About MS-203 Exam
Microsoft 365 Messaging, or MS-203 exam, is a special assessment for messaging administrators willing to validate their knowledge of deployment, configuration, management, troubleshooting, and monitoring of permissions, public folders, mail protection, mail flow, and recipients in hybrid environments and the cloud. These individuals work with Microsoft 365 Enterprise administrators, security administrators, and other IT professionals with an aim to implement secure cloud-centered and hybrid topology that meets the business requirements.
Related Certification Path
On top of obtaining new skills, passing the Microsoft MS-203 exam will also clear your path to attaining the Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate certification. This is a mid-level role-based learning path that targets messaging administrators who have mastery in a wide range of concepts. Moreover, it has no specific prerequisites apart from acing the mentioned test.
Microsoft MS-203 Exam Facts
To begin with, MS-203 exam has a maximum seat time of 130 minutes. It is offered in the English language only, and candidates must pay $165 to schedule it. Like with most of the assessments from Microsoft, everything about scheduling or attempting MS-203 happens on the Pearson VUE website. To have a better chance of cracking the test on the first attempt, Microsoft advises that learners should ensure they are familiar with the relevant technical concepts and use official study resources for preparation.
Skills Measured by MS-203
The Microsoft MS-203 exam content outline was updated on March 23, 2021, to reflect the current industry trends. So, the new curriculum will address the following skill areas and minute concepts:
1. Management of organizational settings and resources
This topic validates a candidate’s skills in planning and managing organizational settings, recipient resources, and managing mobile devices. In summary, students should be well conversant with planning namespaces, configuring Autodiscover, managing archive mailboxes, managing mailbox permissions as well as policies, setting up and managing Outlook mobile, and evaluating license options, among others.
2. Planning and management of the mail architecture
Similarly, this knowledge area is built around three topics, including planning and configuration of transport architecture, management of mail flow, and troubleshooting mail flow. Here, you should understand the specifics of the management of hybrid mail flow, the management of transport rules, understand how to handle analysis of message trace, monitoring mail flow, analysis of message headers and Non-Deliverable Reports (NDRs), and perform the creation and configuration of connectors, among other similar tasks.
3. Planning and implementation of a hybrid configuration and migration
As the name suggests, this domain will address your knowledge of planning and adopting a hybrid configuration and migration by focusing on three main tasks. These include planning and implementation of a hybrid environment, planning and performing migration, and the management of public folders. Generally, much emphasis will be on evaluating and configuring hybrid access, evaluating the migration methods, deploying the Exchange Hybrid Agent, troubleshooting mailbox migration, planning and configuring public folders, and configuring Organization Configuration Transfer (OCT). Also, one should know how to implement public folder TLH, plan a public folder migration, and migrate from non-Microsoft messaging systems, among other skills.
4. Securing messaging environment
Security of the messaging environment is all about compliance management, the management of role-based permissions, and the management of message hygiene with the aid of Microsoft Defender and Exchange Online for Office 365. The questions related to this domain confirm if a candidate is familiar with managing role groups, working with user roles, planning for message hygiene, planning and configuring Spam Confidence Levels (SLC), and configuring and managing Safe attachments, Safe links, and Anti-phishing. In addition, one has to show proficiency in managing eDiscovery cases, content search, journal rules, delegated RBAC setup, and more.
The Microsoft MS-203 exam curriculum is directly linked to the Messaging Administrator role. So, how can you become a Messaging Administrator and what does this role entail? Usually, the responsibilities of this professional include the chief messaging duties within their organizations. These include email communication and instant messaging, solving a huge variety of technical issues affecting messaging platforms, adhering to IT best practices as far as messaging goes, training their clients and end-users, and ensuring the effortless realization of the company’s principal objectives.
Naturally, most of the candidates who qualify for this role demonstrate a painstaking understanding of the messaging platform and have exceptional problem-solving, communication, and time management skills. Computer literacy is another vital skill for success in this field. Also, to become a competent Messaging Administrator, you should understand the concepts of mail protection, permissions, mail flow, recipients, and public folders.
When it comes to compensation, according to PayScale, certified Messaging Administrators in modern IT environments earn an average salary of about $83k per year. This is largely influenced by several factors such as the skill level, experience, and the company. With email messaging still considered a crucial element of modern communication platforms, one can argue that the demand for certified Messaging Administrators will only increase in the coming years, and rightly so.
Certification Path: Taking the Next Step as a Messaging Administrator
After working hard to obtain the Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate certification, you will be ready to convince the recruiters that you are the right person to handle their messaging platforms. And this will be a huge bonus to your career growth. But even then, the looming question will be if you can compete with the top dogs in the industry. Towards this end, opting to pursue advanced-level certificates becomes essential. And the next step that comes after passing MS-203 exam is the Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert certification.
This program targets Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrators who are responsible for evaluating, migrating, planning, managing, and deploying Microsoft 365 services. This certificate requires success in two exams, MS-100 and MS-101. Here, the above-mentioned Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate certificate acts as an excellent prerequisite for attaining it.
Other valuable programs that you can enroll in after passing MS-203 test include the following:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
- Cisco CCNA
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Architect