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Is programming right for you?

It will come as no surprise that to enjoy and excel at a programming career, you need to love working with computers and technology. On this career path, you could find yourself designing and developing software, creating mobile applications, analysing and evaluating systems… Or all of the above, and more!

As well as sound technical knowledge and skills, you’ll need to be an analytical thinker and a problem-solver. Programming generally involves a lot of testing and troubleshooting, as bugs, errors and faults are common in the development process, so you will also need some measure of patience and determination. This type of work is best suited to people who are able to concentrate for long periods of time, and who don’t mind sitting in front of a computer screen every day.

It’s also important for programming professionals to have skills in areas such as project management, documentation and risk assessment. Teamwork and communication skills are also important when working on programming projects with others.

Job opportunities

According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook site, programming is a large occupation in Australia, with the number of workers growing strongly in recent years to more than 100,000. Here are a few other stats about the programming industry in Australia:

  • Around 60,000 job openings are likely over the next few years to 2022, with the total number of workers projected to grow to almost 120,000.
  • Almost all programming professionals work in full-time positions.
  • The average salary is around $70,000 per year, but can range from the high $40,000s to more than $100,000.

Types of courses

There is a wide range of courses available for those wishing to work in the IT industry, with many specifically focused on programming. These courses are offered throughout Australia and are generally flexible, with many online learning options. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to programming education, here’s a brief round-up of some of the different types of programming courses available.

Short courses

Programming short courses often provide an introduction to basic programming languages (such as C++, C# and so on) and fundamental programming practices. These courses will give you a feel for the industry and introduce you to the variety of career opportunities available to programmers, or help you specialise in certain areas of programming later in your career.

Certificate II

In a Certificate II course, you’ll usually gain a general introduction to the fundamentals of the IT industry, which can provide a pathway into higher-level programming courses.

Certificate III

A Certificate III course in the area of IT and technology will usually introduce you to specific areas of programming, such as interactive gaming and programming.

Certificate IV

There are several Certificate IV options available to aspiring programmers, which provide a nationally recognised qualification to help you pursue an entry-level programming position or move on to further study. These courses provide students with basic programming skills and often include the opportunity to specialise in a particular area, such as game programming.

Career Outcomes

Pursuing a career in programming could see you working in a range of areas within the IT industry, from application development to software programming to interactive gaming. Some potential job titles include:

  • Software or Applications Programmer
  • Analyst
  • Applications Developer
  • Programmer
  • Software Developer
  • Assistant Programmer
  • Assistant Web Application Programmer
  • Development Programmer

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