The 7 most in-demand Azure skills for 2024


Looking to position yourself as a valuable Azure professional in 2024? It might be time to brush up on your skill set. 

Interest in Microsoft’s suite of cloud solutions continued to balloon in 2023, with Azure’s 29% growth outpacing its rivals in the cloud service provider space. Microsoft cited a massive surge in demand for AI-powered tools as the core driver of this growth, despite many businesses seeking to cut costs in the face of challenging economic conditions. 

What Microsoft Azure skills should I learn in 2024? 

With more than 200 Azure products and services available across an expansive range of functionalities like compute, analytics, and networking, it can be tricky to decide where to start. 

To help you hone your upskilling efforts and gain the kind of valuable and relevant expertise that Azure customers and partners are looking for in 2024, we’ve crunched the numbers for you.

As part of our latest Careers and Hiring Guide: Microsoft Cloud Edition, we asked Microsoft professionals which Azure services are most in-demand with clients right now. This data gives us a great indication of what kind of skillsets organizations that use (or are planning to adopt) Azure will be on the lookout for in the coming year. 

Let’s take a look at the most popular Microsoft Azure product categories, and outline the skills you should be focusing on to make you a go-to Azure professional for potential employers and clients. 


7. AI and Machine Learning

AI has undoubtedly been the belle of the cloud technology ball over the last year or so, and that fervour for instilling automation, generative AI, chatbots, and machine learning into business technology of all shapes and sizes is only growing. 

As we mentioned above, demand for AI products and services is generating a lot of revenue for Microsoft at the moment, and that means there’s a huge amount of career opportunities available to those with the skills needed to implement such solutions.

But as far as umbrella terms go, AI is a pretty enormous one. There are many factors that go into harnessing AI tools effectively and safely, creating huge scope for the kind of skills you could look into. Plus, there are a tonne of specialisms that you could pursue within the field of Azure AI, like security, data science, and app development. 

Your best bet is to find an area of Azure’s AI stable that interests you or that relates to skills you already have, and start digging into the extensive learning content available.

If you’re still feeling a little lost, Microsoft’s Azure AI Fundamentals: Generative AI course is a good place to start, given how popular and accessible generative AI is at the moment. 

Other key AI products to get to grips with include:


Launched in 2023, Microsoft Copilot is a powerful processing and orchestration tool, offering AI-powered productivity capabilities. Based on a large language model (LLM), Copilot is essentially a chatbot integrated across Windows, Microsoft 365, and other tools such as Dynamic 365. It can help users change settings, offer assistance with configuration, tighten cybersecurity, summarize and draft emails, and generate Python visualizations. 

Azure AI Studio

Want to build your own Copilot? That’s where Azure AI Studio comes in. With this tool, Azure pros can create their own LLM-based chatbots to help users comprehend information, complete tasks, and make data-driven decisions. Using Azure AI Studio, cloud developers and architects can easily embed AI-powered speech, vision, and language processing capabilities into their apps and services.

Azure Machine Learning

Built to help data scientists and developers create high-quality, responsible machine learning models faster, Azure Machine Learning is an enterprise-grade AI service designed to manage the end-to-end ML lifecycle. Featuring MLOps tools and open-source interoperability, Azure Machine Learning simplifies the road to model deployment with built-in functionality for preparing data, building and training models, and managing and monitoring models post-deployment.


6. Migration

Digital transformation is still very much ongoing. Even organizations operating mature cloud strategies are adopting new tools, migrating to alternative services, or implementing multi-cloud environments. 

Whichever cloud solution you’re working with, ensuring the effective and secure flow of data between apps and services is critical. Data migration is an important consideration at every stage of the cloud lifecycle, whether you’re migrating your infrastructure to a different CSP or you’re creating APIs so that your cloud products have access to the data they need to deliver the results you want. 

As a result, being able to properly manage data migration is a highly valuable skill. If you know how to ensure data integrity and keep any transfers secure, while also minimizing downtime, you’re going to be hot property in the multi-cloud era.

There are several tools available to help Azure professionals migrate to, and securely transport data within, the service. Get to know products like Azure Migrate, Azure Site Recovery (ASR), and P2V, and how they can be used to migrate servers, virtual machines, and databases. 


5. Storage

What kind of data is best kept in Azure Tables? How big a message can Azure Queue store? Which storage option integrates with Kubernetes? And when would you use a Block blob as opposed to an Append blob??

How you store data is just as important to the productiveness of Azure services as how you move it around. Azure offers many different storage options for your precious data, and knowing how to choose the right one for the job will make a huge difference in how well your Azure environment performs, how secure it is, and how cost-effective your cloud operations are.

Storage skills are especially sought-after right now, as many organizations look to optimize their cloud spending in the face of challenging economic conditions.

Having the skills required to select, migrate to, and properly configure the most appropriate storage option—one that offers maximum performance at the lowest possible cost—will be incredibly useful for any Azure professional right now.

Head to Microsoft Learn to find out more about storing data in Azure, or dive deeper into implementing and managing storage to sharpen your storage know-how.


4. Security

Even if you’re not a dedicated cybersecurity professional, you should have a robust working knowledge of cloud security if you’re working with Azure. 

Cloud security is an arms race between organizations and bad actors, with both sides competing to harness the latest technological advancements to protect and exploit cloud environments, respectively. 

Defending Azure products and services against internal and external threats requires constant vigilance and a deep understanding of the solutions available to help safeguard them. 

The most valuable Azure professionals will not only be able to work with the platform to protect its most important assets, but they’ll also appreciate the importance of developing and communicating best practices to all users, creating a united front against increasingly complex and frequent cyber attacks. 

If you’re relatively new to club security concepts, there are some great free courses out there to give you an overview. If you’re looking to tackle more advanced subjects, you can turn to our old friend Microsoft Learn to get stuck into the finer details. Here, you’ll find intensive training content around specific Azure security tools and key cross-product practices.


3. Analytics

Data will continue its reign as the most valuable resource in the world in 2024, making analytical skills a must-have for any Azure professional. 

Organizations of every shape and size are putting more and more faith in data to help them make informed decisions. 

But gleaning actionable, accurate insight from the unfathomable amounts of data we produce every single day isn’t easy. Without the right skills on their team, many businesses find themselves harvesting huge quantities of data, and not being able to do anything useful with it. 

Today, there are countless products available to help business leaders collect, clean, and analyze data, but getting maximum return from such investments requires a skilled cloud professional who knows the ins-and-outs, dos-and-don’ts of data analytics.

As you can probably imagine, there are quite a few Azure analytics products to choose from, covering every type of data and analysis technique you could possibly need. It’s unreasonable to expect any one professional to be intimately acquainted with them all, but having an understanding of which are most suitable for what kind of project will stand you in good stead to learn more as needed.

You can start expanding your Azure data analytics knowledge by selecting a learning pathway that’s aligned to your current role (or the role you want to land in the future).

2. Databases

Given how closely tied databases are to data analytics and AI, it’s no surprise that the ability to effectively build, operate, and manage databases is a top skill that Azure customers look for. 

Businesses need fast, effective access to their data to perform at their best, which means that candidates who know how to administer, fine-tune, and maintain databases are highly regarded. 

Learning a database querying language will also be useful for working with Azure. Azure offers a family of SQL-based cloud database services built on the SQL Server engine. While many database services on Azure are SQL-based, there are also other database types to get to know, including Cosmos DB, Maria DB, and Apache Cassandra.

You could also look into Kusto Query Language (KQL), which is used to write queries in Azure Data Explorer, Azure Monitor Log Analytics, Azure Sentinel, and other Azure products.

If you’re already pretty familiar with Azure databases, it’s worth advancing your skills by learning how to make them more efficient and employ useful tools like automation


1. DevOps

A philosophy, a methodology, and a collection of tools and practices all at once, DevOps is one of those cloud tech concepts that can feel a little intangible. But when it comes to developing and innovating on Azure, DevOps skills are critical.

With its shift-left approach to traditional development, adopting a DevOps approach and making it work can be a real challenge. But if you have the skills in place to implement an effective DevOps workflow, you can bring hugely impactful benefits to your application development efforts.

Understanding how DevOps works and ensuring that principles like collaboration, automation, and continuous improvement are adhered to can make the development process faster, cheaper, more agile, and more secure. 

Proving you have these kinds of skills—the kind that can vastly improve time-to-market for any businesses developing their own applications—will make you hot property in the Azure market.  

Whether an organization is implementing a DevOps approach from scratch or is integrating practices into an existing development process, there are plenty of Azure tools available to help, giving you multiple opportunities to upskill in the future of app development. 

DevOps is all about constantly iterating and improving, so no matter where your DevOps skills sit right now, there’s always something new to learn. Jump on a learning path to broaden your understanding or find out how to automate crucial stages of the pipeline. And if you want to test out your new skills, try one of Microsoft’s Applied Skills assessments to use what you’ve learned in a practical, scenario-based lab.

Looking to find your dream role? We can help.