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Azure Data Engineer Certification Path: 2023 Ultimate Career Guide

Azure Data Engineer Certification Path: 2023 Ultimate Career Guide

Rapid digitization of every industry increases the need for data scientists and engineers. Big data and analytic jobs are on the rise from healthcare to retail. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment for data scientists is expected to grow by 36% from 2021 to 2031. This demand growth is much faster compared to all the other occupations.

Becoming a big data engineer will be a rewarding career as you can secure a high-paying job, and it is not just the tech industry that wants data analytics. When employers want to hire a data engineer, they look for mastery of concepts such as data warehousing, data integration, data modeling, data analytics, data storage, and data processing. Getting Azure data engineer certification is a trustworthy way to show potential employers you possess all the skills they seek.

Organizations are rapidly increasing cloud adoption, and over 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust Microsoft Azure. Enterprises host numerous big data, data science, machine learning, and AI applications on the cloud for their day-to-day operations. To ensure that data engineers who work with Microsoft Azure understand all the platform’s capabilities, Microsoft offers numerous certifications to establish credibility.

Do you want to take up the Azure data engineer certification path to work in one of the high-demand industries? Let’s get started, and you will learn everything you need to do to get your Microsoft Azure certification.

Table of Contents

What Does a Data Engineer Do?

Organizations that have their data in the cloud need data engineers. The primary responsibility of a data engineer is storing, collecting, and managing data across cloud services. They also convert raw data on the cloud for business intelligence tools.

A data engineer develops algorithms for data utilization and acquires datasets to align with the business plan. They take necessary actions to manipulate the data to meet the enterprise’s goals.

Apart from data utilization, a data engineer also uses data analytics to improve organizational performance. They also manage data governance and establish a security posture for the enterprise data across the cloud ecosystem.

Understanding Data Engineering in Azure

The Microsoft Azure certifications enable IT professionals, developers, and AI professionals to use the capabilities of the Microsoft cloud computing environment. Organizations that use Microsoft Azure for their cloud operations need someone with Microsoft Azure data engineer certification to create unique applications for their business needs.

An Azure data engineer integrates, transforms, and consolidates data obtained from multiple structured and unstructured data sources and converts the data into a format essential for building specific business analytic solutions. Some of the Azure data engineer responsibilities are:

  • Design data architecture
  • Maintain data flow as per business requirements
  • Complete ETL tasks to prepare the data for analytics
  • Create a data warehouse for proper data storage
  • Manage analytical data for use in business analytics
  • Work with Azure AI services
  • Use Azure cognitive services APIs to create readymade models
  • Automate metric calculations with azure metrics advisor
  • Create conversational tools with Azure bot service

A data engineer’s specific jobs are based on the current business requirements. Often, organizations request data engineers to design ready-to-use analytics applications by collaborating with data scientists.

C-suite executives require data insights in an easily viewable format to make critical business decisions. The data engineer is responsible for offering these data insights based on current and future business goals.

Benefits of Using Azure for Data Engineering

 

Azure is one of the popular platforms for enterprises that are looking to move to the cloud. It enables data engineers to build infrastructure for accessing and organizing enterprise-wide data efficiently. Some of the benefits of using the Azure platform are:

Scalability

Azure enables organizations to scale up or down efficiency and pay only for the needed resources. The auto-scaling feature adapts to the organization’s growing needs without dramatically increasing costs.

Flexibility

Organizations can choose deployment models such as private, public, or hybrid cloud for managing and monitoring their business applications, and Azure supports those.

Real-time Processing

Real-time data processing and IoT capabilities allow the processing of large data streaming in real-time to uncover insights immediately.

Comprehensive Analytics Tools

Azure has built-in tools like Power BI, Data Factory, Stream Analytics, HDInsight, etc., allowing professionals to develop new tools effectively.

Security and Compliance

Azure has built-in security features like encryption, SSL, VPN, compliance engines, etc., that protect the data at rest and during transit.

Integration with Microsoft Products

Azure has native integration modules to work with Microsoft products such as Office 365, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, etc., which is helpful for organizations that run operations in a Microsoft environment.

Azure Data Engineer Certification: Deep Dive

 

Individuals with solid technical knowledge and a keen interest in data science will enjoy a lucrative career as an Azure data engineer. Some of the reasons why it is a good career choice are:

  • Demand for certified Azure professionals is high
  • Enterprises offer competitive salaries
  • Numerous career advancement opportunities
  • The growing market as demands for cloud deployment soar
  • Creative data engineers can work in versatile fields

Becoming a Data Engineer – DP-203: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure

 

Earning a degree alone is not sufficient to become a data engineer. If you want to be noticed by employers, you should get one of the widely acclaimed Microsoft Azure certifications.

The DP-203 is the gold standard certification exam for data engineers. It will test your data engineering skills pertaining to Azure SQL DB, Cosmos DB, and Databricks. Once you gain this certification, you can start working as a data engineer associate.

Pre-Requisites

 

As DP-203 is one of the toughest certification exams, a background in data engineering will be useful. However, if you have a working knowledge of data engineering concepts, you can take this exam even if you don’t have a standard degree.

You should know the basics of data engineering, such as OLTP, OLAP, data warehouses, and data lakes. You must also have in-depth knowledge of data processing languages like SQL, Scala, Python, etc.

It is better to complete the fundamentals of Microsoft Azure before taking the advanced course. The fundamentals program is available for free on the Microsoft official website for anyone to get started.

Exam Objectives

 

The DP-203 examination will enable you to build and maintain data processing pipelines using multiple Azure frameworks and data services. Trained DP-203 certified Azure data engineer can build different data architectures such as:

  • Big data
  • Modern data warehouses
  • Lakehouse architecture

If you complete the training, you will become proficient in using data processing solutions such as:

  • Azure Synapse Analytics
  • Azure Data Factory
  • Azure Stream Analytics
  • Azure Data Lake Storage
  • Azure Event Hubs
  • Azure Databricks

Skills Measured

The skills measured when you take up the Azure data engineer certification program are:

  • Design and implementation of data storage
  • Design and development of data processing solutions
  • Design and implementation of data security
  • Monitoring, optimization, and security of data storage and processing

To become a certified Azure data engineer associate, you must clear the DP-203 exam. Currently, the exam can be taken in English only. You have to learn the fundamental concepts using the tutorial videos and spend your time getting hands-on training. Practical training is vital to answering case study-based questions you get on the exam.

How to Prepare for the Certification Exam?

Identifying and sourcing the key resources for studying is crucial to succeeding with the DP-203 examination. As it is a challenging exam, you must understand the basics before diving deep into the complex concepts.

Microsoft Learning Platform

 

Microsoft has official documentation for Azure data engineering training. These documents are text-heavy and some of the concepts are explained using videos to help self-learners.

You need to refer to the official documentation to understand the capabilities clearly. However, these are insufficient to clear the DP-203 exam, especially if you don’t want to spend months trying to get the Azure certification.

Online Training

 

The best way to prepare for DP-203 data engineering on Microsoft Azure is to join the online training program that industry experts offer. When you sign up for training programs, you can get access to video training materials where you can listen to lectures of industry leaders and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts.

The course videos will take you through the Azure platform’s core computing and storage technologies. You can then design analytical serving layers. The interactive training material will help you explore data lake files.

You can also learn ingestion techniques with Apache Spark. Once you learn data ingestion techniques, you can move on to data transformation technologies. The next stage is to know about monitoring and analyzing analytical system performance.

You must also learn security implementation throughout data processing to protect data at rest and during transit. Finally, you can learn to build predictive models using Azure Synapse Analytics.

You can also join the webinars of industry leaders and experts to learn the practical aspects. This training will expose you to the latest trends and techniques in maximizing the Azure platform’s capabilities.

Exam Pattern and Scoring Modules

The DP-203 is a proctored multiple-choice examination offered online. You can take this test through a testing center. You can take the exam from home if you don’t want to travel to any location. However, you must choose this option when booking the exam slot.

The exam is usually 90-150 minutes long. You have to answer 40-60 questions during the exam. To pass the exam, you have to score at least 700 out of 1000.

The weightage of questions is as follows:

Topics

Weightage

Design and implement data storage

15- 20%

Develop data processing

40 – 45%

Secure, monitor, and optimize data storage and data processing

30 – 35%

The exam pattern consists of:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Case study questions
  • Single-choice questions based on scenarios
  • Arraigning right sequence
  • Questions that you can’t skip

You must understand the exam pattern correctly to answer the questions. For some of the multiple choice questions, you can mark them for answering later. However, for questions that you can’t skip, you have to give the answers right away. You can’t re-answer these questions later. There is no negative marking so you can answer as many questions as possible.

You will get only a minute or two to answer each question based on the time limit and number of questions. So, you must clearly understand all the concepts to answer the questions quickly.

You can retake the exam if you don’t clear the examination on your first attempt. However, the waiting period varies based on where you are taking the exam. You can make three attempts per calendar year for Microsoft Azure data engineer certification.

Importance of Hands-on Training

Data engineers collaborate with data analysts and data scientists. However, based on the organization, your role as a data engineer may overlap with the jobs of data analysts and data scientists. So, how to become a versatile data engineer? You can achieve this by using hands-on training while learning for the DP-203 certification.

You are expected to have subject expertise on all types of data integration, transformation, and consolidation activities. You can gain mastery only if you have practical experience in data engineering methods.

Choosing online training programs with lab-based exercises is essential to learn all the data engineering concepts. These exercises help you gain hands-on training on using the capabilities of the Azure platform. All the questions asked during the examination test your knowledge of applying different data engineering skills.

Learning the text and watching training videos alone will not help you to clear the DP-203 exam effortlessly. You must spend at least a few hours training on the Azure platform for use cases and scenarios that mimic the real world. You can find numerous exercises online to practice and apply data engineering concepts.

Tips for Exam Success

Learning and preparation are crucial to pass DP-203 Azure certification. If you choose a self-paced course, you must be self-motivated to learn independently. You can complete the entire syllabus within a week.

However, you must spend many hours applying the theoretical concepts to solve lab exercises. Some of the tips that can help you with exam success are:

  • Create a timetable following the syllabus.
  • Formulate a study plan and set short-term and long-term goals to complete the training.
  • Refer to the official Microsoft documentation for written material and videos on the syllabus.
  • Prepare for the exam with an online tutor.
  • Explore training programs that provide hands-on training alongside a certified trainer.
  • Ensure that the course material is available for easy download or viewing during the course period so that you can repeat learning for concepts that are hard to grasp.
  • Sign up for instruction-led training plans to gain practical experience. Apply all the Azure platform modules and learn yourself using trial and error.
  • Use the free resources to prepare for case- and scenario-based questions.
  • Once you have learned the syllabus, look for practice tests.
  • Attending practice tests will help you to prepare time allocation for the questions.
  • Take as many practice tests as possible without worrying about the time taken to complete the tests.
  • Evaluate your preparation, and once you can answer all the questions, focus on time management.
  • Based on your practice test scores, revisit problem areas and learn again.
  • Refer to textbooks to understand the concepts more clearly.
  • During the examination, analyze the questions first.
  • Answer the multiple-choice questions by eliminating the wrong options first.
  • For case study questions, refer to the questions first and look for answers in the case study.
  • As there is no negative marking, try to answer all the questions during the examination.
  • You can review some questions and answer them later. Use this option if you are unsure of the answer.
  • For some sections, you have to answer immediately. Understand these sections and answer them right away.
  • All questions don’t have the same weightage. Understand the importance and answer the questions.

Core Skills and Competencies 

The DP-203 Azure data engineer training courses will help you acquire the following skills:

1. Data ingestion and processing

  • Understanding Azure data storage options
  • Implementing data import and export strategies
  • Using Azure Data Factory for data movement and transformation

2. Data storage and management

  • Designing and implementing Azure SQL databases
  • Utilizing Azure Cosmos DB for globally distributed databases
  • Managing data security, privacy, and compliance

3. Data transformation analytics

  • Implementing data integration solutions with Azure Data Factory
  • Utilizing Azure Databricks for big data processing and analytics
  • Designing and implementing data pipelines for machine learning

Real-World Application of Azure Data Engineering

 

To achieve success, every business has to overcome roadblocks associated with data. Data engineers create data pipelines, harnessing digital transformation. Without that, the result will be garbage in and garbage out.

Data engineers are crucial in big data projects, customizing data flows, scaling up data science teams, and more. Almost all industries, such as banking, travel, healthcare, entertainment, education, etc., continuously use the Azure platform to improve service offerings.

Some of the real-world applications and case studies of Azure capabilities are:

  • San Diego theatres reduced event management time by 50%
  • SGS optimised green energy with Azure IoT
  • Multicare improved healthcare with data interoperability
  • Bank Credit Dnipro improved the security of banking services
  • Datadog enhanced AI application monitoring

Training using real-world lab exercises is essential for success with DP-203 certification. You will be provided with the case study. The training will take you through a practical walk-through of using multiple Azure services to solve challenges in each case.

You must create your Azure account and apply the learned concepts to gain practical experience on the Azure platform. This will help you uncover the possibilities with Azure to give better answers during the examination.

Career Opportunities for Certified Azure Data Engineers

DP-203 exam is difficult to pass, but is it worth it? Once you become a Microsoft-certified Azure professional, you can start working as a data engineer associate.

The average Azure data engineer salary is $132,151 per annum. You can earn as much as $117,500 for entry-level positions. It is one of the high-paying jobs in the USA. You can gain mastery and advance in your career based on your interests.

Conclusion

 

Becoming a Microsoft-certified Azure associate is the best way to increase your scope of becoming a data engineer. As long as you know the fundamentals of data engineering, you can take DP-203 Microsoft certification.

Apart from the official Microsoft documentation, you must sign up for online training programs that provide detailed video resources and hands-on lab exercises to gain practical work experience.

Even though taking the DP-203 exam is challenging, with perseverance and training, you can easily pass the exam and start your data engineer career path.

Do you want to obtain Microsoft’s Azure data engineer certification? Explore the DP-203 Azure training course to learn from experts and gain hands-on experience to pass the exam effortlessly.

FAQs

1. What is the Azure Data Engineer Certification Path?

It’s a journey to become a certified Data Engineer specializing in Microsoft Azure. This certification verifies your skills in data storage, data processing, data security, and other Azure-specific data engineering concepts.

2. Why is data engineering becoming increasingly important?

Due to the rapid digitization across industries, big data and analytics jobs are on the rise. Data engineers are essential in storing, collecting, and managing data across cloud services, ensuring organizations can leverage this data effectively.

3. What are the core responsibilities of a data engineer in Azure?

A data engineer in Azure is responsible for integrating, transforming, and consolidating data from various sources, designing data architecture, managing data flow, completing ETL tasks, and working with Azure AI services, among other duties.

4. Why choose Azure for data engineering?

Azure offers scalability, flexibility, real-time processing, comprehensive analytics tools, robust security and compliance measures, and seamless integration with Microsoft products, making it a top choice for many enterprises.

5. What are the key skills and competencies that the DP-203 Azure data engineer training provides?

The training equips individuals with skills in data ingestion, processing, storage, management, transformation analytics, and the use of various Azure tools and services for data engineering tasks.

6. How can I prepare for the DP-203 certification exam?

Preparation involves a mix of referring to official Microsoft documentation, joining online training programs, hands-on lab exercises, and taking practice tests. It’s essential to understand the concepts and apply them practically.

7. How is the DP-203 examination structured?

The DP-203 exam is proctored, multiple-choice, and can be taken online. It typically lasts 90-150 minutes with 40-60 questions. Passing requires a score of at least 700 out of 1000.

8. What are the real-world applications of Azure data engineering?

Azure data engineering has been applied across industries such as banking, healthcare, entertainment, and more. Some cases include optimizing green energy, improving healthcare interoperability, enhancing AI application monitoring, etc.

9. What are the career opportunities for certified Azure data engineers?

Certified Azure data engineers can work as data engineer associates, with the potential to earn an average salary of $132,151 per annum. The field offers numerous career advancement opportunities.

10. Are there any prerequisites for taking the DP-203 exam?

A background in data engineering is helpful. However, even without a standard degree, if you understand basic data engineering concepts and have a grasp of languages like SQL, Scala, and Python, you can take the exam.

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