How Does Learning VBA Compare with Other Skills?

Expand your knowledge in VBA, an event-driven programming language utilized in most Office applications, and explore related skills to boost your career or business. Discover how you can leverage VBA to automate processes, create user-defined functions, and control various aspects of host applications such as SQL, Python, Excel, and automation.

Key Insights

  • VBA, short for Visual Basic for Applications, is a versatile programming language used in most Office applications to automate tasks, create user-defined functions, and manipulate host application components.
  • Understanding other Microsoft Office 365 applications adds value to your VBA skills as it can help streamline processes within them.
  • Learning other coding languages like SQL and Python, in conjunction with VBA, can broaden your skillset and make you more versatile in handling tasks.
  • VBA skills can be further enhanced with a deep understanding of automation, making task execution more efficient.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive in-person or live online courses for those interested in learning VBA and enhancing their career prospects.
  • Salaries for various positions that require VBA skills can vary greatly depending on the level of expertise, industry, and specific job role.

VBA, short for Visual Basic for Applications, is an event-driven programming language used in most Office applications to automate processes, create user-defined functions, and control various components of the host application, such as menus, dialog boxes, interfaces, and toolbars. An important factor in deciding to learn a new skill is researching complementary and related skills. Doing so will help you make more informed decisions about what you want to learn, and it will help you decide whether acquiring a specific skill is the right decision for you. You will also find out what kind of skills you may want to study to complement your training later on. Read on to learn more about related VBA training options such as SQL, Python, Excel, and automation.

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 Skills?

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.

Skills Related to VBA

Working with VBA is a skill that helps users perform Microsoft Office 365 tasks faster and easier. This means that the more you know about Microsoft Office 365 applications, the easier it will be to apply VBA to streamline processes within them. Because VBA is a programming language, it can be beneficial to study other coding languages alongside VBA, such as SQL and Python. In addition, since VBA automates tasks, the more familiar you are with automation, the easier it may be to acquire VBA skills. 

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a family of applications and productivity programs that includes Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, and Access, among others. This cloud-based subscription service also provides users with a range of online services like web hosting and free cloud storage. Microsoft 365 programs are widely popular in businesses of all sizes and types and in various industries due to their accessibility, ease of use, and collaboration features. Microsoft 365 users perform many tasks using this suite, like creating spreadsheets, performing word processing tasks, designing presentations, and editing spreadsheets. 

Businesses worldwide rely on the cloud services provided by Microsoft Office, which include OneDrive, Teams, Exchange, and SharePoint. They help professionals facilitate collaboration between team members, manage small and large projects, and improve workplace productivity. Teams working collaboratively on a document can use Office 365 tools to make real-time edits that all team members can see. The Teams app allows professionals to ask each other questions and receive immediate answers without having to walk away from their computers. Project Managers can assign documents to team members and then link them to their virtual calendar in Microsoft Planner, which ensures workflow can be monitored. One of the benefits of working with Office 365 is that it can be accessed from any device, even those that don’t have the program installed. Additionally, documents can be stored online, which means they won’t take up additional computer storage space.

If you’d like to learn to work with the Office 365 application Microsoft Excel, Noble Desktop’s Excel Bootcamp offers hands-on training.


Structured query language (SQL) is used to store and process the data from a relational database. A relational database is a kind of database that organizes data points based on defined relationships so that they can be easily accessed. This data is stored in tables comprising columns and rows representing various data attributes and the relationships between values. SQL statements provide a way to store, remove, update, delete, and extract data that are contained in the database. SQL also helps users maintain databases and ensure they are performing optimally. Relational databases are structured to understand SQL. SQL’s built-in language, Data Definition Language, is used to create tables. Data Manipulation Language allows SQL users to manipulate the data contained in a relational database.

Data professionals like Developers and Data Analysts often work with SQL because it can integrate seamlessly with programming languages like Java. Because SQL uses common English words in statements, most people consider this language relatively easy to learn. It can quickly process queries and provide users with multiple database views so they can better understand its content and structure. This is why major database management system vendors like Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft use SQL.

For those interested in learning to program with SQL, Noble Desktop’s SQL Bootcamp prepares participants to work with PostgreSQL for tasks like writing SQL queries and retrieving information from databases.


Python is an object-oriented programming language that provides users with dynamic semantics. This language is considered one of the most beginner-friendly programming languages available, which makes it accessible to those from a variety of professional backgrounds, such as Scientists and Accountants. Python can be used for a range of tasks, from data analytics to machine learning to artificial intelligence. It also has applications for performing data analysis, creating websites, and building software. Since it’s a general-purpose language, Python can be used to create many types of programs rather than specializing in a specific problem. 

Programmers who work with Python appreciate its features for improving productivity. Because this language doesn’t require a compilation step, they can quickly perform the edit-test-debug cycle. It also is used for back end web development tasks like URL Routing, communicating with databases, and processing data. Python’s automation capabilities allow Programmers to write code that can be used to automate repeated actions like converting files or removing data duplicates. When used for software development, Python helps Developers with tasks like resting and bug tracking. This versatile language also helps Data Analysts perform complicated statistical calculations. This programming language is often used to create data visualizations like 3D plots, pie charts, and histograms.

A great way to learn about how Python can be used for machine learning is to enroll in Noble’s Python Machine Learning Bootcamp. This course prepares participants to create their own algorithms capable of independently learning patterns and making decisions.


Since VBA allows users to automate various Microsoft 365 processes and tasks, the more of an understanding you have of automation, the easier it may be for you to master VBA. Automation involves using technology to perform tasks that would otherwise have to be executed by humans. Automation is used in many industries that require professionals to perform repetitive tasks, such as in business, finance, manufacturing, robotics, and IT systems. 

Automation is an important tool for helping organizations manage, update, and adapt their IT infrastructure. Employees who automate tasks have more time to perform other professional requirements. This not only allows them to be more productive but it also helps the organization cut down on costs and free up resources. By cutting back on the need for human intervention, automation also provides better reliability. This leads to a reduction in issues and oversights and an increase in trusted outcomes that contribute to the well-being of the entire organization.

If you’d like to learn how to automate tasks using Python, Noble’s Python for Automation course provides hands-on training on tasks like collecting, storing, and analyzing data using Python. 

Learn VBA Skills with 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 Pivot Tables. All participants have the option of a free class retake to brush up on course material. 

Key Takeaway

  • VBA is a programming language used in various Microsoft 365 applications for task automation, creating user-defined functions, and controlling host application elements like toolbars and menus.
  • VBA is commonly used for Excel tasks but also has a range of uses in other Office apps, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Access.
  • If you’re studying VBA and are interested in learning complementary skills, you may wish to explore all of Microsoft 365’s applications. You can also extend your programming knowledge to other languages, like SQL and Python. In addition, learning more about automation can help you automate tasks with VBA.
  • A great way to learn VBA is to enroll in one of Noble Desktop’s in-person or live online courses, which provide comprehensive training in this language.
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