Certification process overview

Why get certified

Earning a Microsoft Certification is globally recognized and industry-endorsed evidence of mastering real world skills. It shows you demonstrate proficiency in keeping pace with technology. It’s a career move that yields many positive results. For example, people looking to sharpen or add to their skills can expect to be more productive and efficient in their roles. IT professionals who have achieved a relevant, role-based technical certification perform on average 26 percent better than their uncertified colleagues with the same responsibilities.1 Being more productive and efficient can translate into more promotions, higher wages, and greater influence in your organization. Upon earning a certification, 35 percent of technical professionals say getting certified led to salary or wage increases, and 26 percent report job promotions.2

Team leaders who support and encourage their teams to get trained and certified can expect a more confident and excited workforce. Workers are more likely to stay with a company that helps them expand their skills through certifications.3

Getting a Microsoft Certification is also a great way to break into the tech industry. A Microsoft Certification immediately confers a level of authority and expertise, especially helpful for someone new to the industry.

Getting started with Microsoft Certification

A great place to begin is the certifications overview, where you can learn about certifications and explore your options by role or certification level. If you already know which certification you are interested in, you can filter and search for it from the browse certifications page.

Every certification has a “details” page with information about which exams you need to take and pass to earn that certification. Some certifications only require you to pass a single exam, while others require more than one. The certification details page also includes information about the skills measured in the exams, how you can prepare, and links to register for the exams. Each exam also has a detail page where you can see the specific information for that single exam.

Prepare for your certification exam(s)

On every certification and exam details page, you’ll find a “skills measured” section. This lists the skills that will be assessed as well as a downloadable detailed outline. Start by reviewing the skills measured by the exam(s). If you have the skills, you can register for the exam. But, if you want more training, there are a few options available. These are listed on the certification and exam detail pages, and might include:

  • Free online training available on Microsoft Learn.
  • Instructor-led training.
  • Official Microsoft practice tests available, offered by MeasureUp.
  • Additional preparation materials from Microsoft Press and training delivered by Microsoft Learning Partners.

To learn more about these and other ways to get prepared, visit: Prepare for an exam.

Register for a Microsoft Certification exam

When you’re prepared and ready to schedule your exam, you can register from any details page. During the scheduling process you can choose if you want to take the exam in a local test center or online. Each has its own benefits. Local test centers provide a secure computer environment to take your exam. With an online proctored exam, you can take your exam at almost any time using your own computer, but it requires installation of a secure browser and reliable access to the internet. If you’ll be taking your exam online, you will run a system pre-check to ensure your machine meets the requirements for the exam.

Microsoft partners with multiple exam providers to deliver certification exams for different types of candidates. To learn more about these providers and how to register, visit: Register and schedule an exam.

Getting your exam results and certifications

When you’ve completed the exam, you’ll be informed within a few minutes of the results. For exams taken with Pearson VUE, you can get a score report from your Certification Dashboard. For exams taken with PSI, your score report will be emailed to you.

If you’ve taken a beta exam, you will receive your score about 10 days after the exam goes live. For more information, visit: Beta exams.

If you have passed all the exams to earn a certification, congratulations! You can view, download, and share your individual accomplishments as badges or certificates, or get a complete record of your certifications and exams on your Microsoft Certification transcript. For more information, visit: Access your certificates, badges, and transcript.

Renewing your certification

Just as important as earning your certification is keeping your skills up to date. For role-based and specialty certifications you have earned, you can take free renewal assessments online six months before they expire to extend by a year. For more information, visit: Renew your certification.

1IDC white paper, sponsored by Microsoft, “Benefits of Role-Based Certifications,” June 2020.
2Pearson VUE, “2018 Value of IT Certification,” 2018.
3LinkedIn, “2020 Global Talent Trends Report,” 2020.