How To Become A Programmer In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how they can become a programmer in Australia from scratch with and without a degree.

Are you passionate about writing a piece of code to develop apps and programs? Do you possess strong analytical skills and can effectively communicate within the team? Then, a career in programming could be a great option to consider.

A programmer creates and modifies code for software applications. Once the coding is done, he tests it and prepares technical specification documentation. Many IT departments and digital agencies recruit programmers on a freelance (remote-end) or contractual basis.

If you seek an entry-level position as a programmer in Australia, then this article equips you with the relevant skills and training required to pursue your goal.


You will also get an idea about the work-life, salary, and future job prospects to help you get started in this direction.


1. Who Is A Programmer?

A programmer is a certified professional who has expertise in standard programming languages that are used to create software programs.

He also has a good knowledge of data structures and algorithms such as arrays, queues, trees, stacks, linked lists, graphs, etc. He uses the correct data structure in an optimized way to solve a given statement.

A programmer knows the conceptual and working knowledge of database and database management systems like MySQL to store the data variables of any software application.
Some programmers who are fond of making Android apps are well-versed in working with tools such as Eclipse and Android Studio.


2. What Does A Programmer Do?

  • A programmer’s job is to write, update, and maintain computer code in one or more standard computer languages to meet system requirements such as locating, retrieving, and storing specific information, documents or data.

  • The instructions mentioned in the code are meant to invoke a variety of functions on various machines including the mobile, computer, electronic devices, instruments, and more.

  • He should use logical and methodical testing procedures to solve complex issues.

  • A programmer is also responsible to perform rigorous testing and validation of the written code to ensure that it is error-free and provides the desired functional output to the end-user of the software application. 

  • He also needs to design and recommend technical specs that adhere to quality standards

  • After successful writing and testing of code, he has to deploy it to the live environment.



3. What Are The Personal And Technical Skills Needed In A Programmer?


To make a thriving career in programming, an aspiring programmer needs to have the following skillset.


Personal Skills


  • Good creative problem-solving skills 

  • Should write computer programs with great accuracy

  • A razor-sharp focus, good reasoning power, and critical thinking

  • Staying updated on the recent trends in the software industry.

  • Besides developing a code, a programmer also has to deal with end-users, software designers, software testers, and project managers. Thus, effective communication and a strong work ethic are also necessary to qualify for the role of a programmer.


Technical Skills


  • A detailed knowledge about information systems, and computer science

  • He should have expertise in programming languages, tools, and frameworks such as C, C++, C sharp, ASP.Net, C Sharp, Java, JavaScript, Python, Perl, Adobe Dreamweaver tool, Eclipse tool, .Net Framework, J2EE framework, etc.

  • Should have the skills to use computer software and hardware to write and modify programming code.

  • An above-average numerical abilities

If you possess the above skills, the next step is to identify the right course and get trained.


4. Is a Computer Programmer and a Software Developer the same?

A beginner-level programmer who gains adequate industrial experience and skills can reach an intermediate/advanced level.


This stage opens a doorway to new challenging and exciting job opportunities where he gets promoted to the role of a “Developer” in the company.

Let us look more closely at the differences between each of them:


Scope of Work

Both programmer and developer have coding as the common task to perform in the job.


Where the programmer works exclusively on programming, a software developer has to perform several other roles such as the architecture and design of a software component, rating technical specs documentation, and communicating with concerned stakeholders.

Thus, a software developer is more than just being a programmer. He is a complete package that includes the skills of a programmer, architect, tester, and analyst.

Besides coding and testing, he is also responsible for research, production, analysis, documentation, software design, and maintenance.


Where programming is mainly about translating an idea into an executable code, software development is all about building a real-world project.



A computer programmer can be from an IT or non-IT discipline. He does not need to have a formal computer science degree or technical background.


By completing certain programming courses and certifications, you can secure an entry-level programming job in a company.

However, to become a software developer, it is a mandatory graduate in the computer science branch of engineering.


As they are generally employed in large-scale organizations, employers look for a developer with good industrial knowledge, expert knowledge of programming languages, and proficiency in coding.


Job roles

A programmer is mostly employed as a website or android developer where he has to build workable code for a website, or an android app.


A developer can work on several other positions that include:


  • Front-end developer

  • Backend developer

  • System developer

  • Full-stack developer

  • DevOps developer

  • Game developers

  • Security developers

  • Mobile developer



Programmer skills


  • Programming skills

  • Knowledge of the database like My SQL

  • Knowledge of OOP’s or object-oriented programming language concepts 

  • Knowledge of using different types of tools like Eclipse to write a code


Software Developer Skills


  • Programming skills

  • Planning

  • Transferable skills

  • Teamwork

  • Managerial skills

  • Decision-making capability



A programmer and a software developer are employed at different job positions in the Software industry. Due to which they may require different types of certifications to make them more suitable for that specific post.

To know about top certifications for a programmer, refer to the section “What Qualifications/Certifications Are Needed To Become A Programmer?”

To make a thriving career as a Software developer, you can plan to get any of the following certifications.


  • Software Engineering Master Certification

  • Certified Scrum Master

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer

  • Programming in C# Certification

  • Java Development Certified Professional    

  • Certified Web Professional - Web Developer

  • Certified Software Development Professional

  • Oracle Certified Associate - Oracle9i Database Administrator

  • E-Commerce Developer

  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Workflow And Applications

For more details on software developer certifications, click here

The steps to becoming a programmer and a developer are almost the same.


If you have the above-mentioned developer skills and want to learn how to become a software developer in Australia, then jump to the section “how to become a computer programmer in Australia”.


5. How To Become A Computer Programmer In Australia?

If you have reached here, that means you are seriously looking to make a career in programming. Read on to know more about how to become a programmer in Australia.



Become skilled

Learn about the requirements and qualifications to get hired for the post of a computer programmer.


This is an ever-changing field where technologies come and go. No technology stays for several years.


You need to identify the ones that are high in demand and will have a strong demand in the future as well.


Get the necessary certifications

Getting certified is very beneficial for both IT and non-IT professionals.


Pick a certification that provides you with detailed knowledge of essential programming languages and helps you achieve vendor-specific qualifications.


Scroll down to the certification section to find the right certification course for a programmer.



Nowadays, people get hired more based on networking than expert computer programming skills.


Where networking can help you get a quick start in a career, it is your talent and skills that will help you sustain yourself in the job for the long term.

So, both networking and skill enhancement is necessary to make a successful career in programming.


Register in social job websites like Linked-In, attend training workshops and seminars to make new connections to help you stay aware of job openings in your area.


Apply for jobs

Apply for as many jobs as you can. This is because the more interviews you attend, the more you learn about your strengths and areas of improvement.


While attending job interviews, keep working on enhancing your skills.


6. What Qualifications/Certifications Are Needed To Become A Programmer?

There are two ways to qualify as a Programmer. Let us learn about each of them one by one.


Method 1:

If you are starting your career as a computer programmer and want to know how to become a programmer from scratch, you need to meet certain conditions to qualify as a programmer.

Gaining necessary qualifications is necessary as employers are most willing to hire professionals who have nationally recognized qualifications.


So, let us learn how you can qualify for a programmer’s role in Australia.

A programmer should hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or non-Computer Science discipline. If you have a bachelor’s degree majoring in software development, then you straight away qualify for the role of a computer programmer.

The four-years degree course covers everything related to programming principles, database management, systems analysis, and the recent developments in internet technologies and IT security.

On successful completion of the degree, you can pick an area of specialization in programming while making a considerable portfolio under the mentorship of an industry expert.


Method 2:

However, if you are a non-Computer Science graduate and want to know how to become a programmer without a degree, then consider taking professional programming language certification courses to make you trained and competent for the job.

Several training institutions in Australia offer highly targeted TAFE and university diplomas in Information Technology and Computer Science.


A professional certification like Microsoft Certified Solutions Develop or Java certification will add credibility to your resume and make you employable.

There are two important nationally recognized online computer programmer courses that are a great way to obtain programming skills.


The two certification courses aim at giving you an in-depth learning experience on object-oriented language concepts, testing techniques, web application monitoring procedures, and the development of enterprise-level cloud computing services.


Successful completion of these courses qualifies you for the role of a web support programmer and an assistant software applications programmer.

The diploma course offers foundational skills to application and web developers to build impressive apps and websites for organizations to create digital engagement with customers and offer e-commerce opportunities.

To know how to become a programmer fast, you need to contact established software agencies and firms to secure a placement in their internship programs while studying.


This way, you will get relevant experience and guidance from experienced Software Developers to help you achieve your goal fast.

TAFE Courses is a nationally recognized institution that offers certification courses to provide you with the necessary skills, and knowledge to make a confident start.


Browse through the courses to find the most suitable and quality program that meets your requirements and schedule.

To further increase your credibility and chances of employment in the Software industry, consider becoming a member at any of the below IT associations or central bodies:




7. Tips To Make An Entry In Programming

In addition to certification, and gaining work experience, here are a few more things that will certainly help you reach your destined goal fast.


Stay up to date with the recent advancements and trends by:


  • Keeping in touch with professionals in your field

  • Subscribe for relevant publications

  • Gain work experience in a software firm

  • Attend technical conferences and participate in IT-related volunteering opportunities


Develop the right programming skills

Programming involves a wide range of technologies, tools, and frameworks. You don’t need to master them all. Instead, identify the type of position you want to work for as a programmer.


Select the right programming skills that align with your interest and help you fulfill your ambitions.


Besides formal qualifications, employers also look for a few personal skills when shortlisting a candidate for a job role.


  • Show your enthusiasm and passion for coding by discussing your project and your role in it. Also, share with them about you like to do in your free time to learn about you in general.

  • Show good communication skills as the job requires professionals who are not just good coders but also good communicators.

  • And lastly, if you can communicate in any foreign language then it will be an asset for this job role.


8. What are the Employment Opportunities for a Programmer?

Computer programming is an exciting career that brings you loads of employment opportunities. If you are skilled and experienced, you will find no dearth of opportunities in this field.


Businesses and companies operating in the following areas are the top recruiters for programmers in Australia.



  • Artificial intelligence: To help develop smart homes and surgical robots

  • Agricultural technology:  To develop apps to assess soil health, and analyze drone performance and soil health

  • Computer security: To identify the threats, protection against viruses, and recognition of patterns

  • Financial services: To develop apps related to cryptocurrencies, bitcoins, customer intelligence, financial websites, and industry regulation

  • Ecommerce: To build an online presence by developing e-commerce websites that enhance digital engagement among customers and businesses

  • Gaming industry: To develop new interactive and creative games for people of varying age groups and interests

  • Health care industry: To build healthcare websites and specific types of medical apps, and technology equipment.


Top programmer roles for entry-level programmers in a company, business, or institution:


Applications Developer

To design, develop, deploy and update software programs for a specific device, the web, or an OS.


Front End Developer

Use website design files to convert the visual layout of a website into an HTML, JavaScript (JS), and/or CSS form.


Full Stack Programmer

The job position includes front and back end software development



Data Scientists

To analyze big data and retrieve beneficial information about customer behavior and trends to provide useful insights to business owners such as weaknesses, frauds, unpopular web pages, etc.


Systems Programmer

To install, customize, and maintain the OS. The duties also include installation or upgrades of software that run on the operating system.


Mobile Apps programmers

Programmers who are hired for this post write customized programs or apps for efficient usage on tablets and mobile phones


9. How Much Salary Does A Programmer Earn in Australia?

Based on the last three months’ data, it was found that Australian companies generally advertise openings for the post of a computer programmer between $60k and $80k.  The programmer’s salary in Australia per hour is around $55.

An entry-level computer programmer’s salary in Australia earns around $52,000 per annum on average. On the other hand, if you are an experienced computer programmer with an experience between 10years to 19 years, you can easily earn as much as $120,000 or more.


10. What Are The Pros And Cons Of Working As A Programmer?

Programming is one of the fields that demands excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities. It often requires the programmers to work under constant pressure while meeting tight deadlines.


However, this tedious job pays very well and offers overseas work opportunities.

Let us find more about the pros and cons of working as a programmer in Australia:



  • A career as a programmer is far from being a boring, monotonous, and routine job. You learn new skills every day.

  • One of the best jobs to show your creative skills

  • It pays you well. In addition to salary, you also earn perks, and incentives

  • Provides opportunities to work on overseas projects that make your resume more desirable  

  • Opportunities to work on a diverse range of domains makes you more knowledgeable

  • Lucrative job prospects 

  • High demand jobs that experience a low rate of unemployment 

  • Gives a sense of personal satisfaction to create and develop highly functional apps, websites, games, etc. that help people in daily life 

  • By traveling to new locations and meeting new people on different projects, you learn new skills in computers and the latest industry trends




  • Though it is a high demand job, there is intense competition and less job security

  • Can sometimes become stressful. Suitable for those who are in the early stages of their career (below ’40s)

  • Requires immense amount of patience, perseverance, and tenacity while understanding client’s requirements and generating a workable solution

  • Challenging to sit in front of the computer screen non-stop for several hours a day 

  • Sometimes become challenging to arrive at a workable solution for a given set of parameters


11. What Is The Future Job Prospects Of Programmers In Australia?

Based on the survey data, it has been found that computer programmers in Australia are highly educated. Around 61.4% of them hold at least a Bachelor’s programming certification course.

Given the increasing computerization of global businesses, the demand for computer programmers in Australia has seen a dramatic rise.


The recent industry data projects strong growth for app and software programmers for a minimum of five years in the future.

At present, approx. 98k programmers are working across nations. Australian states that contribute to most programming jobs are NSW (37%), Queensland (15.6%), and Victoria (28.7%).


12. Conclusion

Given the low rate of unemployment and a projection of strong growth in Australia in the coming years, programming makes a great career option for IT professionals.

At the beginning stages, focus you developing a strong foundation by acquiring the fundamental skills and getting relevant certifications.


As you get more experienced and technically skilled, you can find yourself taking leading roles in development in several innovative and exciting fields.


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