VBA Certifications and Certificates

If you’re looking for a way to demonstrate your VBA skills, you might be overwhelmed by the different certifications and certificate programs available. You may also have a lot of questions, such as whether there’s a difference between a certificate and a certification or if a certificate in VBA can help you get a job. We understand that confusion and we’re here to help. This article aims to answer these questions so you can choose the right path toward a VBA certification.

We’ll examine VBA, how it’s used skills you’ll learn with a certificate program, the kind of jobs you can get when you know VBA, the benefits of VBA certification, some top VBA certification options, and a few places where you can learn these skills. The goal of this article is to prepare you for a career using this unique programming language and ensure that you’re ready to use it every day in your career. It should get you ready for the unique demands of this skill set.

What is VBA?

VBA, which is short for Visual Basic for Applications, is the standard programming language Microsoft created to work with several Office programs. These include important Office software like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. VBA provides Microsoft users additional customizable features beyond those typically included in Office apps. For example, it can automate data collection in Excel, sort through large reams of information, and make it easier to access. Typically, users work with VBA to automate these and other similar menial tasks.

To help meet these goals, VBA has applications for automating different computer calculations and processes, accessing Windows APIs, and designing user-specific functions. Beyond these benefits, VBA can alter various graphical-user-interface features, including menus, dialogue boxes, and toolbars. It’s a powerful tool that helps people in business improve their Office programs, streamline their use, and get great results from this type of automation.

Event-Driven Design: What It Means

VBA is an event-driven language, which is a fairly modern programming concept. It’s typically used for application design and is used to capture, communicate, and process various events within software. Typically, this approach requires high customer engagement because users engage with the software in real time. Note that event-driven architecture refers to a coding approach and not a language. Many other languages use this unique design concept. 

To clarify, events are records of a change of state in a program and are ordered by their creation times. For example, VBA events include entering data in spreadsheets, sorting it with various automated programs, and creating charts to display this information. This approach has many benefits, including creating great customer service and streamlined messaging. Within VBA, this programming approach can help you streamline your Office use in various exciting ways. 

The Basic VBA Approach

As VBA is an event-driven tool, it can tell the user’s computer to execute one or more actions. It lets you create custom macros (which is short for macroinstructions) by entering commands into a coding or editing module. Macros include various characters whose input causes an output (an additional series of characters) that can accomplish various computing tasks. For example, you could automate collecting Excel information and transferring it to a separate Word document, which you could then manually arrange into a detailed report. 

When using a Microsoft app, VBA allows users to perform various functions that extend beyond word processing or spreadsheet management. By using macros, Microsoft users can make repetitive tasks easier to accomplish. That’s why many businesses often provide hands-on training for their employees to make VBA easier to understand. Furthermore, there’s no need to purchase VBA software separately since it’s included with Microsoft Office. As a result, you can try it out yourself or take courses to improve your skills with this in-demand software skill.

Benefits of Learning VBA

If you’re still on the fence about learning VBA, it’s a good idea to know a few of its many benefits. These advantages can help you transform your career in a variety of markets and ensure that you get the fantastic support that you need to thrive. Just a few of the most common advantages of learning VBA for your business use include how you can:

  • Automate Excel collection with a built-in language 
  • Utilize powerful tools to transform your Office use 
  • Cut back on repetitive tasks that take up your work time 
  • Minimize potential mistakes by automating data collection 
  • Focus on more important work, like analyzing data
  • Expand your job opportunities in exciting ways

Further Reading

If you’re still confused about VBA and its uses, you can read this informative article. It covers the history of VBA (including its launch in 1993), the many different ways it’s used everyday, various markets that utilize VBA, coding languages compatible with VBA, and courses you can take to improve your knowledge. Taking these classes can improve your skills and make programming with VBA a smoother and more efficient process for your business needs.

What Can You Do with VBA?

VBA is a diverse and powerful programming language that can help you improve your operation with apps like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Its primary goal is to expand and customize Office applications beyond what’s typically available using the apps. It’s a powerful tool that can help you not only change your interface but improve how you use your Office programs every day. Mastering it can give you total command over Office use and make it faster and more efficient.

For example, we’ve discussed how VBA instructs the computer to perform one or multiple actions. It learns these actions when you enter commands into the editing module. Based on these commands, you can create custom macros or sets of characters that perform specific computing tasks. In VBA, almost all operations that users perform in Microsoft Office with a dialogue box, keyboard, or mouse can also be accomplished using its macro tools.

Furthermore, when something is done with VBA once, you can execute it hundreds of times. In addition to using VBA to perform everyday tasks faster, it also has applications for adding functionality and interacting with those who use your documents using specific commands. Those working with VBA can write code to accomplish tasks like displaying a pop-up message reminding users to save their work to a specific network drive and much more. 

The Many Uses of VBA

While VBA is not a stand-alone language used to create software, video games, and web applications, it’s far more useful than you might think. It’s a powerful and diverse language with a broad scope that might surprise you. Anyone who regularly uses Excel and other office programs will find it essential when performing tasks like the following.

Solving Complex Calculations 

VBA Solver is a powerful tool for Excel programs that helps you quickly and efficiently solve complex calculations. For example, if you’re collecting multiple columns of data with complex percentages that require in-depth formulas to complete, Excel VBA Solver can streamline this process and make it far easier. You won’t have to struggle with the sometimes baffling nature of Excel formulas because Solver will automate them for you and improve your work. 

Just as importantly, you can use Solver and other similar macros to collate large reams of data, sort through them effectively, and make understanding them easier. For instance, you could use Solver to calculate the mean variations between multiple data points in different sets and automatically compare them without having to do the work yourself. That kind of process makes VBA a must-have skill set for anyone who uses Microsoft Office for data management.

Formatting Text

Have you ever worked on a spreadsheet for months and realized you didn’t use a coherent formatting system for the text? While that might not be a big problem for personal spreadsheet use, spreadsheet text consistency makes your sheets look more professional and helps improve their readability. Rather than going through your cells manually to fix these errors, you can use VBA to format your text in a variety of ways using a myriad of different macros and functions. 

For instance, you can use the Range.NumberFormat property to identify cells you want to format and set them up as text cells. You can also use the VBA Format function to identify how you want to change the text, such as integrating the sentence case for your text or capitalizing every word. Powerful macros like these make it easier to format your text immediately and minimize the boring and unnecessary task of manually checking each cell for formatting errors.

Merging Worksheets

Typically, merging your worksheets manually is a nightmare that requires you to scroll through vast amounts of data, copy and paste information, reformat it to properly fit the cells, and double-check for any mistakes or unnecessary extra entries. However, VBA lets you create macros to merge your spreadsheets into one sheet without that extra work. You can merge two or more spreadsheets this way to create a large and streamlined data management tool. 

Note that this process requires a strong understanding of VBA and what kind of data you want to merge. You’ll have to understand how to quickly and efficiently process this information, how you want to present it in the spreadsheet, and other important skills. However, once you master this ability, you’ll have a reputation as a spreadsheet wizard in your office. You might even become the go-to option for such tasks, so be ready for that kind of extra work.

UI Customizing

Excel’s UI is well designed but might not be suitable for you. For instance, you might not like how the menus are laid out or feel like important actions you like to use regularly get buried in sub-menus. Did you know that you can easily change that by using VBA? While it does take a pretty advanced knowledge of this coding language, you can change up the menus and user interfaces of all of your Office software to make them more compatible to your needs. 

The great thing about VBA is that you can change the presentation and layout of your UI without messing up its usability. That’s because you can’t tap into the actual Microsoft coding that makes this interface usable. Instead, you can mostly change its appearance, meaning that putting, say, your “File” menu along the left side of the screen instead of the top won’t affect its functionality. In this way, you can avoid breaking Office and make it unusable by mistake.

Data Cleaning and Formatting

Properly cleaning and formatting your data in your spreadsheets can ensure that it’s free of mistakes and easier to process. However, going through all of your cells and performing these steps by hand is tedious, time-consuming, and pointless if you have VBA. This powerful coding language lets you clean up and format your cells to not only eliminate unnecessary and messy cells but to format them properly to improve readability and presentation immeasurably. 

For instance, you could write a VBA program to automatically reformat time cells to use the Military Time format. Rather than going through each cell and applying the proper formulas, your macro would search your entire document in seconds, find every time-based cell, and apply the right formatting. Imagine the time you can save in your job if you can automate tedious and uninteresting tasks like these and how you could use that time to perform important duties.

Table of Contents Creation 

VBA coding steps let you take information from your spreadsheets to create a table of contents quickly and efficiently. It even lets you create hyperlinks that take you directly to multiple sheets to streamline your information management. VBA provides built-in table-of-contents support, meaning you can create advanced navigational tools using a few simple button presses. That powerful support gives VBA a scope that goes far beyond simply automating tasks.

As a result, VBA is a great tool for anyone preparing massive spreadsheet databases for their job. For instance, if you’re sharing financial data with your whole team, a table of contents can help them get to their specific sheet quickly and efficiently. That can improve their reading time and minimize confusion. Furthermore, it can ensure that everyone can scroll through your database during presentations to read about important financial data for themselves.

VBA Careers

There are many careers throughout the market that may need someone with VBA skills. These diverse job roles will include multiple industries that could surprise you. Most are probably pretty predictable because they’ll include positions that require you to manage large amounts of data. If you’re someone in the following careers, learning VBA may be a smart decision:

  • Data Science Managers: As a Data Science Manager, you’ll make an average of $156,000 in the United States and up to $172,000. Your job roles will include collecting information and presenting it with spreadsheets. VBA can help streamline this process and make it more efficient.
  • Programmers: Depending on your job as a Programmer, you might need to know VBA to gather information about your software and make it easier to understand. You can make an average of $69,000 in this career field though some earn as high as $80,000.
  • Data Warehouse Managers: As a Data Warehouse Manager, you might use VBA to collect data quickly and make it easier to share with your consumers. You can make an average of $153,000 in this field in the nation or up to $168,000 in the highest-paying professions within this market.
  • Corporate Secretaries: When you work as a Corporate Secretary, you can make a median of $233,000 or $290,000 every year. This job requires high-level skills, including VBA programming, that can make collecting and presenting information more efficient.
  • Accountants and Financial Specialists: Working as an Accountant may require you to use VBA regularly to handle various account information. It improves your data collection and minimizes your potential mistakes. You can make an average of $88,000 in this career in the United States.

Certifications vs. Certificates: What’s the Difference?

If you’re interested in pursuing certifications or certificates in VBA, you may not be sure how they differ. You’re not alone because many people mistake them. However, it’s critical to know the differences because they aren’t even remotely the same. VBA certificates generally involve participating in a completion-based program. Learners who finish the required coursework earn a certification that indicates their VBA skills. As a result, they’re designed more for beginners.

There are many VBA certificates available on the market that can improve your general knowledge. These include in-person or online courses that help you master VBA quickly and efficiently. Once you complete one of these programs, you’ll have a completion certificate that you can share either physically or digitally. For example, you could print your certificate and include it with a job cover letter or upload the digital version to your LinkedIn profile. 

By contrast, VBA certifications require that learners pass an exam in VBA administered by a third party. This indicates that they’ve achieved mastery of core VBA concepts and skills. You won’t take extra learning with a certification test because you can’t sign up for one without specific qualifications. Some demand lots of work hours using VBA, while others require you to complete training programs. Once you pass, you get a professional-grade title for your resume.

Choosing the Best Option

If you have no or little experience with VBA, we strongly suggest starting with a certificate first. That kind of job training can help you master the basics of VBA and get you started on the path towards mastery. Often, people get a VBA certificate before applying for certification to make this process easier. Many employers look for people with both certifications and certifications, so it’s worth getting both if you’re completely new to VBA and want to stand out in your field. 

By contrast, certifications work best if you already have experience with VBA and want to improve your job opportunities even further. Simply put, VBA certification helps you stand out compared to people without it. Your employer will know you fully understand this program and can integrate it into your Office use. Even if VBA knowledge isn’t strictly necessary for your job type, knowing this skill can still make it easier for you to find a career and thrive in it. 

Whether you select a certificate in VBA or certification with this programming language, both achievements are a great way to stand out from other job applicants who may simply have “VBA proficiency” listed as a skill on their resume. Earning a certification or completing a certificate program is an excellent way to demonstrate to employers that you have mastered real-world VBA skills and have the knowledge to automate repetitive tasks in Microsoft Office..

Top Certifications & Certificates for VBA

If you’re interested in mastering VBA for your career, there are several certificate and certification options you can consider. Each provides you with a unique array of learning opportunities that can streamline your education and improve your overall VBA mastery. We broke your options down by institution, including courses available directly from Microsoft. While not all provide direct VBA training, most touch on this language in important ways.

Microsoft Options

Although there isn’t a Microsoft exam that specifically tests VBA proficiency, it does offer an Office Specialist: Excel Associate Certification for those who intend to use VBA to help with their spreadsheet needs. This exam covers core Excel skills, such as designing and managing worksheets and workbooks, making tables, using functions, and creating formulas. You’ll also master working with cell ranges and other unique skill sets to improve your abilities.

Microsoft estimates that those seeking this level of instruction should have accumulated about 150 hours of hands-on training and instruction working with Excel and would be able to enter the job market at the industry-associate level. Even if it doesn’t focus specifically on VBA, you can learn many of the necessary skills to practice this powerful language. In this way, you should feel more comfortable using Excel and 

Similarly, Microsoft offers Excel users the MO-200: Microsoft Excel (Office 2019) exam. Those who pass this exam have demonstrated their ability to design and edit workbooks containing multiple sheets and visually represent data via graphics. You must be able to work with various workbook examples, such as sales invoices, financial statements, budgets, team performance charts, and data-entry logs. To pass this exam, individuals must know the correct application of core Excel features and be able to complete tasks without the help of any outside resources.

Career Centers Options 

If the Microsoft programs mentioned above don’t appeal to you, there are many other training types to consider. For example, Career Centers is a trusted educational team that provides various in-person and online training courses to a myriad of different people. Their classes focus heavily on tech-based careers and office skills, including working with Microsoft Office. Though they don’t have a VBA option, they do have classes that focus on Excel-related skills.

For example, its Excel Specialist Certificate Program is a course designed to prepare students to pass the Microsoft Excel Certification exam. In this class, you’ll learn the skills to progress from Excel beginner to advanced spreadsheet use. In addition to learning core Excel concepts, all class participants receive private tutoring before the exam and are also given lifetime access to a host of self-paced Excel learning materials to improve their abilities.

Career Centers also offers the Excel Expert Certificate Program that covers many of the same subjects to improve your abilities exponentially. Like all Career Centers programs, you get private tutoring, lifetime access to tutoring materials, and unique, hands-on support from a team of experts. Their in-person and online courses provide some of the best and most fascinating learning opportunities for people looking to expand their Excel and VBA knowledge.

Coursera Options 

Coursera is a great training facility that provides support for a variety of online learning options. They pair with educational teams from around the nation, including colleges, universities, and private learning institutions to create a diverse and useful platform. Their classes provide benefits like flexible schedules, personalized support, and skilled instructors with years of experience in VBA. The sheer number of VBA courses available make it a great option. 

For example, LearnQuest provides Introduction to Computer Programming With Visual Basic Specialization on this platform. Available in eight languages, this class teaches you various usable skills using hands-on projects and self-directed classes. Though you can take this class at whatever pace you want, its professor is available to help correct your mistakes, teach you better coding skills, and ensure that you’re ready for the unique world of VBA coding. 

Excel Skills for Business Specialization from Macquarie University provides beginner-level support learning Excel and some VBA skills. Taught by several highly accomplished professors, this course has helped over half a million people learn Excel at their pace. You’ll not only learn how to navigate the Excel interface but enter, manipulate, and format data properly. More advanced skills include formulas, data validation, and error management.

Should I Get Certified in VBA?

Getting certified in VBA is a personal choice and likely will depend on several factors. It’s a smart choice if you want to stand out in your field and attract more potential employers. Though few jobs might require you to get certified in VBA, it may help you look better than candidates who didn’t get certification. It shows that you’ve gone out of your way to master Office and VBA. Employers who want a skilled and adaptable employee may appreciate you having one. 

That said, it might not be a great idea if your employer has little interest in people with VBA skills. For example, while some professions require professional certifications to demonstrate that candidates have acquired proficiency with a tool or application, other employers simply seek applicants who have worked with Excel and have a working knowledge of this spreadsheet tool. You might never use VBA, which could make certification unnecessary.

However, whether you pursue certification or certificate study in Excel, spreadsheet knowledge is a must in many professions. Even if your employer doesn’t ask you to use VBA, certification is still a great way to let employers know that you are prepared to effectively and efficiently manage data on an Excel worksheet. Furthermore, it shows that you care about your position and are willing to work hard to stand out in a way that few other candidates will try. 

Here’s a fact that’s worth considering: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 5.7% of all civilian jobs require a certification. By contrast, 45.2% require a credential while 19% require a license. Of those with a certification, 10.8% came from office and administrative support workers. Those numbers showcase the critical importance of standing out in a competitive field. A VBA certificate can provide you with the support you need to improve your job chances.

How to Get Certified in VBA

Although certification in VBA is not currently available, certificate training options are available for those who want to learn how this programming language works in Excel. For example, we highlighted a few Microsoft certification courses for Excel and several other unique certificate classes above. If you take Excel certification tests, you’ll get a professional-level title that you can use to stand out. Then, you can get a certificate from a VBA bootcamp. 

Enrolling in certificate study in VBA or a bootcamp in Excel is another excellent option that can help you gain a mastery of advanced Excel automation. These courses typically follow a pretty similar path that makes them worth consideration. Though their training courses will vary based on many factors, including their format, they typically include a myriad of hands-on classes with real-world projects that can improve your knowledge. These educational steps include:

  1. Choosing a class that interests you and signing up for it, paying the fee and setting aside the appropriate time 
  2. Attending classes as they occur and performing all of its important tasks, such as completing basic VBA programs and modules 
  3. Practicing your programming outside of class to reinforce what you’ve learned and to master practical skills in this field 
  4. Completing the course following its structure, including hands-on and structured lessons, as well as more in-depth self-guided options 
  5. Utilizing the “after study” guides that often include things like extra learning modules, practical exercises, and other fun ideas that can reinforce your education

These steps can help you master VBA and become skilled in its many unique macros and coding syntax. If you’re still confused, you can ask questions on sites like Stack Overflow, which provides useful answers to tough programming issues. Their section about VBA includes a myriad of different topics that can make your learning easier. Remember: mastering programming is all about what you do after you finish your bootcamp. Regular practice and practical exercises can ensure that you get the best results possible for your needs.

Learn VBA with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

A great way to learn about VBA is to sign up for in-person or live online VBA coursework. Noble Desktop provides a broad range of different courses that can improve your skills and ensure that you’re comfortable working with this programming language. It provides expert instruction on Excel topics such as VBA in its in-person and live online Excel Bootcamp. This course and many others can provide you with many important skills to improve your VBA capabilities. 

Those who sign up for Noble Desktop classes receive hands-on training in real-world Excel skills, such as how to work with PivotTables, macros, formulas, and functions. Its in-person programs are available in New York City, so if you live in or near this great city, you can travel here for expert help. That said, most people take online Noble Desktop courses because they provide a broad range of unique benefits that make them stand out compared to others. 

For example, they typically provide small courses, meaning that your questions don’t get buried and lost in discussion. Even better, most provide one-on-one support that makes it easier for you to master this important coding language. Below, we’ll take a more in-depth examination of the classes available online with Noble Desktop. Please choose an option that seems right to you to get the best overall support needed to master VBA ASAP.

Excel Programming with VBA Bootcamp

In Excel Programming With VBA Bootcamp, you’ll get hands-on support learning fundamental VBA concepts, such as applying macros to real-world situations and performing Excel automation for repetitive tasks. This class is offered live online and in-person in Manhattan. It’s designed as a beginner course for VBA, meaning that prior VBA knowledge isn’t necessary to take this course. That said, you should have intermediate Excel skills before signing up.

These abilities include things like a familiarity with VLOOKUP, IF statements, and PivotTables. Mastering these advanced tasks should make it easier for you to understand VBA and improve your skills. As you complete each lesson, you’ll use abilities mastered in previous lessons to reinforce your current learning. Even better, all participants have the option of a free class retake to brush up on course material. This helps improve your chances of mastery.

Excel Bootcamp

Briefly discussed above, Excel Bootcamp is a worthwhile class for anyone interested in mastering Excel and its many functions. While not designed specifically for VBA, it does teach you about functions, formulas, Pivot Tables, and time-saving skills. That said, it does cover macros on an entry level, meaning you can practice them before moving onto more VBA-focused courses. Note that you also get setup assistance when taking online classes.

This class covers three days and includes three different modules: Excel for Business Fundamentals, Intermediate Excel for Business, and Advanced Excel for Business. You can take these classes separately, if you want, but can only take the intermediate and advanced programs after taking the previous modules. Taking them in this three-day format can save you money, improve your learning experience, and ensure that you understand Excel and VBA.

Excel Level I: Fundamentals

Excel Level I: Fundamentals covers essential Excel functions, formatting, and printing procedures. It’s designed as a beginner-level course that introduces you to the important skills necessary to progress towards VBA mastery. For example, you’ll learn about calculations, basic functions, printing, and formatting. Even if you’ve already learned a little Excel, this course may be useful to catch up to changes in the program or refresh your skillset. 

In this program, you’ll get a comprehensive Excel video suite that covers everything about this class and beyond. You’ll get access to these videos for up to a year after you complete your learning, meaning you can keep refreshing your knowledge base. We strongly recommend this program if you have no Excel experience and want to slowly learn VBA. Think of it as laying the groundwork for your programming: you’ll know exactly what elements it can affect.

Excel Level II: Intermediate 

Excel Level II: Intermediate provides students with instruction on core Excel concepts, like summarizing data using PivotTables, functions such as VLOOKUP and SUMIFs, and performing Sort & Filter on databases. Like with all Noble Desktop courses, you get the benefits of a small class size, expert instructors, and even setup assistance. Furthermore, you will build on the lessons learned in the first class to give you the background you need for Excel coding. 

Note that you have to take Excel Fundamentals or an equivalent before this class, so don’t try to sign up if you haven’t completed it yet. Furthermore, it’s important to know that this class is technically part of the Excel Bootcamp we discussed earlier. We highlight it here in case you completed other classes in the bootcamp and aren’t sure what it provides. It’s also a great step if you’re taking courses slowly due to time commitments and can’t do the bootcamp at once.

Excel Level III: Advanced

Excel Level III: Advanced is geared toward those with a solid background in using Excel but who want to learn complex database functions such as INDEX and MATCH, creating macros, and using What-If Analysis. You’ll need to take the Intermediate Excel course before you take this class or an equivalent. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to take each bootcamp class if you have learned Excel skills elsewhere and feel comfortable with them. 

By the time you get to this program, you should be ready to handle VBA coding. You’ll practice various macros in this class, which can give you the insight you need to start. While VBA programming is not the main focus of this class, its subtle introduction is a great way to get you started. We strongly recommend it if you’re gearing up to a specific VBA training program and want to polish your skills. It’s an option that’s hard to beat if you’re ready to learn.

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