What to Learn After VBA

Discover the potential of VBA in transforming your Microsoft Office experience, from automating repeated tasks to customizing Excel spreadsheets. Plus, explore the career and learning opportunities related to SQL and Power BI, following a VBA foundation.

Key Insights

  • VBA, or Visual Basic for Applications, is Microsoft’s internal programming language for Office programs like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, offering customizable features beyond those typically included in Office apps.
  • Using VBA, you can automate numerous computer calculations and processes, customize your GUI, and create user-defined functions, offering efficiency and versatility to your Microsoft Office experience.
  • VBA can be particularly useful for automating repetitive tasks such as data cleaning and formatting, capitalizing text, creating a table of contents, and solving complex calculations.
  • After mastering VBA, SQL and Microsoft Power BI are valuable skills to pursue. SQL is a widely used language for managing data in relational databases, while Power BI is a business intelligence tool used for data analysis and visualization.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive in-person and live online courses on VBA, SQL, and Power BI, providing hands-on training and instruction in core concepts of each skill.
  • No specific salaries are mentioned for VBA, SQL, or Power BI positions, indicating the need to research potential earnings based on specific job roles and industries.

VBA is the programming language that is included in Microsoft Excel and other Office applications. It has a range of uses for customizing these programs, as well as automating repetitive tasks and commands. If you already know how to use VBA, you might consider learning SQL or Microsoft Power BI. We’ll cover both SQL and Power BI below so you can clearly understand what skills you want to tackle next.

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.

What to Learn After VBA?

Once you’ve become familiar with using VBA, you may consider taking your programming and business intelligence skills even further by studying SQL and Microsoft Power BI:


SQL, or structured query language, is a widely used tool for data professionals. Those who work with Excel data will often use SQL for their data needs. It is the most widely used language for gathering and organizing data stored in relational databases. SQL helps retrieve specific information from a database needed for analysis purposes. This language is hugely popular because it allows users to access the data stored in relational database management systems and define, describe, and manipulate it.

An excellent learning option for those who want to become fluent in SQL is to enroll in Noble Desktop’s in-person or live online SQL Bootcamp. This intensive learning experience provides hands-on instruction in core SQL concepts, such as how to use PostgreSQL to retrieve information from databases and write SQL queries, aggregate data, join tables, and filter results.

Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence tool commonly used for data analysis and visualization purposes. This program can provide insights into what’s currently happening within an organization and provide data-driven observations and information about what is likely to transpire in the future. Power BI uses machine learning to spot data patterns that generate various “what-if” scenarios. Then, based on these predictions, Power BI can forecast particular events so stakeholders can prepare for possible emerging demand patterns. By creating data visualizations, Power BI users can communicate complicated data findings in a way that’s accessible and engaging. In addition, because Excel data can be used as a data source for Power BI models, it’s possible to implement VBA automation and business logic, then have Power BI present the data.

Noble Desktop’s in-person and live online Power BI Bootcamp provides learners with comprehensive training in creating engaging data visualizations to include in business reports. Those enrolled receive instruction on both basic and advanced Power BI skills, like connecting multiple data sources into one relational model, working with Power Query, and creating time intelligence reports.

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 Insights

  • VBA is a widely used programming language native to the Microsoft Office environment. It helps users with various Office tasks, such as automating repeated actions and customizing Excel spreadsheets.
  • Since VBA is an event-driven tool, it can tell the computer to execute one or multiple actions. Office users enter commands into an editing module to create macros to perform different computing tasks like data cleaning and formatting.
  • Suppose you’ve already learned VBA and are interested in studying other related skills. In that case, you may consider learning SQL or Power BI. SQL is a popular programming language for communicating with relational databases. Power BI is a business intelligence tool used for data analysis and visualization.
  • Noble Desktop’s in-person and live online VBA courses provide comprehensive training for those interested in learning more about VBA.
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