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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. This article aims to answer these questions so you can efficiently choose the right path toward a VBA certification. Keep reading to find out more.

What is VBA?

VBA, which is short for Visual Basic for Applications, is the standard programming language Microsoft created to be used in several Office programs, such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. VBA provides Microsoft users additional customizable features beyond those typically included in Office apps. Although VBA isn’t a stand-alone program, it can alter various graphical-user-interface features, including menus, dialogue boxes, and toolbars. Additionally, VBA has applications for automating different computer calculations and processes, accessing Windows APIs, and designing user-defined functions.

Because VBA is an event-driven tool, it can tell the user’s computer to execute one or more actions. To do so, you create custom macros (which is short for macroinstructions) by entering commands into a module devoted to editing. Macros are comprised of various characters whose input causes an output (an additional series of characters) that is capable of accomplishing different computing tasks. 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. There’s no need to purchase VBA software separately since it’s included with Microsoft Office.

Read more about what VBA is and why you should learn it

What Can You Do with VBA?

VBA, or Visual Basic for Applications, is Microsoft’s internal programming language for apps like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. This versatile language allows users to further customize Office applications beyond the options typically available using host apps. VBA functions by manipulating features of the graphical user interface, like dialogue boxes, menus, and toolbars. It also has applications for creating user-defined functions and automating computer calculations and processes. 

Because it is an event-driven tool, you can use VBA to instruct the computer to perform one or multiple actions. By entering commands into an editing module, Office users can create custom macros or sets of characters that, when entered, result in a new output that can perform specific computing tasks. A few examples of repetitive tasks VBA can automate are data cleaning and formatting, capitalizing text, creating a table of contents, merging multiple worksheets, and solving complex calculations.

One of the main benefits of working with VBA is that almost all operations that users can perform in Microsoft Office with a dialogue box, keyboard, or mouse can also be accomplished using VBA. And, when something is done with VBA once, you can execute it just as efficiently hundreds of times. In addition to using VBA to perform everyday tasks faster, it also has applications for adding functionality to different Office apps, as well as interacting with those who use your documents in a manner that’s specific to your professional needs. 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.

Certifications vs. Certificates: What’s the Difference?

If you’re interested in pursuing certification or certificate study in VBA, you may not be sure what the difference is between these two learning options. Typically, 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. On the other hand, certificates generally involve participating in a completion-based program. Learners who finish the required coursework earn a certification that indicates their VBA skills. 

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 use this flexible language to automate repetitive tasks in the Microsoft Office environment.

Top Certifications & Certificates for VBA

Although there isn’t a Microsoft exam that specifically tests VBA proficiency, Microsoft 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 formulas, and working with cell ranges. It’s estimated that those seeking this level of instruction 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. 

Microsoft also offers the MO-200: Microsoft Excel (Office 2019) exam. Those who pass this exam for Excel certification have demonstrated their ability to design and edit workbooks containing multiple sheets and visually represent data via graphic elements. Test-takers 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.

In addition to the certifications offered by Microsoft, other educational providers also provide Excel and Office certifications. Career Centers Excel Specialist Certificate Program was designed to prepare students to pass the Microsoft Excel Certification exam. Those enrolled learn the skills to take them from Excel beginners to advanced spreadsheet users. In addition to learning core Excel concepts, all participants receive private tutoring before the exam and are also given lifetime access to a host of self-paced Excel learning materials.

Noble Desktop provides expert instruction on Excel topics such as VBA in its in-person and live online Excel Bootcamp. Those who sign up for this course receive hands-on training in real-world Excel skills, such as how to work with PivotTables, macros, formulas, and functions. This bootcamp is broken into three smaller classes, ranging from beginner-level Excel for Business training to intermediate and advanced topics. 

Should I Get Certified in VBA?

Getting certified in VBA is a personal choice and likely will depend on several factors. Although 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. Whether you pursue certification or certificate study in Excel, spreadsheet knowledge is a must in many professions. It is a great way to let employers know that you are prepared to effectively and efficiently manage data on an Excel worksheet.

How to Get Certified in VBA

Although certification in VBA is not currently available, certificate study and certifications are available for those who want to learn how this programming language works in Excel. Certification is currently offered from Microsoft in Excel and requires passing an exam. Those who pass are awarded a certification. In addition, enrolling in certificate study in VBA or a bootcamp in Excel is another excellent option to gain a mastery of advanced Excel automation.

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’s Excel Programming with VBA Bootcamp is a hands-on course that teaches students fundamental VBA concepts, such as applying macros to real-world situations and performing Excel automation for repetitive tasks. This class is offered in the live online format and in-person in Manhattan. Although prior VBA knowledge isn’t necessary to take this course, participants should have intermediate Excel skills, such as familiarity with VLOOKUP, IF statements, and PivotTables. All participants have the option of a free class retake to brush up on course material. 

If you’re looking to learn more about how VBA is used in Excel, Noble also offers several live online and in-person Excel courses. Excel Programming with VBA teaches students how to create macros that automate Excel tasks, even ones in which the data isn’t consistently formatted. For beginners, Excel Level I: Fundamentals is also available, which covers essential Excel functions, formatting, and printing procedures. 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. In addition, 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.

Key Takeaways

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