What Can You Do with VBA Skills?

Learn about the career paths and opportunities for those with VBA knowledge.

Discover the diverse uses of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), a programming language integrated into various Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Enhance your career prospects and streamline personal projects by mastering VBA's capabilities, from automating repetitive tasks to designing user-defined functions.

Key Insights

  • VBA allows users to execute various actions in Office applications, including altering graphical-user-interface features and automating different computing processes.
  • Professionals such as VBA Developers and VBA Programmers use VBA to simplify complex formulas, automate routine tasks, and facilitate collaboration in the workplace.
  • VBA can provide cost-effective solutions for data management and analytics, making it a more affordable choice for organizations compared to other expensive software.
  • The utilization of VBA can significantly decrease the turnaround time in data-intensive fields like finance and data analytics, even providing templates to expedite the process further.
  • VBA helps ensure privacy, offering an effective means to hide and protect sensitive information, codes, and formulas in an Excel workbook.
  • VBA skills can lead to enhanced salaries with professionals like VBA Developers and VBA Programmers relying heavily on this language in their work.

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the event-driven programming language created by Microsoft. It’s integrated into several Office applications, like Access, Word, and Excel. This programming language provides Office users with access to functions that aren’t available in Office apps. If you are unsure whether learning VBA is right for you, consider reading on to find out more about the myriad uses of VBA tools and techniques. Not only will studying VBA open up a number of new career opportunities, but it also has several personal uses.

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

Professional Uses for VBA

Many professionals, such as VBA Developers and VBA Programmers, rely on VBA to complete a range of everyday tasks. Not only is VBA useful for speeding up routine processes, but it also can reduce costs, facilitate collaboration, and promote privacy. The following sections will take a brief look at some of the applications of VBA for these professionals, as well as how this language helps them work more effectively and efficiently. 

Simplify Complicated Formulas

VBA Bootcamp: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, Learn From Experts, Free Retake, Small Class Sizes,  1-on-1 Bonus Training. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

VBA Bootcamp

  • Live & Hands-on
  • In NYC or Online
  • Learn from Experts
  • Free Retake
  • Small Class Sizes
  • 1-on-1 Bonus Training

Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, and Time Out

Learn More

When working with VBA Excel, you can transform long, complex operational formulas into VBA codes. These codes are much easier for most audience members to understand when they’re included on a sheet. Converting formulas into VBA codes is sometimes used in professional settings for a range of management tasks that involve simplifying information so that it’s more accessible to a wider audience.

Automate Reports & Tasks

The most common application of VBA is automating tasks that must be completed regularly. This language provides users with commands for various tasks, as well as specific instructions to Excel so that the functions can be performed. In positions where individuals routinely analyze and compare data, VBA’s macros automation capabilities are often used so these tasks can be completed much faster. Automating tasks with VBA isn’t reserved for Excel; those who know how to use this language can apply it to other Office apps, such as Word and PowerPoint, among others.

Provide Money-Saving Solutions

The software many professionals use to manage and analyze data can be quite expensive, especially when it’s used by all employees within an organization. This can make some tools cost-prohibitive for organizations, in particular those with a large number of employees. Working with Excel VBA provides many of the same options as other data analytics and management software and yields the same results. It’s also typically a much more affordable option for organizations.

Save Time

Timing is essential in some professions, such as data analytics and finance. Professionals who work with data must perform tasks quickly. However, speeding up work can sometimes lead to mistakes, which can significantly impact the organization. Even in a time crunch, Financial Analysts and Data Analysts must ensure they are working accurately. VBA is a great tool for cutting down on turnaround time. It only requires that users provide it with a command, and it can generate a report. In addition, many templates are available, which can be used to save even more time.

Collaborate with Coworkers

When you give commands to VBA Excel or write code, it’s available to anyone you share the file with. This eliminates the hassle of having to share items separately. This makes it much more convenient to collaborate with others in your workplace, especially if you work for a large company. In the event that you accidentally make a mistake, your coworkers can immediately fix it.

Ensure Privacy

In some work scenarios, it’s essential to hide the information and formulas contained in an Excel workbook to ensure privacy. This is sometimes the case when working with sensitive information that can’t be shown on the sheet. Instead of having to spend extra time hiding each code, VBA can do it much easier and faster. This programming language makes it easy to protect codes, formulas, and workbooks. It’s therefore an effective tool for preventing data breaches.

Spur Action

Another collaborative VBA feature is its ability to interact with users. In situations where you need someone’s input, such as for them to enter their first and last name on a form, VBA can provide this user with a prompt. Doing so will ensure that their input is mandatory.

Other Uses for VBA

You don’t have to be a data professional to use VBA to streamline tasks and save time. Anyone who regularly works with Microsoft Office 365 can use VBA to streamline personal projects and perform other time-saving tasks. The following sections will take a brief look at a few non-professional uses of VBA.

Repurpose Word Commands

Although VBA is most commonly used for Excel tasks, it also is helpful for Microsoft Word users. For professionals who regularly use Word, such as Journalists or Freelance Writers, built-in commands can be a time-saving tool that helps you complete tasks much faster than manually performing actions like saving, bolding, or italicizing text. Few Word users realize they can repurpose nearly all of this app’s built-in commands to include additional tasks. This provides a way for Word users who know how to work with VBA to customize commands they regularly use to reduce time.

Automate PowerPoint Tasks

If you’re a student who regularly uses PowerPoint, manually editing slides can take hours. You can use PowerPoint VBA to automate repetitive slide edits that require making one change to all slides. For example, you can use VBA to unhide hidden objects in all 100 slides of your history presentation. This can be done in just seconds. In addition, VBA can be used when working in PowerPoint to add features you may need to complete a presentation. If you have accidentally deleted a default layout from a PowerPoint template, it can be difficult to get it back into PowerPoint. However, with the help of VBA code, this task can be performed easily and quickly.

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

  • Working with VBA in Office 365 applications can save you time completing repetitive tasks and provide access to functions that aren’t otherwise available on these applications.
  • Professionals who use VBA work with this language to simplify complex formulas, find money-saving solutions to data tasks, ensure data privacy, and facilitate collaboration with other Excel users.
  • For individuals completing creative projects outside of work, VBA has uses that extend beyond PowerPoint. Those who write documents regularly in Microsoft Word can repurpose commands to customize their experience using this word-processing application. In addition, PowerPoint users can automate tasks like unhiding all objects in slides in their presentations using VBA.
  • If you’d like to learn more about how you can use VBA for professional and personal projects, Noble Desktop provides hands-on training in the in-person and live online format.

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