What do people think about the new Microsoft Applied Skills assessments?

In our previous posts, we looked at what Microsoft Applied Skills are, and some Frequently Asked Questions about them.

So what do people think about these Skills?

Nick Doelman is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and until recently has been working in Microsoft. In Episode 21 of the Power Platform Boost Podcast, Nick was talking about his experiences with taking the Microsoft Applied Skills.

He talked about his Microsoft certifications and said that they “kind of proves that you’re good at reading and retaining information“. However, the Microsoft Applied Skills was “not about memorization. It’s really about, hey, can you actually go and do the work? So I’m really hoping to see more of these skill-based assessments come out more in 2024.”

His experience of taking the Power Automate Microsoft Applied Skill assessment was fairly smooth. He didn’t have to go to a testing centre. He didn’t have to remove everything in his office first, as the assessment is not currently proctored.

You fire up a virtual machine, you go through the scenarios, you have to actually build Power Automate flows and they have to work. And then when you kind of hit submit, they’ll do the assessment and let you know if you pass or fail. So that worked out well.

He also did the .

Same thing, fire up the virtual machine, gives you a bunch of scenarios. So I went in and was able to, one was like you had to build a specific Canvas app… And then there was a couple other Canvas apps that you had to go and troubleshoot and debug or make some changes to. And then same thing, you hit the assessment button and boom, like, and I passed that as well. So it’s pretty cool because this is all hands-on.

So what does he think the importance of Microsoft Applied Skills is, if you were an employer?

If I was in the position of hiring somebody or evaluating some new juniors coming up for the ranks, I’d probably pay a lot more attention to how well they did on these skill assessments or were able to go through these skill assessments, as opposed to certification exams, which I still think are important, but this just sort of adds to that. You know, there’s the learning, but then proving what you’ve learned or proving that you know how to do things.

In the Microsoft Learn Blog, employees in Koç Holding are undertaking their own Applied Skills. Their Group Manager, Özgür Orhan, says:

With Applied Skills, our learners working on current and future strategic digital transformation projects will be able to grasp the knowledge and validate their skills in a shorter period of time from Microsoft Learn. This will boost their confidence, increase their proficiency, and ensure project success, improving time to market.

Ford Otomotiv Sanayi A.Ş. uses a mix of certifications and Applied Skills:

Some software developers went on to earn Microsoft Certifications for their new roles, although certification wasn’t required. Others earned

At the time of writing this blog, there are 14 Microsoft Applied Skills, and the assessment are free. Why not have a look at them, and see whether they would be a fit for you or your employees?