The world is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of tech skills, a situation that has been exacerbated by an increase in remote working due to the pandemic.
The shortage is pervasive and has dire consequences for IT departments. According to the 2020 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, 78 percent of IT decision-makers globally experience acute skills gaps, negatively affecting security, productivity, and efficiency. Many IT departments can’t cope with the workload, so work quality and employee mental health suffer.
The report draws on the responses of more than 9,500 IT professionals in 159 countries.
Cybersecurity threats have increased during the pandemic leading to an increase in the demand for cybersecurity experts. Increased phishing attempts and malware attacks have plagued workplaces since workers have moved from the office to their homes.
According to the annual CIO survey by IT outsourcer Harvey Nash and auditing firm KPMG, 40 percent of organizations have experienced an increase in cybersecurity threats since their workers have started working remotely. This has led organizations to increase their spend on security. In fact, cybersecurity expertise has become the most in-demand skill set, according to the survey. Another role highlighted by the survey as being hard to fill is that of a data analytics expert.
There is also an increased demand for cloud computing experts as more and more organizations are embracing cloud computing.
The rise of certifications
With the world in a constant state of change, IT professionals are turning to certifications to validate their skills and stay current while continuing to meet the needs of the market today. The Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report reveals that 87 percent of IT professionals hold at least one certification, with 69 percent of them planning to obtain another certification.
Skills gaps are proving to be very costly for organizations. According to the report, ‘’The lack of necessary skills can lead to upwards of 520 wasted work hours per employee annually, equivalent to €20,000.’’
On the other hand, qualified tech professionals in possession of skills certifications can fill in-demand tech positions and see a pay increase of €7,000 a year. Certification in cloud computing and cybersecurity leads to the highest salary increases.
Introducing free Microsoft Dynamics Fundamentals training
With more and more businesses using Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Power Platform, there is a growing demand for technology professionals skilled in using these technologies.
The award-winning Leading Learning Partners Association (LLPA) offers free virtual instructor-led Microsoft Azure or Dynamics 365 fundamentals training sessions to help anyone interested in a tech career to earn a fundamentals badge. Sessions will be held twice a month. This training opens up many new opportunities for people, to earn a credential and to prepare for certification, which is proof that they have acquired the necessary skills to fulfil a specific role.
The LLPA is offering the fundamentals courses in partnership with its’ 33 members, each of them an accredited Microsoft learning partner in their country. There are six fundamentals’ courses to choose from, and there is no prerequisite to attend.
The fundamental courses are in Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Security and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)
This course is for anyone interested in the cloud but doesn’t know where to start. There is no prerequisite to take the course, but any technical knowledge you have will make it easier to understand the cloud.
The course introduces basic cloud concepts and the benefits of using Azure for cloud computing. It goes into strategies for moving to Azure and explores what Azure has to offer.
Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals (DP-900)
This course teaches the fundamentals of database concepts within a cloud environment. The basic skills necessary to provide cloud data services and foundational knowledge of cloud data services within Microsoft Azure are covered. You will become familiar with relational data offerings, provisioning and deploying relational databases, and querying relational data within Azure.
If you have a basic awareness of computing and Internet concepts and want to gain business insights from data, this course is for you.
Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900)
This is a foundational course that teaches the basic concepts about artificial intelligence (AI) and Microsoft Azure services that enable AI solutions. This course teaches about common AI workloads and Azure services that help with these workloads.
All you need to enrol in this course is a basic knowledge of computing and internet concepts and a desire to use Azure AI services.
Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals (PL-900)
This course is for everyone who wants to automate business processes and so improve productivity.
This course teaches the business value of and products within Power Platform. These products can be used to build powerful business solutions for companies. Each product has its own platform that doesn’t require any coding skills.
Course attendees will use the four Power Platform products to create simple Power Apps, connect data with Common Data Service, build a Power BI Dashboard, automate a process with Power Automate, and build a chatbot with Power Virtual Agents.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (MB-901)
This course offers a solid grounding in the fundamentals of Dynamics 365 and a broad overview of Dynamics 365 applications. There will be an introduction to all the applications and their unique business value and a demonstration of their functionality. The course covers Dynamics 365 security, reporting, and available data and product integrations.
Microsoft Security Fundamentals (SC-900)
This course is targeted to those looking to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of security, compliance, and identity (SCI) across cloud-based and related Microsoft services. This is a broad audience that may include business stakeholders, new or existing IT professionals, or students who have an interest in Microsoft security, compliance, and identity solutions. Candidates should be familiar with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 and understand how Microsoft security, compliance, and identity solutions can span across these solution areas to provide a holistic and end-to-end solution.
Role-based business applications certifications
There is an opportunity to obtain industry-recognized Microsoft certifications for those who already have Dynamics 365 and Power Platform experience. These certifications provide proof that the holder has the skills to fulfil a specific tech role.
Whether you are an AI engineer, business analyst, data analyst, data scientist, developer, or functional consultant, you can now earn a certification based on your current role or one for which you are aiming.
To get a full picture of all the certifications on offer, including fundamentals, role-based and speciality certifications for Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, consult this poster.
Professionals who want to further their technology career can enrol for role-based Business Applications training with an instructor either virtually or in-person with an LLPA member in their country, you can find details of these public schedules on this page.
There are certifications for a long list of technical job roles with clear explanations of what each job entails. To earn a certification, a series of exams must be passed.
For a complete list of role-based certifications, you can consult this page.
Qualify for the most sought-after job roles
Arguably the most sought-after tech jobs just now are to be found in data science, cybersecurity, and cloud computing.
Training in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform and Azure leads to certifications in these and other technological fields.
Microsoft Certifications provide industry-recognized skills training that helps those interested to qualify for the most in-demand and well-paid tech jobs in the world.