Are you looking to learn VBA? If so, the great news is that this flexible programming language is included in most Microsoft Office applications and does not require an additional download or fee. Beyond this, you’ll want to consider the cost of VBA training. Various VBA study options are available for different costs. Online tutorials and learning materials are available for free from some educational providers, whereas courses and bootcamps may cost hundreds of dollars or more. For those interested in more comprehensive professional VBA training, certificate study in VBA and Excel is also available and can cost upwards of several thousand dollars. Read on to learn more about how much you can expect to spend on learning VBA.
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.
In-Depth Review of the Training Cost
If you want to learn more about VBA, many training options are available for different costs. Choosing which is best for you will likely depend on factors like your current schedule, ability to commute for regularly scheduled class meetings, professional goals, and the length of the program you select.
Certificate courses are usually the most expensive way to learn VBA, often costing several thousand dollars and requiring weeks or months to complete. They provide participants with intensive, well-rounded VBA and Excel training, which can prepare them for a profession working with data or help them pivot to a new career. Bootcamps in VBA are also available, and they tend to cost less than certificate study; many are available for several hundred dollars instead of thousands.
Like certificate programs, many bootcamps are available in-person and live online, providing participants with access to a live instructor who is available to answer questions and provide assistance as needed. Those who elect to study in the in-person format have access to a computer lab with the most up-to-date Excel version and other tools already installed. However, because in-person VBA study does require commuting to and from campus regularly for class meetings, it can entail an additional financial component for the commute, as well as taking off work for class meetings.
For those who want to balance VBA study around other commitments, such as their family or full-time job, another great way to learn VBA is to enroll in self-paced study. These courses are often much cheaper than live online or in-person study since they are pre-recorded. Many self-paced VBA classes are available for less than $100, though some are free from top educational providers. Various learning formats are available for those interested in self-paced study, such as online tutorials, blogs, videos, webinars, and community forums. One of the main benefits of learning VBA in the asynchronous environment is that classwork can be completed in your own time, at your own pace, which makes it a convenient and accessible learning mode for busy learners.
One important consideration with this form of study is that it doesn’t include access to an instructor, which may make it more challenging to have questions answered or work with complex programming tasks. This is why a self-paced VBA program is a great starting point for those interested in an overview of this language. However, those seeking more advanced training may be better off enrolling in classes that provide real-time access to an instructor.
Free Introductory VBA Course Online
If you’re looking for an overview of VBA but aren’t ready to commit to regularly scheduled meetings, you can start learning more about Excel and VBA for free online. In Noble Desktop’s Top 10 Beginner Excel Tricks You Need to Know webinar, participants receive an hour of instruction on fundamental Excel skills, such as autofill, absolute cell reference, data validation, and Excel shortcuts. This pre-recorded webinar provides a beginner-friendly overview of this industry-standard spreadsheet app and is a great first step toward learning more about Excel.
Other top educational providers also offer free instruction on VBA and Excel. Coursera’s Excel/VBA for Creative Problem Solving Specialization is a set of three classes that provide learners with specialized instruction on VBA and other Excel topics. This beginner-friendly specialization teaches participants how to solve creative problems using VBA and create professional VBA projects to demonstrate VBA skills. In addition, LinkedIn Learning currently offers Excel: Macros and VBA for Beginners, a 40-minute lecture on how to use VBA and create macros for cutting down on the time needed to complete repetitive Excel tasks.
Read more about free VBA videos and online tutorials.
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.