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Looking to learn SQL and/or VBA for careers in financial analysis. Best place to learn?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 17th, 2016 8:56 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 9, 2011
611 posts
315 upvotes
EAST YORK

Looking to learn SQL and/or VBA for careers in financial analysis. Best place to learn?

I currently work in risk management and I'm studying for my CPA. I'm looking to add some supplementary technical knowledge to my repertoire and I've noticed that a lot of risk and financial analysis positions are asking for SQL and VBA knowledge. I would like to start learning, so I have a few questions:
- Where is the best place to learn? Is it better to find a free course online or better to pay to get a certification? Would employers look on that more favourably?
- Are SQL and VBA very different from each other? Or can they be learned concurrently?
- What's the timeline on when I can start being fairly proficient at it? On an average basis, of course, I understand it would differ person to person
11 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2404 posts
760 upvotes
New Brunswick
Youtube is a best place to start or Udemy. Employers don't care about a VBA certification.
Member
Jul 24, 2015
237 posts
153 upvotes
Don't waste your time on VBA.

SQL is a query language. VB is a programming language. They're not the same.
Sr. Member
May 24, 2007
547 posts
205 upvotes
To learn SQL you need to learn relational database basics. I'd suggest you take a course at your local community college to learn the basics of database design and introduction to SQL. From there, you can start learning more about writing more advanced queries efficiently.
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2005
1385 posts
106 upvotes
Get a local install of SQL Server Express 2016 from Microsoft (it's free).
Then head to MS Virtual Academy and take their courses to learn SQL.

Alternatively, you can get a quick intro to SQL through w3schools.
http://www.w3schools.com/sql/

The basic concepts of querying are very easy to learn. Once you get a good grip on it, then you can move to more advanced areas.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 10, 2005
10974 posts
4260 upvotes
Before you start with SQL I would highly recommend you take a course (or online) in relational database management systems. Intro to SQL may be a part of that course.

Once you know the concepts behind
RDBMS then you can proceed to implement what you learned by taking an intro to SQL.

If your really starting from scratch I wouldn't recommend installing anything until you take a course, it will get frustrating fast.
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 15, 2008
9719 posts
2750 upvotes
Toronto
Khan Academy has courses on SQL too, not sure how good it is though.
Deal Addict
Feb 14, 2016
1832 posts
1222 upvotes
Take courses offered by CPA Canada; as they also count towards PD hours
Sr. Member
May 24, 2007
547 posts
205 upvotes
JIB9022 wrote: Take courses offered by CPA Canada; as they also count towards PD hours
Can take anywhere to be verified PD. Doesn't have to be from CPA. If you read a book on sQL can even count as unverified PD
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2404 posts
760 upvotes
New Brunswick
For VBA, you just need to learn how to use Macro record and edit the macros to be able to do 80% of your task.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13885 posts
1360 upvotes
VBA - Write Macros (normally in Excel)

SQL - Write queries (normally in a front-end query making engine bundled with whatever 'front end' software displays the database information.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Member
User avatar
Apr 26, 2012
423 posts
13 upvotes
For SQL I got the book "Learning SQL" by Alan Beaulieu. It's a beginner's book but quite good, and by the end I felt comfortable writing queries.

For VBA I learned the basics here:
http://www.homeandlearn.org

For anything complex I just Google it and work it into my macro. I use VBA/macros on a more ad hoc basis if I come up against a repetitive task.

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