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How to make a career switch to programming

By Fi Darby | 12 September 2019


If you are looking for a career change and have a flair for being technical, a new career in programming may be just for you. The number of Australians using their programming skills to earn a living has grown very strongly over the past five years and this growth is set to continue towards 2023. 

Software and applications programmers make up one of Australia’s largest occupations and have above average employment. One of the great things about computer programming is that it is transferable across industry sectors. If this information doesn’t send you searching for an online computer programming course, maybe an average weekly wage of $2,003 will.  Here’s what you need to know about making a career switch to programming.

3 job roles to consider in programming

  1. Software developer.
  2. IT programmer.
  3. ICT business and systems analyst.
As with any growing industry, roles in programming are always developing. Here are three example job roles below to consider that may help you take the first steps towards this stimulating career.

1. Software developer.

Life as a software developer is exciting. At the forefront of technological advancement, these programmers write code to meet specific system and consumer needs. They are also involved in programme maintenance and system documentation

2. IT programmer.

IT programmers focus on computer code. They deal with the details of writing, testing and debugging. They work closely with colleagues to ensure that layers of code work together in a smooth and efficient manner

3. ICT business and systems analyst.

Business and systems analysts look at all parts of a whole system. As well as having programming skills, they are proficient in project management, computer hardware and computer modelling.

3 top trends in programming

  1. Blockchain technology.
  2. 5G rollout.
  3. Virtual Reality (VR).
It is no secret that the IT industry is fast-moving. This is great news if you are looking for a career in programming and enjoy learning, progression and keeping up with the latest trends. Here are some worth keeping note of:

1. Blockchain technology.

Blockchain is the technological backbone of cryptocurrency trading. It is starting to move out of the finance sector and into other practical business applications including telecommunications, health care and government

2. 5G rollout.

The arrival of 5G is pushing forward the development of software, helping increase download speeds. For example advancements are expected in the Internet of Things (IoT) and self-driving vehicle technology.

3. Virtual Reality (VR).

virtual reality concept

Virtual Reality (VR) will continue its spread from gaming into industries including retail, healthcare and tourism. Imagine yourself enjoying the highlights of Europe or shopping in a virtual store from the comfort of your own home. You will see VR’s potential power as a marketing tool.

5 key skills you need to make a career switch to programming

  1. Programming skills.
  2. A love of learning.
  3. Problem-solving skills.
  4. Determination.
  5. A great memory.
Computer programmers spend a fair amount of time working alone but also need to be able to share ideas and work cooperatively as part of a team. As well as considering a computer-programming course to gain recognised skills, you will need to think about your soft skills in relation to this exciting job role if you are looking to change careers. 

1. Programming skills.

The first and most obvious skill you need for a career in programming is an interest in developing your own set of programming skills. Whatever programming language you choose will depend on the route you wish to take but good starting points include HTML, Java, Python, C# and SQL. Enrolling in a computer-programming course will ensure that you have a good basic level of knowledge in a variety of useful languages

2. A love of learning.

If you want a successful career in programming, you will need to enjoy learning. Most computer programmers work at Bachelor level or higher but key programming skills can also be learnt through a Certificate level qualification. 

Upskilled’s ICT40518 - Certificate IV in Programming offers a mix of vendor courses, including MTA and MCSA courses, and vendor neutral courses (e.g XML Essentials). These provide a broad skills base, which can help you pursue further study in a university degree and apply for specialised job roles in programming.

3. Problem-solving skills.

problem-solving concept

Right from client to finished product, a career in programming is all about finding solutions. As well as finding ways to meet industry requirements, computer programmers need to have developed analytical skills and a structured approach in finding and repairing issues.

4. Determination.

If people often comment on your streak of stubbornness, you may be suited to a career in programming. Smooth-running code usually takes several attempts to achieve and sometimes requires a programmer to go back to the drawing board more than once. If you decide on a career as a computer programmer, your level of perseverance will be as important as your programming skills

5. A great memory.

Analysing tricky pieces of programme code requires the ability to memorise and access large amounts of data in order to solve problems. If you are after a career in programming but don’t feel that your recall is up to the job, there are techniques you can use to improve your memory

Excited to make the switch to programming?

If you are thinking about making a career switch to programming, Upskilled’s ICT40518 - Certificate IV in Programming is a great course to undertake if you want to learn foundational skills in the field. Upon completion, it will provide you with the opportunity to pursue further study in a specialised IT degree and boost your employability in relevant job roles.

This online course is designed to be completed in 12 months and can be done flexibly from the comfort of your own home.  If you are interested in pursuing a career in programming, talk to one of Upskilled’s education consultants today and find out how they can help you with your career plans.
 
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