharePoint poses a challenge for learners. But, it is in high demand only because of its multiple features.
- If you are part of a group, collective, or company, you can create a login-credential-based workspace to share work documents.
- You can collect, edit, download, and upload documents to share using SharePoint on a regular basis.
Benefits of choosing a SharePoint certification
More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies work using SharePoint. It is one of the prime reasons professionals add this feather to their hats. You can read about other benefits of having a SharePoint certificate here -
- Validation of your skills: If you opt for SharePoint certification at the associate or expert level, you need to have a guaranteed two years of experience in association with SharePoint. The certificates validate that experience and work as proof for your prospective employers.
- Get a step ahead of your competition through SharePoint: You can raise your chances of getting a high-salaried IT industry position by getting a SharePoint certificate. Microsoft presents the data that more than 85% of recruiters and interviewers are inclined toward candidates having an IT certification. In addition, over 60% of IT managers give preference to Microsoft certification in comparison to another institute's certificate.
- IT certifications are a gateway to increased pay and senior job positions: There are reports that professionals with IT certifications earn significantly more than non-certified professionals. Moreover, IT managers prefer certified professionals for higher positions because their skills are well-tested and validated.
Benefits from IT companies and Businesses' Perspective
- Hiring a reliable candidate: SharePoint certifications are a bonus for IT recruiters as they are easy and quick to verify. A candidate has to reveal their unique access code, and recruiters can see their record on the certification site hosted by Microsoft.
- Bringing a highly productive candidate on board: A majority of IT hiring managers believe that certified professionals are better at performing tasks in comparison to those who are not certified. In addition to this, Developers certified by Microsoft score 90% higher for productivity than other developers.
- Partnership status with Microsoft: A business needs to have set Microsoft certified professionals in their team to be a part of some Microsoft competency partnerships. For instance, a company must have a minimum of four professionals with SharePoint certification credentials to be a Microsoft Gold partner for the Collaboration and Content category.
3 Levels of SharePoint Certification
There are three levels of SharePoint certification:
- Fundamental Level: This is the beginning level for individuals who want to learn comprehensively about SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server. If you want to switch your career to IT, this level will be your starting point too.
- Associate Level: Associate level, the second level of SharePoint, presumes two years of extensive work experience with SharePoint. It is not mandatory to complete the fundamental level to complete the associate level.
- Expert Level: It is the final level of SharePoint. The level presupposes two to five years of strong technical SharePoint experience. Additionally, the Associate level is a prerequisite to obtaining the Expert level.
Various SharePoint Certifications
There are multiple SharePoint certifications divided into the three categories mentioned above. Here is a description of those certifications and how to get certified.
Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
The certification attests to a specialist's understanding of the advantages of deploying the SaaS cloud model and the Microsoft 365 cloud service. In addition, they must pass the examination MS-900 Microsoft 365 Fundamentals. The exam mainly examines a participant for:
- Cloud work concepts (Public, Private, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and Hybrid scenarios of Microsoft 365, advantages of working with cloud services).
- Foundational Microsoft 365 concepts (productive collaboration with Microsoft 365, business gro, managing devices, application) and services (SharePoint Online, Windows 10 Enterprise, Exchange Online, Teams, and others).
- Compliance, protection, and privacy in Microsoft 365 (managing and safeguarding identity, management of unified endpoint, security usage services, and scenarios, etc.)
- Support and Microsoft 365 price (controlling and subscriptions options, payment models and licensing, bill management options, and more).
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Teamwork Administrator Associate
Administrator Associate certificate implies that a certified professional can set up, install and manage Office 365 collaboration apps. It includes SharePoint (On-premises, Virtual, and Hybrid), Teams, and OneDrive. A candidate needs to clear two exams to obtain this certificate.
- MS-300: Deploying Microsoft 365 Teamwork
This is the first exam that measures configuring skills and management abilities for:
- SharePoint Online (hub sites and site collections, personalizations and apps, management of metadata, guest access, search, etc.).
- OneDrive for Business ( sharing and protection, users and groups, etc.).
- Teams (guest access, identity, and authentication)
- Workload integrations (integration with Office apps: Flow, Stream, PowerApps, Yammer, and more)
2. MS-301: Deploying SharePoint Server Hybrid
This is the second and final exam for Teamwork Administrator Associate. It measures a candidate's knowledge for:
- Configuration and management of SharePoint on-premises (workflows, farm topology, site collection architecture, profile synchronization, taxonomy, customizations, search, etc.).
- Building and controlling hybrid work situations (hybrid configuration and topology, hybrid taxonomies and types of content, hybrid OneDrive for Business, and others).
- Migrating to SharePoint Online (preparing the data, migrating strategies and tools, blocking problems that stop migration).
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSA): Enterprise Administrator Expert
Certificate for Enterprise Administrator Expert takes into consideration skills such as examining, planning, migrating, installing and controlling Microsoft 365 services. A participant needs to clear a set of two exams to be eligible for this certificate.
- MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services
This is the first of the two exams to check your expertise in the below mentioned domains.
- Developing and administering Microsoft 365 services (domains, on-premises infrastructure tenancy, subscription, and migration of data & users).
- Controlling user identity and roles (identity synchronization security, identity strategy, and compliance roles, etc.).
- Managing access and verifications ( application access, multifactor authentication).
- Planning Office 365 work operations and applications ( migration strategy for operations, hybrid requirements).
- MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security
The second exam for this certificate tests the following aspects:
- Implementation of modern device services (mobile device security and compliance, managing mobile applications, and Windows 10 deployment).
- Executing Microsoft 365 security and threat control (security reports & alerts and cloud app security solution).
- Managing Microsoft 365 operations and compliance (auditing, data governance, data loss prevention policies, and eDiscovery).
Path to SharePoint Preparation
SharePoint certifications can enhance your career prospects. There are two learning methods to clear the SharePoint exams. First, if you prefer self-learning, according to your pace, you can opt for free micro-training modules.
Another effective and highly-recommended method to pass SharePointthe examination is paid customized training led by an experienced instructor. You can check Microtek Learning if you want to pursue instructor-led training.
Customized training can solve some major problems for candidates like resource availability, thorough revision, instant doubt clarification, etc.
How much do the certifications cost?
SharePoint certification costs vary based on the number of exams you are attempting. It also largely depends on the exams required to reach a specific goal. For instance, if there is a job opening for a particular role that requires an Associate certificate, the candidates need to clear two exams to apply for it.
Single exam charges are $165 (for Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification). MCSE and MCSA include two exams each; hence they cost $330. These exam charges involve costs for a single attempt. Candidates have to pay each time for multiple attempts.
A feasible way to save costs is Microsoft exam packages. These fixed and pre-designed packages include multiple attempts with price benefits. For instance, the Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification package for multiple attempts is known as Certify with Confidence package. It consists of one exam and two extra attempts for $230.
Grow your career with SharePoint certification
We hope that we were able to answer all your questions, at least to get you started with a relevant Microsoft SharePoint certification.
Professionals who wish to grow their careers as a developer or administrators in IT can aim for SharePoint certifications. At the same time, SharePoint is highly advantageous for IT firms that need to acquire top talent to leverage their position in the market. Having certified SharePoint employees on staff implies successful teams, great productivity, and a favorable reputation among partners and clients for IT companies. The certifications establish individuals as specialists, having a competitive edge over non-certified professional. Microsoft SharePoint certification helps them reach their goals of higher positions and better salaries faster. To know more about the SharePoint training, click here.