Microsoft Certification Program

Microsoft offers exams and certifications that allow participants to advance their knowledge of Microsoft and Azure technologies with globally recognized certifications. A Microsoft certification showcases your commitment to keeping pace with rapidly changing technology and positions you for increased skills and efficiency.

Microsoft Certifications start with foundational skills and move into deeper technical skills you will need to perform industry roles. Microsoft Certifications cover a wide array of topics from Azure to AI, to data analytics and cybersecurity. Normally, certification attempts can cost $99 or more. As an Auburn student or Auburn IT Professional, Microsoft offers free learning opportunities and discounted certification attempts.

How to Register for Free Certifications as an Auburn Student

Auburn students can use Microsoft certifications as a great way to break into the tech industry. A Microsoft Certification not only conveys expertise, but willingness to adapt and apply new knowledge. To learn more and start your learning journey, register on the Student Hub - Student Certifications | Microsoft Learn site.

How to Register for Discounted Certifications as an Auburn IT Professional

Auburn Employees are able to take advantage of Microsoft's Enterprise Skills Initiative (ESI) to register and take exams at a premium discount. To see how you can get started using Microsoft's ESI or learn more, click here.

Please have the following items before you begin to ensure a successful sign-up process

1. Your email address

2. Microsoft Edge (recommended browser for accessing course and exam content)

3. A Microsoft account, this account can use a personal email address or your address

How to Schedule an Exam using your ESI Discount

1. Visit the ESI website.

2. Click Sign in now

3. Enter your email and click Next. You may be redirected to Microsoft login portal. If so, follow the authentication steps to continue.

4. Next find the Microsoft Certifications subsection and select Schedule

ESI Portal Certification

5. Find your desired topic and click Schedule Exam. If you are not ready to schedule your exam, you will see that some exams have additional options you can utilize such as official Microsoft Practice Test or Exam Preparation through Microsoft Learn.

Schedule Exam

6. On the next page you will be able to view certification requirements, Learning paths, and options for scheduling your certification exam. Scroll down the page until you see the Schedule Exam or Schedule with Pearson VUE options (At least one of these options will be available).

Exam Schedule Options

*Ignore the fee associated with the exam, you will not be charged as a member of Auburn IT

7. After your selection, you will be prompted to sign into your certification profile. If you have an existing Microsoft account, use it to sign in. If you do not currently have a personal Microsoft account, create a new account for your certification profile using either a personal email address or your address. Follow all screen prompts and complete any required fields until you are notified of successful account creation. 

Once you have a Microsoft account, you should see your Certification Profile.

Certification Profile

You will now have two separate accounts:

8. Scroll down to the bottom of your Certification Profile, read and agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy & Cookies statement, then hit Continue

9. If you have linked your two accounts, you will see the option to claim an Auburn University employee discount

Employee Discount


10. Click the Claim button. The button will turn gray and appear as "Claimed."

11. Click Schedule Exam

At this point, you now have the option of selecting how and where you take the exam. The remaining steps outline how to schedule a remote certification exam through PearsonVUE.

12. Select OnVue Online at my home or office

13. Review the preparations and important information listed on the page. Click Next.

Testing Preparation Remote

14. Select language. Click Next.

15. Agree to Microsoft's and PearsonVue's Code of Conduct and Exam policies on the next pages by selecting appropriate boxes and clicking Next or Agree

16. Choose proctor language. Click Next.

17. Confirm time zone then select date and time for exam. Click Book this appointment.

18. On the next page, verify information entered is correct and your discount is applied. Your Estimated Total Due will vary based on exam cost and discount applied.

Checkout Page

19. Click Proceed to Checkout.

20. Verify all your information one final time. Click Submit Order.

Once you have successfully scheduled your exam, you will receive two emails:

Exam Cancellation Policy

If a learner fails to attend (or fails to cancel or reschedule more than 24 hours before the scheduled start time) multiple exams, they are considered a no-show and Microsoft or third party partner(s) will require the learner to pay an additional deposit prior to registering for any subsequent exams. For each subsequent exam that the learner takes at a scheduled time, the applicable deposit may be refunded by third-party partner(s) in accordance with that partner's terms and conditions. 

Learners can reschedule or cancel exams in cases of unexpected scheduling conflicts by going to or following the directions here. Learners can avoid forfeiting their deposits by canceling 24 hours or more before scheduled exam appointments.