I want to share my personal Microsoft Fabric certification thoughts. Since I have been asked what my thoughts are about a future Microsoft Fabric certification during presentations recently.
Plus, in my last post I covered the fact that I passed the DP-500 exam again. So now is as good as time as any to post my thoughts.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that these are my own personal thoughts at this moment in time. Which means that the contents of this post are purely based on speculation.
Mostly due to the fact that when I published this post Microsoft Fabric was still in public preview. However, Microsoft Fabric is now generally available. You can read more about this in detail in the official post by Ryan Majidimehr.
I also want to point out that this post also contains plenty of links. Including one that can help you create your own Microsoft Fabric environment.
Note that since this post was first published Microsoft have announced that they are going to retire the DP-500 exam on the exam page. It will be replaced by the DP-600 exam which focuses on Microsoft Fabric.
You can read more about the retirement announcement in the Microsoft post about in-demand news for in-demand skills.
Anyway, I personally think Microsoft has some interesting options as far as any future Microsoft Fabric certification(s) are concerned. Which are as below.
Duplicate the DP-203 exam
Which might make sense if swapping the different services for OneLake and the experiences.
However, it does mean adding material for the Power BI experience. Plus, catering for its deep integration amongst the other experiences.
Duplicate the DP-500 exam and add Fabric material
Another option is to duplicate the DP-500 exam required for the Azure Enterprise Data Analyst certification and change all the material to reflect Microsoft Fabric.
Recently I went through the recommended Microsoft Learn material for the DP-500 exam. Which contains more material than I studied when I passed the original beta exam. So, I can vouch for the fact that in theory this would be possible.
In reality, additional material would need to be added. To cater for some of the newer features in the experiences. Plus, the Data Activator experience which is still in private preview.
Upgrade the DP-500 exam with Microsoft Fabric material
I have mentioned the DP-500 exam in various posts. Including one about recommended certifications for Power BI enthusiasts.
As you can see in the Microsoft Learn material for the DP-500 exam, a lot of the material can be modified to cater for Microsoft Fabric.
To the extent that I mentioned in my last post that I wondered if Microsoft Fabric was going to be mentioned in the latest changes for this exam. Which are due later this month.
As I mentioned in the previous section, new material would need to be added to this exam. To cater for some of the experiences and integrations.
However, in my opinion this exam is the one that aligns with Microsoft Fabric the most.
Duplicate or upgrade the PL-300 exam
I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this option.
From a practical perspective it would make sense since Microsoft Fabric is based on Power BI infrastructure. In fact, I think those with a Power BI background are going to enjoy working with Microsoft Fabric.
With this in mind, Microsoft could upgrade or duplicate this exam and then add the additional material.
However, upgrading the exam would take away the deep Power BI focus that this exam has. So, I suspect duplicating the exam and then extending the material might be a better option.
I suspect that this certification will eventually get another name change. Considering the amount of Power BI rebranding to Microsoft Fabric that is happening.
Create a brand new exam
Final option on my list is to just create a brand-new exam from scratch.
Doing this can be good to start from a clean slate. Plus, it would make it easier to align the exam with the learning path about getting started with Microsoft Fabric.
I recently completed the last module for that learning path after passing the DP-500 exam. I highly recommend doing it yourself because it gives you a holistic view of the entire product.
Anyway, starting with a clean slate means that Microsoft can refine this exam and steer people’s thoughts away from the previous material for Azure Synapse Analytics. Which is covered in both the DP-203 and DP-500 exams.
However, this would take time and effort. Plus, from a practical perspective does not make sense when it is quicker to modify the DP-500 exam material.
Best option for a Microsoft Fabric certification
I think my last comment probably gave away my thoughts about what would be the best option. Which is to base it on the existing DP-500 exam.
One reason for this is because whilst going through the recommended Microsoft Learn material for the DP-500 exam I kept thinking about what would need to be updated or changed to reflect Microsoft Fabric.
If you go through the current DP-500 exam material in Microsoft Learn you will know exactly what I mean. Of course, it helps if you have good Microsoft Fabric knowledge beforehand.
If you do not know that much about Microsoft Fabric yet I recommend looking at my other post about creating your own Microsoft Fabric environment. Towards the bottom of that post I share some recommended resources.
Of course, you can always go through that post to create your own Microsoft Fabric environment as well.
Other Microsoft Fabric certification thoughts
My other thoughts are about the format and type of a future certification. I suspect that it will be an Associate certification.
However, since it technically it is not an Azure certification I suspect it will align with the design of the Power BI Data Analyst certification. Basically, something like the below with Microsoft Fabric branding.
Either that or we will see a new style appear. Possibly a green one to reflect the Microsoft Fabric logo. Which would make more sense if there were going to be multiple certifications for it.
Final words about my Microsoft Fabric certification thoughts
I hope me sharing my Microsoft Fabric certification thoughts has given some of you food for thought. Since I know some people out there are already thinking about this.
My advice is to start learning about Microsoft Fabric now if you are keen to pass an exam about it in the future. Even though it is currently in public preview.
Of course, if you have any comments or queries about this post feel free to reach out to me.