Microsoft Data Analyst Certificate



Microsoft, Google, AWS, and IBM are at the forefront of providing training resources for a career in Data Analytics. This blog post will review the Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional Certificate and why this certification may be the right option for you.

It will highlight the course content, who it is for, career opportunities, cost, duration, the pros and cons of the certificate, etc. And finally, if it is worth it.

The demand for Data Analysts is rising as business processes are increasingly more complex. Albeit, very competitive especially for beginners to get a job.

The Microsoft Power BI Professional certificate is attempting to offer some advantages through its training program – focus on using Power BI.

Who Is It For?

The certificate program is for beginners who want to start a career in Data Analytics irrespective of their background. It is also for people interested in using Power BI or improving their data analysis skills.

Career Opportunities and Salaries

The certification will validate your skills for an entry-level job role as a Data related role. The typical salary for an entry-level data analyst in the US is about $77k per year. It also equips you with skills to further a career path in other data-related niches. Typical career roles are

  • Power BI Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Business Data Analyst

A business Intelligence Analyst earns about $87k per year (According to BuiltIn).

Certification Program/Curriculum

The Certification Program consists of 8 courses, starting from the foundations to more practical skills in data analysis using Power BI. Power BI is Microsoft’s data visualization tool and is widely used in data analysis. The certification courses also include a major capstone project for your portfolio.

The component courses are

  • Course 1: Preparing Data for Analysis with Microsoft Excel (18 hours)
  • Course 2: Harnessing the Power of Data with Power BI (16 hours)
  • Course 3: Extract, Transform, and Load Data in Power BI (20 hours)
  • Course 4: Data Modeling in Power BI (26 hours)
  • Course 5: Data Analysis and Visualization with Power BI (29 hours)
  • Course 6: Creative Designing in Power BI (20 hours)
  • Course 7: Deploy and Maintain Power BI Assets and Capstone Project (25 hours)
  • Course 8: Microsoft PL-300 Exam Preparation and Practice (36 hours)

Course 8 is designed to prepare you for the Microsoft PL-300 (Microsoft PowerBI Data Analyst) which is a separate professional exam. This exam is optional.

Skills You Will Learn

The overall skills you will learn upon completing the series of courses for the certification are as follows;

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Data Analysis
  • Power BI
  • SQL
  • Power Query

These are the basic technical skills for a day-to-day job as a data analyst.

You Get a Certificate of Completion and a Certification

Microsoft Power BI Professional Certification has a “Certificate of Completion” and a “Certification” for taking the Microsoft PL-300 professional exam. A “certificate of completion” is what you get for completing an online course while a “certification” will require you to sit for a professional exam, independent of the online course.

Certifications are more credible than Certificates of Completion. Employers value this more than they value a Certificate of Completion. The training and preparation materials are included in the Coursera courses bundle. It is however optional. The Microsoft PL-300 is the qualifying exam for the certification.

Whether or not you sit for the exam, you will get a Certificate of Completion from Microsoft. You can share this on your LinkedIn profile to signal to prospective employers that you have completed all the training modules, quizzes, and assignments and gotten satisfactory scores.

Duration and Cost of the Certification

The certification is through a monthly subscription of $39. The total course length is about 190 hours. You learn at your own pace. But most persons will complete the course series in 3-6 months. Cost estimate will be $117 – $234 (3-6 months).

Coursera allows a 7-day free trial period when you sign up for the certification. You can also audit some courses for free access to training materials.

Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional Certificate
Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional Certificate

The Microsoft PL-300 Certification exam costs vary depending on the location. It is $165 in the US, £113 in the UK, Germany: €165, and ₹4800 in India. There is a 50 percent discount if you complete the Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional certification on Coursera.

Is this Certification Recognized?

Microsoft is a leading global brand and an industry-recognized brand. The Microsoft Power BI Certificate does offer some advantages in securing entry-level Data Analyst jobs.

The Pros and Cons of the Certification


  1. The certification program includes a resume review, expert career support, and interview prep to increase your chances of getting a job.
  2. It teaches you to become proficient in Power BI. Power BI is a valuable tool in data analysis and is in high demand from employers.
  3. You get a “real certification”, not just a certificate of completion. This has more credibility amongst employers.
  4. It is beginner-friendly
  5. It is an industry-recognized certification.


  1. Although it lists SQL as part of the skills you will gain from the certification, the course contents do not treat it in detail. You may need to look elsewhere to acquire adequate knowledge of SQL.
  2. The certification is on Power BI. People who love to use Tableau as their visualization tool may not like this certification.
  3. There are little or no data science courses. This is a disadvantage for people interested in Data Science later in their careers.

Final Thoughts

The Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional Certificate is a beginner-focused certification that uses Power BI to lay the foundation for a career in data analysis. It is an excellent industry-recognized certification to kickstart your career as a Data Analyst, Power BI analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, etc.

The courses are through a subscription on Coursera. You are awarded a Certification of completion for the certification. There is also an optional professional certification.


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