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Microsoft Discounts Azure Exams

The Azure developer exam discounts are part of a broader initiative by the Microsoft Partner Network to narrow the Azure deployment and development skills gap.

Microsoft is offering discounts on selected Azure-based Microsoft Certified Professional exams, including ones for obtaining an Azure-related premium Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certificate. The offering is part of a Microsoft Partner Network initiative to "bridge a skills gap" in cloud deployments and developments.

Specifically, Microsoft is offering a discount on these select Azure exams:

Exam vouchers are regularly $165USD, but during the offer period, exam vouchers are $99USD if purchase singly, or $279USD for three (a $216 saving off retail). The single pack and triple pack is available through Pearson's Mindhub store.

Of the ones listed, the ones that apply to developers are 70-532, 70-533 and 70-534. All three are required to earn the MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect title, which will be retired on March 31, 2017. Exams 70-532 and 70-534 count as electives toward the new MCSD: App Builder title that replaces it.

The offering is part of a more comprehensive program being developed in conjunction with the Microsoft Partner Network to expand cloud-based training options for IT pros and developers working with Microsoft partners.

"To help ensure our partners can tap into a skilled and well-equipped workforce, Microsoft is investing in a variety of technical training, tools and resources, including the Microsoft Virtual Academy, the Cloud + Enterprise University Boot Camps, and the Microsoft Professional Program, just to name a few," writes Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group, in a blog.

Schuster says that one of the newer offerings include massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that are available for free through Microsoft's OpenedX program. MOOCs differ from typical online courses in their breadth of coverage and the deployment "videos, labs, graded assessments, office hours, and more." Currently listed are six courses; from the descriptions, the MOOCs are aimed at IT professionals, and there isn't much for developers right now.

You can read more about Microsoft's Azure skills initiative on the RCPmag.com here and here.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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