With numerous ways of deploying client operating systems like Microsoft's Windows 10, it is of the utmost importance to get it right the first time. When deploying for a large organization, you won't have the luxury of failing fast and failing often. With all the people and moving parts involved, this needs to be executed as perfectly as possible.
Microsoft offers a whole range of ways and just as many different tools to achieve this perfect outcome, and the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification will provide you with the knowledge and skills to successfully use them.
In this guide, you will learn about this certification and the exam you can take to achieve it.
The Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification follows Microsoft's departure from broader certifications like the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) or its older sibling, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Nowadays the focus is on specific roles.
The ideal candidate for this exam aspires to deploy, configure, secure, manage, and monitor devices and client applications in an enterprise environment. They manage identity, access, policies, updates, and apps.
They typically collaborate with the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator to design and implement a device strategy that meets the business needs of a modern organization.
They should be familiar with Microsoft 365 workloads and must be proficient and experienced in deploying, configuring, and maintaining Windows 10 and non-Windows devices and technologies.
Candidates for this certification are self-directed and solution-focused. They may not have formal IT training, but they are comfortable using technology to solve business problems with a personal growth mindset. They understand the operational need and have a vision of the desired outcome. They approach problems with phased and iterative strategies.
Two exams, MD-100: Windows 10, and MD-101: Managing Modern Desktops, are required to gain the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification. It is important to understand that Microsoft has taken up the practice of retiring and replacing exams at a much faster pace than in the past. Since the cloud is ever-changing, Microsoft updates live exams frequently.
The price for each exam is US$165/€165. Microsoft offers a student discount if you verify your academic status when booking the exam by using one of the following: a school email account, a school account, an International Student Identity Card, a verification code, or other documentation proving your eligibility for the student discount.
While there are no specific prerequisites to taking these exams, it is worth noting that experience with the required skills is key to a successful experience.
Ensure that you possess sufficient experience and invest the time to go through the relevant Pluralsight courses and other resources.
Your skills will be measured in the following eight categories:
These categories are broken down into details as follows, according to the exam skills outline:
Deploy Windows 10
Perform post-installation configuration
Manage local users, local groups, and devices
Configure data access and protection
Configure devices by using local policies
Manage Windows security
Configure remote connectivity
Configure system and data recovery
Monitor and manage Windows
Plan and implement Windows 10 by using dynamic deployment
Plan and implement Windows 10 by using Windows Autopilot
Upgrade devices to Windows 10
Manage device authentication
Plan and implement co-management
Implement conditional access and compliance policies for devices
Configure device profiles
Manage user profiles
Manage Windows Defender
Manage Intune device enrollment and inventory
Review device inventory Monitor devices
Deploy and update applications
Implement Mobile Application Management (MAM)
The following Pluralsight learning paths will help you prepare for the exam:
Microsoft Modern Desktop Administrator: Windows 10 (MD-100) containing six courses with a combined length of over 15 hours.
Make sure you also check out Pluralsight's Microsoft 365 Fundamentals (MS-900) learning path, which currently contains three courses.
Make sure you regularly check the Pluralsight website for updates.
Microsoft Learn provides training resources free of charge. Take a look at the following learning paths:
Utilizing the Microsoft Docs and navigating to the relevant topics will also enable you to prepare for this exam.
The cloud business has been booming in the last several years. Microsoft is a leader in this area and keeps growing. While COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, it certainly doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on Microsoft's cloud growth.
Gaining an up-to-date certification like the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification from a household name like Microsoft should make you much more attractive to both current and future employers, especially since the cloud is booming. Your current employer might not raise your salary, but the next time you go looking for a job make sure you check trusted Internet sources for up-to-date information on salaries in your region.
It's difficult to provide absolute figures because they depend on numerous factors like your experience, company type and size, industry, and region, especially given the wide range of potential job roles in this space, such as systems administrators, engineers, consultants, and architects. According to Nigel Frank, you can expect average salaries for modern desktop administrators to range from US$82,500 to US$124,600 in the United States.
As an associate-level certification, the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate credential, while challenging, will earn you recognition as a subject matter expert in this field. All it takes is a single exam.
Head over to Microsoft Evaluation Center for free evaluation versions and book the exams, which you can take right in your home or in one of many testing centers.
I hope that this guide is useful and wish you good luck in gaining your certification.