How to Get a Job in I.T. Programming

  • What to learn
  • What to study

Software programming has traditionally required strong engineering and mathematical skills, but with today’s modern programming languages, e.g. Visual Basic.NET, anyone can learn to be a programmer.

Many technical innovations in programming – advanced computing technologies and sophisticated new languages and programming tools, for example – have redefined the role of a programmer and elevated much of the programming work done today.

Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed instructions, called programs, that computers follow to perform their functions. Programmers also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. With the help of other computer specialists (e.g. Systems and Database Engineers; Website Designers etc.), they figure out which instructions to use to make computers do specific tasks.

Typical Jobs or Career Paths

In 2006, there were 435,000 computer programmers employed in the USA alone, and working within almost every industry. The largest concentration is in computer systems design and related services.

The range of industries include:

  • Software publishers
  • Financial and insurance institutions
  • Educational institutions
  • Government agencies
  • In general business management
  • Product manufacturing
  • Primary industries like mining and agriculture
  • Self employed on a temporary or contract basis


The more experience you have programming, generally the more you will be paid. As an entry level programmer, you can reasonably expect to be paid around A$35,000 as a permanent employee, and senior programmers (with ten or more year experience) can earn between A$50,000-$85,000. Software publishing are reported as offering the most attractive remuneration, not just in wages but also in benefits and working conditions. But they also require the highest level of expertise and experience.

Risks and Stresses

  • Meeting Deadlines (Don’t over commit, and remember things can go wrong; so give yourself some breathing space)
  • Not updating programming skills – it’s a fast moving industry and you need to continually update your knowledge and skills
  • Being unaware of industry developments
  • IT or power failures
  • For owner operators – all the same risks any business faces


Consider Professional Indemnity Insurance, and discuss other needs pertinent to your situation with an insurance agent.

Recommended Courses

Many of today’s businesses use Microsoft’s .NET framework and Visual Basic to develop their business tools. The IT Staff at ACS are world leaders in employing the latest IT technologies, and in answer to the need for programmers skilled in .NET and Visual Basic, ACS offer a Visual Basic.NET course which has been designed to provide the skills that make a graduate employable and successful.

Click to see our IT Courses