How do non-degree age 19 students pass Microsoft Azure Expert Exams? And Employer’s comment.

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Finding a internship or graduate job after college can be a challenge for almost every student in the final year of school. 

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Unsurprisingly, it appears that students with Microsoft Azure certification are more successful in finding a job right out of school despite the fact that they are non-degree students. 4 students, Peter Liu (age 24), Jeff Ma (age 19), Ken Cheong (age 19), and Tony Lee (age 19), from the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) passed the Microsoft Azure Expert examinations when they are working on internship at a leading IT consulting and solution provider company of Hong Kong- SOS Group Limited as a cloud engineer.

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“I’m very proud as they have grown and developed their cloud engineering skills. Besides, they got this incredible opportunity to exemplify their passion.” said Cyrus Wong, the senior lecturer of Department of Information Technology (IT) of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wa... , he focuses on teaching public Cloud technologies, Microsoft Learn for Educators Ambassador and the programme leader of the Higher Diploma in Cloud and Data Centre Administration, which integrates the Microsoft curriculum to prepare students to take four Azure certification exams.


Cyrus firmly believes in certifications because employers are looking for students with industry-recognized credentials. He has eight Azure certifications himself. He also challenges his students to earn them. “In APAC [Asia-Pacific], nearly all enterprises are Microsoft customers, and they often choose to migrate their platforms to the Azure cloud. So we are happy to adopt Microsoft Learn and provide official Azure training to all Higher Diploma in Cloud and Data Centre Administration students.” He explains, “To do something in IT, you need to have practical skills. Employers want someone to know how to do it— but not just talking on it. The Microsoft Learn curriculum is concise and contains large amount of practical lab exercises, which is important part for our training!”

In our classes, Cyrus uses several Azure learning paths and other course materials from Microsoft Learn: “Students need to know about cloud computing to be able to complete their daily tasks.” He also appreciates that Microsoft Learn keeps its course materials up to date.

 

The graduates of the IT114115 Higher Diploma in Cloud and Data Centre Administration program have demonstrated the latest knowledge and skills in cloud computing. Many companies, including some big enterprises in Hong Kong have shared positive feedback about our graduates and interns in providing effective technical support to their daily operations and development of their cloud systems.

This is enabling VTC to build longer term relationships and employment pipelines with these employers. “. we start collaborating with Microsoft Azure Partners and Azure major customers for internship and employment pipelines for our students by developing relationships with local and regional businesses for direct career pathways. My students do love Azure Certifications as they can win a job early even if they do not have a degree!” Cyrus said.

 

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Student Peter Liu, Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors, age 24 of 2 Microsoft Azure Expert Certifications (Azure Solutions Architect Expert and Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert) and got 11 Azure Certifications, said it had been an excellent learning experience for him to equip skill sets and certificates that will be useful in his future career. He said, "I appreciate my teachers, Cyrus Wong, for their support and guidance on my cloud path, and thank you, SOS Group (Hong Kong) Limited, for providing the resources and opportunity to me. For preparing for these exams, I have got the availability of decent study resources from Microsoft Learn Portal, which has made me come a long way. I cannot get my degree offer and this is my second higher diploma now, and I believe in Cloud and Microsoft Azure will rule the world and my target is to get all Azure Certifications before I am graduate from IVE!”

Other students are Azure Solutions Architect Expert Certified.

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Ken Cheong ,age 19 with 10 Azure Certifications, said that the course follows several areas to prepare for the exam, such as Design identity, governance, monitoring solutions, data storage solutions, business continuity solutions, and infrastructure solutions. "I am pursuing this certification because I want to enrich my skills in Azure, and I know it will help my future career." He added.

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Another student Jeff Ma ,age 19 with 9 Azure Certifications, said “The Microsoft Learn portal has been growing from strength to strength. The “Learning Paths” are free with excellent quality. They are all sourced from Microsoft and are up-to-date and relevant to the exam.”

 

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Tony Lee , age 19 with 9 Azure Certifications , said “I would recommend some practical ideas, learning the requirements, watching the Video Course, doing the Hands-on Labs, and the Practice Tests.”


Employer Feedback

SOS Group Limited is a leading IT consulting and solution provider focusing on hybrid cloud computing technologies. They honored 8 years "Microsoft Partner of the Year" industry award with a team of 30+ Microsoft-certified experts to provide and accelerate digital transformation with innovative cloud technology globally. They are a trusted Microsoft partner, provide the best-in-class cloud strategy and have deployed over 550,000 seats across the globe. SOS Group Limited provides solutions specializing in Hybrid cloud data center migration and optimization, managed cloud security, new-norm modern workplace, smart office management, Low-code apps, and app migration and Licensing advisory.

 

We would like to say thanks to SOS! SOS keeps supporting and sponsoring IVE students to pursue cloud certifications even if they are just junior student interns.

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Howard Chow the Executive Director of SOS Group Limited said

“I always see employees as one of the most important assets to share the success SOS Group Limited is achieving. Our group is committed to nurture young tech talents, and always prioritizes the best resources for staff upskilling and wellness programs, from regular on-trend tech workshops, industry event networking opportunities to entrepreneurial mindset training to foster a young talent pool.” 

 

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Eric Chan, Microsoft Azure MVP of Hong Kong, the Transformation Lead of SOS Group Limited said

“I am excited to see a lot of young potential talents (IVE) with the passion and ambition to jumpstart their career in IT. With the resources and support from our group’s certified experts, including myself, I am confident to see the endless possibilities through innovative approaches and the use of technology.” 


SOS Group Limited prefers to employ IVE students. 

SOS recognizes IVE students have a job-ready attitude and the ability to handle real-world problems. They have relevant practical skills, are familiar with how the technology sector works, and are ready to support a wide range of computer and information systems commonly used. In addition, new graduate students have the potential not only an academic background but also the capability to ramp up their careers rapidly. They are eager to learn and keep up with the fast-growing IT trend while overcoming challenges.



Getting certifications

Students will have the foundational knowledge of cloud services and how Microsoft Azure provides those services. The certification exam is designed for students who commence working with cloud-based solutions and services or are new to Azure. It is an opportunity to prove knowledge of cloud concepts. Students who have passed the certification exam should be familiar with general technology concepts, including networking, storage, computer, application support, and application development. A Microsoft Azure certification enables a student to pursue a wide range of career options, which means that you have a certain level of practical experience in any matter related to your industry.


Supports students preparing and passing the expert level exam

SOS Group Limited supports students to pass the expert level exam by offering job shadowing opportunities with senior consultants, mentorship with certified internal colleagues, bi-weekly tutor hours to provide tips and practice exam questions, flexible study breaks, and work schedule with exclusive training resources from internal and Microsoft. 


Value the students with expert certification from the employer of view 

Having the expert certification shows young graduates have the passion and commitment to join the big IT family. Commitment and dedication are among our most admired qualities in young talent empowerment. SOS Group Limited sees employees as our most asset; thus, we invest ongoing resources to grow the internal staff of all grades. The exam enables young graduates to understand cloud basics and the most used Azure tools that can be quickly adapted to the use cases. 


Conclusion

Students sometimes upset after failed in getting a degree offer. However, for IT industries especially in cloud, all major cloud vendors require partners and encourage customers to employ certified cloud engineers because the wrong use of cloud always lead to disaster for most companies. If you do have a degree, you may choose to take some Azure certifications and its value must not be lower than a degree or a master! Student should take advantage of Microsoft Student offers, Educational institutions especially for IT technical collages should join Microsoft Learn for Educator and try to integrate official Microsoft Azure courses. Students can get a lot of benefits including access to Microsoft Azure for Student and this is a path for them to be success after graduation and all student get a FREE Microsoft certification voucher and access to Microsoft Learn training resources

 

Thanks Ms Tsz Yau Selena Chiu, Instructor, Department of Information Technology of IVE (Lee Wai Lee) to prepare for this interview article.

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