VBA is Microsoft’s event-driven programming language built into most Office applications. Have you ever explored all of the things VBA can do? This popular language has applications for automating repetitive tasks in Excel and other Office apps, saving users time executing commonly used actions. This is why knowledge of VBA is a valuable skill in any profession or industry involved with data management. Here, you’ll learn more about the types of careers that benefit from VBA and how it can enhance your professional life. Regardless of your overall goals, learning VBA is a valuable and impressive skill to add to your resume.
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.
Common Professional Uses for VBA
Because Microsoft Excel is widely used for data management across industries and professions, VBA knowledge is essential to many jobs. Marketing Analysts rely on this programming language to create customer segmentation models and understand their customer's buying habits. They also use this language to analyze customer surveys and create customer satisfaction dashboards. In addition, Human Resources Analysts also work with VBA for many daily tasks. They use it to analyze HR data and create reporting procedures based on attendance and time and prepare dashboards and reports that will be used for quarterly management reviews.
VBA knowledge also has applications for those working with sales compensation analytics. Professionals can use this programming language to apportion commission payments based on organizational compensation protocol, create financial reports that differentiate between the actual and projected payouts, and create sales incentive models. Supply Chain Analysts also work regularly with VBA to study procurement data to ensure that warehouses are prepared for new items to be stocked as necessary. They also work with VBA to study vendor performance and track forecast purchasing. VBA is also a standard tool used by Investment Banking Analysts for financial modeling and valuation analyses. Business Intelligence Analysts rely on VBA to establish key performance metrics and create analytical data views that showcase actionable insights to stakeholders.
Reasons to Learn VBA
The following are just a few reasons why learning VBA can help you professionally:
It’s a Powerful Automation Tool for Excel
VBA is a programming language that is built into Microsoft Excel and other Office apps. Because Excel is the most widely used spreadsheet software on the market, everyone who has Excel also has VBA without having to download it. VBA programming allows those working in Excel to specify commands or instructions used together to perform a task, such as saving files or aggregating data. Once these commands are saved, users can automate them to save time and effort.
Enrolling in one of Noble Desktop's in-person or live online Excel courses is a great way to learn how to use VBA for automating tasks in Excel.
VBA Can Improve Work Quality
One of the main benefits of working with VBA is improving the quality of tasks you complete. In work situations where more than one individual is assigned to a project, they may perform the same repetitive tasks but use different standards or procedures. Using VBA’s automation, employees can reduce the room for error in collaborative endeavors.
VBA is Widely Available
Approximately 1.2 billion people worldwide currently use Microsoft Office in over a million companies. Of these users, 750 million work with Excel for data management. Because of this tool’s prevalence, knowledge of VBA is a ubiquitous skill with a wide range of professional applications. Since more data is being created daily than ever, the need for effective ways to store, manage, and analyze it is greater than ever. VBA provides Excel users with an efficient and effective way to analyze large datasets and will likely continue to remain a popular option as our reliance on data grows.
Learning VBA Can Improve Logical Thinking Skills
No matter what language you use, logical thinking is essential for creating efficient and effective programs. When working with VBA, you’ll create algorithms that can automate tasks, which involves a thorough understanding of a problem and breaking it down into core components. The systematic, logical process involved in deconstructing a problem or task and devising a solution that can automate the process is a valuable skill that transcends industries and professions.
Learning Excel and VBA is considered to be easier than other programming languages due to its understandable syntax and clean editor layout. Many users can quickly transfer the skills they learn working with VBA in Excel into other Office apps, such as PowerPoint or Word.
How to Start Learning VBA
Learning VBA has never been easier, thanks to the number of study options currently available. There are a variety of in-person or live online VBA courses offered by top educational providers. Students who enroll in these courses can choose to study from their own space or use the provided computer labs equipped with the most up-to-date software. In addition, live online VBA classes provide many of the same benefits as in-person studies, such as access to an expert instructor in real-time and hands-on training. Because you can complete live online coursework remotely from your home or office space, it doesn’t require commuting to and from campus, battling traffic, or searching for parking. Noble also offers a tool to help interested learners locate VBA courses close to home.
Another way to study VBA is to study this programming language asynchronously. Self-paced VBA classes are a good alternative to in-person or live online study for those who need to balance learning VBA with full-time work or family commitments. Because asynchronous study is pre-recorded, it can be completed from any location, at any time. This means that learners can gain an overview of what VBA is, as well as the basics of this language, without having to take part in regularly occurring classes. However, because learners cannot access an instructor to field questions or provide guidance, it can be challenging to learn more complex programming concepts in this format.
For those who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full-time course or pay for self-paced VBA study, free learning options are also available, such as tutorials, blog posts, guides, and seminars. Because Excel users rely on VBA to automate various spreadsheet tasks, you may want to brush up on your Excel skills by watching Noble Desktop’s free Excel seminar, Top 10 Beginner Excel tricks You Need to Know. This free, pre-recorded webinar provides viewers with time-saving Excel tricks, such as splitting and joining text, using autofill, repeating commands, inserting comments, removing duplicates, and inserting screenshots. Noble Desktop also has a YouTube Excel channel with more than 70 short videos on useful Excel topics, such as naming cells and ranges, using count functions, and applying basic number formats.
Read the full guide on how to learn VBA.
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.
- VBA is the programming language common to Microsoft applications, such as Excel and Word.
- This programming language can be used to automate repetitive tasks and processes, as well as to alter graphical user interface features like toolbars and manus.
- Because of how widely used Microsoft Office is, studying VBA is an in-demand skill that can improve work quality and increase overall efficiency when handling data.
- A great way to learn more about VBA and its range of uses in Excel and other Office applications is through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop.