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Are you a solution architect, seasoned developer, or functional consultant who has experience driving strategic Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps initiatives to meet business needs? If so, the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert certification is designed for you. This expert certification demonstrates that you’re highly proficient at using your technical knowledge with finance and operations apps to solve today’s business challenges. It validates to the world that in addition to your years of experience, you’re keeping up with evolving technology and current training. This industry-recognized Microsoft Certification, along with your deep skills, can help take your career to a new level.
Solution architects not only need to swiftly adopt innovative technologies that drive better solutions for customers, but they must also often develop new capabilities from available technology. A team looks to these leaders to be drivers of tech intensity. The solution architect’s example can help to build a learning culture on the team by demonstrating that training and certification can help enhance their competitive advantage and career success. A Microsoft white paper on role-based tech training and certifications reports that professionals with Microsoft Certifications are 90 percent more productive than their non-certified peers. And they’re better at meeting client requirements, increasing productivity, and finishing projects rapidly.
You can add your certifications to your résumé and your LinkedIn page to alert organizations to your expertise. In this post in our series on discovering your career path, we look at the benefits of earning the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert certification. Plus, we suggest other certifications that can be useful for solution architects with experience in finance and operations who want to call attention to their broad variety of professional skills.
The finance and operations apps solution architect role and certification
You fit the profile for this certification if you’re a solution architect, functional or technical consultant, IT professional, or information worker who is familiar with Dynamics 365 architecture. You must have a deep understanding of Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps, and you should be a trusted advisor to your peers and customers. Plus, you need to understand recommended business practices and software capabilities.
Candidates for this certification are Dynamics 365 professionals who advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable solutions. You design cohesive solutions for your customers because you know how to work with the essential architectural components of Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps. You have extensive domain knowledge in one or more industry verticals. Plus, you understand how decisions in each area affect the overall solution. In addition, you’re familiar with platforms, tools, and functional areas, such as finance, supply chain management, and manufacturing.
You’re a good fit for this certification if:
- You have significant experience as a Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps functional consultant or technical consultant.
- You aspire to be a solution architect or you’ve recently started that career journey.
- You’re responsible for the successful design, implementation, deployment, and adoption of an overall technology solution in your organization.
- You have experience consulting with organizations and implementation team members to refine business needs into well-defined and cost-effective solutions.
To earn this certification, you must first earn one of the prerequisite certifications:
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate (pass Exam MB-300 and Exam MB-310)
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate (pass Exam MB-300, linked to earlier in this post, and Exam MB-320)
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Associate (pass Exam MB-300 and Exam MB-330)
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate (pass Exam MB-300 and Exam MB-500)
You must also pass Exam MB-700: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect. Your experience architecting solutions, defining solution strategies, and managing implementations and testing gives you the background you need to gear up for this exam.
Benefits of certification
The popular Dynamics 365 certifications have much to offer. In fact, 49 percent of respondents in the 2020–2021 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey from Nigel Frank believe that Business Applications certifications are likely to increase their worth, and 80 percent believe that certifications are important for increasing earning potential. That survey lists the salary for senior solution architects in the United States as more than $140,000. In addition, 74 percent of the respondents listed “understanding business models” and “having business acumen” as hard skills that would make them more attractive to employers.
In a Pearson VUE Value of IT Certification report, 86 percent of candidates who earned a certification in 2020 plan to pursue another in the next 12 months. In fact, the survey found that the more experience IT professionals have, the more likely it is they have multiple certifications, which indicates that acquiring IT credentials is a lifelong pursuit. In addition, 56 percent of respondents use certifications as tools for advancement. The report quotes a solution architect who holds a certification, “The major benefit I received after the Architect certification was a promotion and a salary hike. Aside from this I have received respect on my projects among my peers and with management as well.”
Obtaining a variety of certifications can help you as you explore different pathways to success. Certifications give you good career flexibility and good earning options. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report found that 87 percent of IT professionals hold at least one certification and that IT professionals with certifications on average earn more than their peers without one. Interestingly, the survey found that the more certifications a professional holds, the higher their average salary.
To continue to advance in a career, it matters that senior technical experts know how to support business requirements by implementing new and transformative technologies. An IDC white paper, Business Value of Digital Transformation and the Contribution of a Growth Mindset in IT,[i] indicates that professionals with a growth mindset can develop the capacity to implement technology transformation. Those who have achieved a relevant technical certification are more likely to believe that competence can be developed through dedication and hard work and a willingness to take advantage of tools and learnings.
Other certifications for you
Depending on the direction you want to take your career, you might investigate the different Microsoft Certifications available to you to help you take the next steps.
As we explained earlier in this post, candidates must acquire at least one prerequisite certification before taking the Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert exam. If you have expertise in more than one of these areas, consider acquiring additional certifications. Obtaining a variety of certifications can help you as you explore different pathways to success.
Depending on your experience and interest, you might consider pursuing other advanced certifications for solution architects, such as Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Solution Architect Expert (complete a prerequisite and pass Exam PL-600).
How do I get started?
Strong technical acumen, business expertise, and leadership skills characterize Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps solution architects. You’re driven by solving complex problems and by implementing and extending solutions of strategic importance for finance and operations. And you’ve led technical teams to create solutions that focus on the broader business needs of an organization.
However, if you don’t feel ready to take the required exams just yet, we have a few suggestions for you. Try shadowing a solution architect or work as one on a few projects. Volunteer to design and implement a finance and operations apps solution. Consider attending solution architecture workshops with colleagues.
To get started with this certification, check out our Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert certification journey map. You can also find the journey map in the resources section on the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert certification and exam pages.
To map out your journey, follow the sequence on the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert journey map. Start at the beginning by deciding whether this certification is a good fit for you.
Next, choose the training you’ll need to be prepared. To understand what you’ll be measured on when you take the required exam, review the Exam MB-700 skills outline. Then sign up for the training that fits your learning style and experience:
- On the certification page, choose curated learning paths and modules on Microsoft Learn for Dynamics 365 Finance and OperationsExplore hours of free, self-paced online learning to help you get ready.
- If you prefer to learn from an instructor, review the instructor-led training from Microsoft Learning Partners and find a Learning Partner.
After you pass the exam and earn your certification, you can continue to add to your technical expertise by taking one of the other certifications described in this blog post or by exploring other certification offerings. Consider our associate and expert certifications when you achieve the next milestones on your career journey. Map out the possibilities with Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 certification paths.
Where’s my community?
Join other finance and operations apps solution architects in a community. Share your career journey with colleagues who have similar interests in Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps and related technologies. Here are some places where you can share and gather information and learn from your peers and others.
- Dynamics 365 Finance Community
- Dynamics 365 Community
- LinkedIn: Dynamics 365 jobs
- LinkedIn: Dynamics 365 network
Celebrate with the world: Post your badge on LinkedIn
When you earn a certification or learn a new skill, celebrate your accomplishment with your network. It often takes less than a minute to update your LinkedIn profile and share your achievements, highlight your skills, and help boost your career potential. Here’s how:
- If you’ve earned a certification already, follow the instructions in the congratulations email you received. Or find your badge on your Certification Dashboard, and follow the instructions there to share it. (You’ll be transferred to the Credly website.)
- For more information on badges, check out the Certification Badges FAQ.
- To add specific skills to your LinkedIn profile, go to your profile page and update the Skills and endorsements section. Tip: We recommend that you choose skills listed in the skills outline guide for your certification.
It’s easy to renew your certification
When your Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert certification expires, we’ve got good news. You can renew your current certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn—anytime within six months before your certification expires. For more details, read our blog post, Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals.
Dynamics 365 resources
- Blog: Dynamics 365 Finance
- Videos: Dynamics 365 Finance
- Blog: Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Microsoft Learn resources: Dynamics 365 Finance
- Tech Talks: Dynamics 365 FastTrack TechTalks
- Twitter: Dynamics 365
Ready to discover your career path?
Are you ready to use certification to validate your skills as a trusted advisor who understands business practices and software capabilities? Let certification tell the world that you have mastered the ability to design cohesive solutions working with the essential architectural components of Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps.
[i] IDC white paper, sponsored by Microsoft, Business Value of Digital Transformation and the Contribution of a Growth Mindset in IT, #US46245620, May 2020.