Microsoft reported the Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 51% in the first quarter of 2019. Consequently, the IT companies that implement, customize and support Microsoft Dynamics 365 products, experience a growing need for skilled and certified specialists in this product line that includes ERP and CRM applications. We’ve prepared the guide on Microsoft Dynamics 365 certifications to show what certifications are currently available, what it takes to get certified, and what benefits companies and their employees get from these certifications.
Currently, there are 8 Microsoft certifications within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 line of products. The certificates cater for both the people starting their Microsoft Dynamics 365 career and functional consultants dealing with these products and differ in complexity accordingly.
The certification path starts with an optional certificate for those who’re starting their consulting career. The certificate is common for CRM and ERP applications and called Dynamics 365 Fundamentals. It gives a general understanding of the cloud computing concepts, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 family of applications, their licensing, deployment and release options. It also covers the Microsoft Power Platform that allows building custom apps, automating workflows and creating analytic reports.
As holding the Dynamics 365 Fundamentals certification is not a must for obtaining higher-level certifications, those who’re already familiar with Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology can focus on getting the deeper Associate-level certifications. They require 2 years of prior working experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 products and are divided into those for CRM and ERP applications.
A tier of Microsoft Dynamics CRM certifications includes:
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Sales Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for configuring sales apps, reports and dashboards, email, Word, Excel templates and automating sales workflows, managing sales entities like leads, opportunities, quotes, products and sales orders.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Marketing Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for configuring marketing apps, reports and dashboards, automating marketing workflows, managing leads, marketing emails, customer journeys, events and webinars.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for configuring customer service management settings, reports and dashboards, automating customer service workflows, maintaining cases, case queues, and the knowledge base for agents, and managing entitlements and SLAs.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Field Service Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for configuring field service apps (including the mobile apps), managing work orders, incidents, inventory and purchase returns.
A tier of Microsoft Dynamics ERP certifications includes:
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Financials Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for setting up and configuring financial modules, cost and allocation policies and taxes, etc.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for implementing and testing the production control module, managing production and lean orders, production scheduling and subcontracting.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Associate
The certification proves the skills needed for managing products and inventory pricing, processing inventory management activities, managing supply chain processes, etc.
Below, we outline what it may take candidates to get certified, in terms of:
If a company is a Microsoft partner, its employees can leverage self-learning opportunities, like the Microsoft Dynamics Learning Portal to prepare for the exam. Otherwise, a candidate can turn to Microsoft Learn, a free online training resource.
A company interested in having certified Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultants on board can organize an instructor-led training course for their employees. The course may be from a Microsoft learning partner or an independent third-party training provider.
The cost of Dynamics 365 Fundamentals is $99 per attempt (a candidate may take up to five exam attempts per year). The Associate-level certifications cost $165 per attempt.
Microsoft offers exam packages that allow cheaper exam retakes. For instance, the Microsoft Exam Replay package costs $230 and includes one certification exam voucher plus one retake. There’s also a more advanced package that costs $265 and contains a practice test in addition to the exam voucher and a retake.
If a candidate still studies at the college, they can verify their student status with, say, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and get a discount on Microsoft Dynamics 365 certifications.
There’s no official expiry date to Microsoft Dynamics 365 certifications. However, particular technologies and products may go outdated. If they do, Microsoft will announce the certification’s retirement (like it was with Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV and AX certifications) and release its up-to-date alternative, which can be obtained as proof of the most relevant Microsoft Dynamics 365 skills.
Is getting certified worth the hassle?
For IT service companies, the main benefit of having certified Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultants on board is gaining more trust of their customers. This is also one of the prerequisites for obtaining a Silver or Gold Microsoft Partner status. In its turn, holding either of these statuses means getting priority placement in the Microsoft listing of the recommended IT service providers, the opportunity to connect with more customers through referrals, and other benefits.
As for the employees themselves, the most obvious benefit of getting Microsoft Dynamics 365 certifications is obtaining a valued proof of competence, new career opportunities and a competitive edge on the job market.