Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Discover Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate

Are you a functional consultant with experience in configuring and implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce to meet the needs of your organization? If so, you should check out the new Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate certification. You can put your skills to work to obtain certification that can help you advance your career and earn the recognition you deserve. A Microsoft Certification validates to the world that you have these skills—whether you’re just starting out and growing your career, looking to use your skills to advance, or wanting to change to a new, in-demand consulting role.


Having a certification can set you apart. It’s a way to distinguish yourself from your colleagues. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report found that IT professionals with certifications, on average, earn more than their peers. This survey indicates that over half of global IT decision-makers report they expect their organization to invest in Microsoft technology this year. The survey uncovered that IT professionals don’t lack opportunities to boost their pay. Those who earned a certification or learned a new skill could see an increase of upwards of $12,000 a year.


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 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate certification. Plus, we suggest other certifications that can be useful for functional consultants who want to call attention to their broad variety of professional skills. 


The Commerce functional consultant role and certification

You fit the profile for this certification if you’re a functional consultant, a developer, an information worker, or an IT or business professional who uses Dynamics 365 Commerce in your organization. As a candidate for this certification, you support, configure, deploy, and maintain the Commerce solution.


Candidates must have a strong understanding of unified commerce business operations. They configure and manage Dynamics 365 Commerce call centers, manage point of sale (POS) in Commerce, manage e-commerce, and configure products, prices, discounts, loyalty, and affiliations.


In this role, you need experience with both Dynamics 365 core finance and operations apps and with Dynamics 365 Commerce, so you’ll take two exams to earn this certification:


Benefits of certification

To advance in a career, functional consultants need to know how to support business requirements by implementing and configuring new technologies. An IDC white paper, Business Value of Digital Transformation and the Contribution of a Growth Mindset in IT,[i] examined capabilities related to operations and financial line of business processes and found that improving three straightforward skills would make for better performance—supporting, reporting, and visibility. It indicated that professionals with certification are more likely to believe that their skills can be developed. This contributes to better performance, and the attitude is called a growth mindset.


According to the Pearson VUE Value of IT Certification report, the top motivation for people seeking certification is a desire to upskill and stay ahead of technological advances. It found that 73 percent of candidates pursued certification to obtain necessary skills and enhance job performance, and 86 percent of survey respondents intended to get a certification in a new specialty within 12 months.


Companies are investing in evolving technology, so technical professionals who understand business and finance applications need to find a way to highlight their skills. In fact, 74 percent of respondents in the 20202021 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey from Nigel Frank listed “understanding business models” and “having business acumen” as hard skills that would make them more attractive to employers. Plus, 80 percent believe that Dynamics 365 certifications are important for increasing earning potential.


A globally recognized Microsoft Certification validates your skills and abilities and can help keep you competitive. According to a Microsoft white paper on role-based tech training and certifications, professionals with Microsoft Certifications are 90 percent more productive than their peers. People who evolve their skills through learning are also better at troubleshooting and meeting client requirements.


Other certifications for you

Depending on the direction you want to take your career, you should investigate the different Microsoft Certifications available to you to help you take the next steps.


If you’re new to Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, check out Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals (pass Exam PL-900) and Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (ERP) (pass Exam MB-920).


If you want to deepen your skills and open up your career options in related areas, consider exploring these other Dynamics 365 associate certifications:


Depending on your experience and interest, later in your career, you might consider pursuing an advanced certification for solution architects, such as Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert (complete a prerequisite and pass Exam MB-700).


How do I get started?

A strong understanding of unified commerce business operations, support acumen, and technical ability characterize Commerce functional consultants. They also have in-depth experience configuring, deploying, and maintaining Dynamics 365 Commerce.


If you don’t feel ready to take the required exam just yet, we have a few suggestions for you.


Try working with an experienced functional consultant on a Dynamics 365 Commerce project, or work on a Commerce consulting project. Find a mentor, or join a Dynamics 365 community (see the bulleted list later in this post). Take available learning paths on Microsoft Learn, and complete the hands-on practice. Explore other training opportunities, or take an instructor-led course. No matter where you are on your journey, we have training that can help you get underway.


To get started with this certification, check out our Microsoft training and certifications guide. You can also find the guide in the resources section on the Dynamics 365 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate certification and exam pages.


D365 Commerce Functional Consultant Journey.PNG


To start your journey to certification, first decide 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-340 skills outline. Then explore training opportunities on Microsoft Learn, where there are hours of free, self-paced online learning on Dynamics 365 Commerce you can use. To explore learning with an instructor, check out About Learning Partners.


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. Use this diagram to map out the possibilities: Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 certification paths.


Where’s my community?

Join other functional consultants in a community that includes finance and commerce professionals. Share your career journey with colleagues who have similar interests in Dynamics 365 Commerce and related technologies. Here are some places where you can share and gather information and learn from your peers and others.


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 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate 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.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce and other resources


Ready to discover your career path?

You’re a skilled Commerce professional. Are you ready to explore where Microsoft Certification can take you on your career journey? See how a functional consultant certification can shine a light on your skills in innovating and turning business requirements into great solutions and can help you make the most out of your Dynamics 365 career path.


[i] IDC white paper, sponsored by Microsoft, Business Value of Digital Transformation and the Contribution of a Growth Mindset in IT, #US46245620, May 2020.


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