Welcome to Microsoft Ignite, where we’ll experience AI transformation in action. Microsoft Learn has a fantastic interactive presence planned for the event, building on the momentum of our recent announcement of Microsoft Applied Skills, the new ground-breaking credentials to scenario-based skills.

With advances in AI, cloud computing, and emerging technologies changing every day, a skills-based approach helps organizations identify the right talent, with the right skills, at the right time, to accelerate delivery of the most critical projects they face today. With Applied Skills you have a new way to advance your career by showcasing what you can do and what you can bring to those key projects.

Since we announced Applied Skills last month, we’ve been extremely pleased with the positive feedback. We heard how Applied Skills will help accelerate your learning and keep pace with the change in technologies like AI. We also heard how Applied Skills complement Microsoft Certifications and provide flexibility in how you earn credentials that are validated by Microsoft. We’re excited to learn more about how these credentials are helping to boost your professional growth and productivity. We’re just getting started so keep the feedback coming!

As we continue to invest in AI and evolve Microsoft Learn to meet your needs, I’m thrilled to unveil three announcements here at Ignite:

  • New Microsoft Applied Skills scenarios, including three for building solutions using Azure AI Services.
  • A new role-based Microsoft Certification for analytics engineers bringing data into the era of AI.
  • A special edition of the Microsoft Learn Cloud Skills Challenge.

Launching Applied Skills for AI

Today, we’re releasing five additional Applied Skills scenarios, with plans to release more in the coming months. Be sure to check out all the Applied Skills available for you today.

New Applied Skills available now:

  • Create document intelligence solutions with Azure AI Document Intelligence
  • Build a natural language processing solution with Azure AI Services
  • Build an Azure AI Vision solution with Azure AI services
  • Create and manage apps with Power Platform
  • Migrate SQL Server workload to Azure SQL

Additional Applied Skills coming soon (with even more on the way):

  • Deploy cloud-native apps using Azure Container Apps
  • Develop generative AI with Azure OpenAI Service
  • Train and deploy a machine learning model with Azure Machine Learning
  • Build apps with Teams
  • Create and manage model-driven apps with Power Apps and Dataverse
  • Scenarios to implement data lakehouses, data warehouses, and real-time analytics solutions with Microsoft Fabric

Are you ready to earn your new credential? The steps are simple—check out this snapshot:

Steps to earn a Microsoft Applied Skills credential.

Announcing a new role-based certification, coming in January 2024

Microsoft Certifications verify world-class technical proficiency for in-demand job roles and will continue to be a vital part of our flexible credential portfolio in the future. As part of our continued investment, I’m announcing a new certification to empower even more learners to achieve their full potential and career goals.

A brand-new role-based certification is coming soon: Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate, with Exam DP-600: Implementing Analytics Solutions Using Microsoft Fabric (beta) available in late January. This certification will allow you to prove that you have the skills required to create and manage lakehouses or data warehouses with Microsoft Fabric, and design and deploy semantic models and reports with Power BI. End-to-end analytics focused on data engineering and data science enable machine learning models training and AI development, so this new certification is key for analytics engineers to show that they have the skills required to bring an organization’s data into the era of AI.

This new certification will join the new Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Business Central Developer Associate certification and its associated Exam MB-820: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Developer (beta) that we announced a few months ago. Learn more about this announcement.

Stay tuned for more information as we release the beta exams for these new certifications in January 2024.

Begin your Applied Skills journey with the Microsoft Learn Cloud Skills Challenge, Ignite Edition

The Microsoft Learn Cloud Skills Challenge is always one of the most anticipated Ignite activities, and it’s my pleasure to announce that we’re kicking off a special edition today! This challenge was designed specifically to help you prepare for the new Microsoft Applied Skills. There will be 12 challenges in total, and 10 are aligned to Applied Skills training content—making it a great way to begin your journey toward earning your credential.

This is your chance to skill up for in-demand technical scenarios and enter to win a VIP event pass for the next Microsoft Ignite or Microsoft Build! There is a limit of 12 entries per person—one entry per completed challenge. As part of this sweepstakes, five lucky winners will receive a VIP event pass to the next Microsoft Ignite or Microsoft Build that includes bonus experiences, exclusive access, meet and greets with Microsoft personalities, and the opportunity to be showcased by Microsoft Learn. All participants will receive a Microsoft Learn Cloud Skills Challenge badge upon completion of their first challenge. Terms and conditions apply. See official rules for more details. View the list of eligible challenges and get started now.  

Keep learning

Embark on your AI skilling journey today! Explore our new Applied Skills for AI, the new Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate role-based certification, and be sure to register for the Cloud Skills Challenge—these offerings not only broaden your skills but revolutionize how you showcase your expertise.

Enjoy the energy and innovation you can only experience at Ignite. If you are attending the event in Seattle, please stop by the Microsoft Learn lounge and say hello! Continue your learning journey beyond Ignite with Microsoft Learn. Follow us on X and LinkedIn, and make sure you’re subscribed to “The Spark,” our recently enhanced LinkedIn newsletter.