In this #ProudToBeCertified blog series, we’re highlighting stories of Microsoft-certified professionals and how certification changed their career paths – even at the very beginning of their professional life or new career. These personal narratives show how getting certified is a great way for you to build a credible track record of productivity while demonstrating you have the fortitude for continuous learning to support your new career in tech right from the start.
Even though Rachitha Tholasi’s professional career hasn’t started yet, her Microsoft Certifications are already playing a powerful role. She’s a senior at Virginia Tech, dual majoring in business information technology and management consulting. Through her course selections, she discovered a passion for cloud computing. Her love of the topic led her to earn the Microsoft 365 and Azure fundamentals certifications.
For Rachitha, earning her first certification proved useful by facilitating her real-world knowledge of the topics she was studying in school. She found that Microsoft Certifications helped her understand the cloud and emerging technology as a whole.
As her senior year progressed, her job search began. By letting the world know that she was #ProudToBeCertified, Rachitha has found more career opportunities. “Once I posted that I received these certifications on LinkedIn, I received a lot of InMail from recruiters for cloud positions.” Many LinkedIn members have a similar experience – with those listing at least five skills on their profiles receiving up to 27 times more messages than those who don’t.1
And those efforts have paid off. “I was able to receive my dream job offer from Microsoft as a Customer Account Success Manager by doing these certification exams.” She continues, “It's given me a realization that I can do anything when I have a passion for it.”
Salman Chishti, a Cloud Solution Architect Intern at Microsoft, holds a number of Microsoft Certifications including the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert, DevOps Engineer Expert, and Azure Data Engineer Associate certifications, just to name a few. For Salman, it’s not just about the knowledge itself; it’s about knowing that he has the knowledge.
His learning journey in technology began in high school, where he became interested in working with .NET and C#. But when he went to university, he discovered there were no courses in what he wanted to study. That’s what led him to online educational resources such as Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn. Through these experiences, Salman saw doors open up with opportunities to work in new technologies and verticals at Microsoft.
Coming in as an intern at Microsoft, Salman found himself among team members who had 10+ years of experience. This could certainly be overwhelming, so he realized he had to build his technical skills and knowledge, leveraging Microsoft’s role-based certifications as milestones. He began with the fundamentals, moving on to associate-level certifications, then expert. In doing so, he says “I fell in love with the process of being able to learn and then apply it to my everyday role.”
Now, when Salman works with those who have decades of experience, he has the confidence that he can contribute at a high level. With his certification credentials, his teammates know they’re working with a dedicated, well-trained, and highly skilled professional who’s willing to continue learning.
Even though Tony Hernandez was finishing his US military service, he wanted to continue giving back to his country in some capacity. With the help of Microsoft Certifications, he has been able to launch a new career as a Cloud Engineer, providing technology solutions to government agencies.
As he was preparing to leave the military, Tony learned about the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA). It provides career skills training to service members transitioning from the military to civilian life. Through MSSA, he began his technical training and certification journey with Microsoft Learn.
As he was preparing for the certification exam, Tony took advantage of resources included in his learning path. He created a free Azure sandbox online to experience the concepts while studying with the text, videos, and knowledge checks on Microsoft Learn. He says “basically everything you need to know is there, just follow along.”
After earning his certification, he’s not stopping. His next goal is to become an Azure Solution Architect, preparing him for future advances in cloud technology and ensuring that his expertise stays current with the constant demand. He couldn’t be more pleased, “Taking this exam and becoming certified was the best decision of my life.”
Whether you’re in university, starting a new career, or well-established in technology, Microsoft Certification can give you a boost. Keep an eye out for more posts on how certifications have helped advance careers. You’ll learn how people overcame barriers to advancement, thrived in adversity, and added new life to their existing roles – all by nurturing a commitment to having a growth mindset and continuously learn.
We want to hear your #ProudToBeCertified story. After all, you are the certification community. The more we all share our experiences, the more supported and encouraged we are to go for what we want. Check out more #Proud to be Certified videos and submit your video or post on Twitter, LinkedIn, or your preferred platform with #ProudToBeCertified.
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