Comparison of VBA Training Formats

Discover the power of VBA, Microsoft's robust programming language embedded within its Office applications, and how it can enhance and automate your tasks. Explore various training options available to master VBA, from live in-person and online classes to self-paced classes, introductory courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs.

Key Takeaways:

  • VBA is Microsoft's programming language integrated into its core Microsoft 365 applications, enabling users to customize their user experience and automate repetitive tasks.
  • Various learning formats are available for VBA, including live in-person classes, online real-time classes, and self-paced pre-recorded classes, offering flexibility for different learning preferences and schedules.
  • In addition to standalone classes, comprehensive VBA training is also available through certificate programs providing extensive instruction on Excel's VBA language and other related topics.
  • For more focused and shorter course of study, bootcamps offer an excellent choice. Moreover, for beginners, affordable introductory-level courses are available to get started with VBA programming.
  • Noble Desktop offers both in-person and live online courses for comprehensive VBA instruction, equipped to meet the needs of beginners and advanced learners alike.
  • Salaries for positions requiring VBA skills vary widely, but mastering VBA can open doors to a range of lucrative roles in data analysis, business intelligence, and more.

VBA, which is short for Visual Basic for Applications. This Microsoft programming language is human-readable and is generated each time you record a macro in Excel. It has uses for automating repetitive tasks and customizing various Microsoft 365 applications. Once you’ve decided to learn VBA, the next important question is deciding how it is you plan to learn these skills. Most students find that they learn better when they receive guided training, and there is no shortage of available options for students to receive guidance in their VBA studies. To learn more about the different VBA training options and what advantages and disadvantages they carry with them, read on.

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.

Why Training Format Matters

Selecting a training format for your Excel VBA studies is an important decision for learners. Some individuals prefer to study in a traditional classroom environment or computer lab, whereas other learners are more comfortable completing coursework virtually. Professionals interested in learning VBA may also need to schedule their studies around other commitments, which can influence their selected training format. The good news is that there are many excellent training options available to learn VBA. 

Types of Training Formats

Both in-person and online training is available for those who wish to learn VBA. in-person and live online coursework occurs in real-time, whereas on-demand and free content is pre-recorded. The following sections will take a brief look at VBA training options, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. 

Live In-Person Classes

In-person VBA courses are an interactive and engaging way to study this programming language. Students who attend in-person courses are taught by a live instructor who leads the classroom discussion. Participants can take advantage of a computer lab that provides the most up-to-date software and tools. The instructor has real-world experience with VBA and can provide individual support and feedback to help students master complex automation tasks. In-person training also allows participants to network with other learners, a benefit that will extend well beyond the walls of the classroom. For extroverted learners, in-person study is a great way to acquire VBA training.

In-person VBA training requires that participants attend regularly scheduled class meetings. This may mean having to take off work or rearrange your schedule to accommodate VBA study, as well as additional costs associated with gas or parking. In addition, students who choose to learn in this format must be able to commute to and from each meeting, which means they must live near an educational provider.

Live Online Classes

If you’re a learner who appreciates studying in the live format, another option you may consider is live online VBA coursework. Unlike in-person study, which requires commuting to and from campus for each class meeting, live online training takes place remotely. Participants can complete their lessons from anywhere with a strong internet connection, such as at their home or office. Live online training gives learners access to a live instructor who provides hands-on training using VBA. Students can ask questions as they arise and receive individualized support and guidance. Best of all, there’s no need to battle rush-hour traffic or waste time searching for parking when attending class.

Because live online VBA classes meet regularly, if you choose to study in this format, you must ensure you can attend scheduled class meetings. This may require rearranging your work schedule or fitting study around family or other personal commitments. 

On-Demand Classes

On-demand VBA coursework is also available. This form of study is the most flexible. Those who learn VBA in the on-demand format can complete coursework from any location at any time. They can also work independently, completing lessons as their schedule permits. This makes on-demand coursework a good option for those interested in acquiring VBA training around other commitments, such as travel, full-time employment, and family functions. Because video and written content is pre-recorded, it can be watched repeatedly and paused as needed to facilitate note-taking and optimal retention.

If you’re interested in learning VBA through asynchronous training materials, it’s important to select the most up-to-date content. Since so many online resources are available for self-paced study, you will want to choose content from a reputable educational provider to ensure you receive instruction that will benefit you professionally. Another important consideration for on-demand coursework is that you won’t have access to a live instructor as you would in in-person and live online training. This means you’ll have to find answers to any VBA-related questions independently. This can make it challenging to master more complex or advanced VBA tasks. For this reason, on-demand coursework is a good starting point for your VBA learning journey. However, if you’re seeking more in-depth instruction, live coursework may be a better option to teach you the skills you’ll need to grow professionally.

Free Courses 

Free VBA coursework is another training option for those interested in exploring this programming language. Top educators like Udemy and Coursera offer free classes on various programming languages like VBA. Course content is generally pre-recorded and comprises videos, YouTube channels, written tutorials, quizzes, and other learning materials. 

Because there is no financial commitment involved, free VBA classes can provide a low-stakes way to get started working with VBA. 

Similar to other self-paced coursework, it’s important to research free VBA learning materials to make sure the ones you select are current and reflect the most recent version of Office 365. It’s also essential to remember that you won’t have access to an instructor who can answer questions when studying VBA through free learning materials. This is why free courses are generally a good option for learners interested in an overview of VBA. However, if you’re learning this language to help you complete work projects or automate tasks for professional reasons, you may wish to explore in-person or live online coursework, which provides you with access to an instructor in real-time.

Depth of Training Formats

Another important consideration when studying VBA is the depth of training you require. For those interested in rigorous instruction, certificate programs are available. Individuals seeking more specialized training may wish to explore bootcamps or introductory-level classes.

Certificate Programs

If you want to master VBA and other advanced functions, certificate study is a good option. Participants in certificate programs receive hands-on training from industry experts with real-world experience using VBA to automate tasks and customize their Office 365 experience. Certificates are typically extended programs that last several weeks or months and prepare students for a career working with data. These programs are offered in in-person and online formats. Some certificates focus exclusively on Office 365 or a specific Office application like Excel, whereas others are broader in scope and include training in a range of related skills, such as data analytics or data science. Certificates usually cost several thousand dollars to complete. Some include added perks like 1-on-1 mentoring or career coaching with tuition.

Noble Desktop’s Data Analytics Certificate is a good learning option if you’d like to learn how to work with Excel VBA and other Excel features and functions. This program teaches participants to work with data analytics tools like SQL, Python, Tableau, and Excel.

Training Bootcamps

If you’re interested in focusing your studies on one skill rather than learning several data analytics tools, a training bootcamp is an excellent option. Bootcamps are offered in many Excel-related topics, such as VBA and macros, as well as on working with the entire Excel spreadsheet application. Participants in these programs work in the in-person or live online format. Bootcamps are usually shorter than certificates and take just days or weeks to complete. They also tend to be a more affordable learning alternative, costing several hundred to several thousand dollars. These courses provide an excellent way for professionals to acquire specific skills to help them perform work-related tasks and complete professional projects.

A great way to learn more about Excel features and functions like Pivot Tables macros is to enroll in Noble Desktop’s Excel Bootcamp

Introductory Courses

If you’re just getting started working with Excel or are new to using VBA, an introductory-level course is a good place to start. These classes are generally short in duration and can be completed in just one day or several days. Since they are intended for beginners, there are no prerequisites, which means that those from all backgrounds can feel comfortable in this learning environment since no advanced training is required. Another benefit to intro-level VBA coursework is the cost. These courses are generally an affordable learning option, costing several hundred dollars or less. Some introductory material is even available for free. Those who wish to learn how to code with VBA can study one introductory-level class or take multiple courses to build on their skill set and develop related skills with Excel or other Office 365 applications.

If you’re just getting started working with Excel, you may wish to sign up for Noble’s Excel Level 1: Fundamentals. Participants receive instruction on Excel basics, like performing basic calculations, creating graphs, formatting spreadsheets, and printing. Noble also offers Excel Programming with VBA for those interested in working specifically with this programming language. This course teaches students how to automate repetitive tasks using VBA, as well as how to work with macros.

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 Takeaways

  • VBA is the programming language built into core Microsoft 365 applications that allow users to customize their user experience as well as automate certain repetitive tasks. 
  • If you’re looking to learn VBA, live courses are available in-person and in the online format. In addition, self-paced study options are also offered. These courses are pre-recorded and can be completed remotely around other commitments.
  • Those seeking rigorous VBA training may wish to enroll in a certificate program, which will provide comprehensive training using Excel’s VBA language and other related topics. Bootcamps provide learners with a more focused and shorter course of study. In addition, introductory-level coursework in VBA is also available, which provides a short course of study that’s largely affordable for those who are new to VBA programming.
  • Those who wish to learn more about using VBA in Excel can enroll in one of Noble Desktop’s in-person or live online courses for comprehensive instruction.
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