ICT Software Engineer

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: 25,001 to 50,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1301 to $1700 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief Software engineers have particular responsibilities to ensure that the software systems they develop achieve the required performance standards, are built on time and within budget.

There are approximately 7,000 software engineers in South Australia. Employment is mostly full-time with the majority working in the Professional, Scientific & Technical industry. Most persons in this occupation are males. The median age for those employed in this occupation is 36 years.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: ICT Software Engineer

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Software engineers are primarily concerned with the quality and performance of software systems. Achieving these goals in a wide range of application areas and with systems of varying levels of complexity, requires the special skills and knowledge of the software engineer. Aside from the management of the analysis, specification, design and development of software applications and systems, software engineers also oversee the certification, maintenance and testing of software applications as well as the integration of complex software systems.

Software is that part of the whole information system that describes what tasks are to be done and how they are done. Software systems can be very large and complex to the extent that no single person can comprehend the whole package - these systems must be built and managed by teams of experts, most often guided by a software engineer. The complete system also includes a wide range of other information and documentation, which is essential to complete the software development task.

Technical and Engineering

Education Requirements

Of those currently employed 67% have Bachelor Degrees or higher qualifications; 11% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas; 6% have Certificate III or Certificate IV; and 15% have no post-school qualifications. In order for you to have the best possible chance of finding employment it is recommended that you gain the available qualifications.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Software Development. Pathways include the Certificate II in Information Digital Media and Technology, Certificate III Program in Information, Digital Media and Technology (Applications) and Certificate IV in Programming.

Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in the Diploma of Software Development/Bachelor of Information Technology.

SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

Given the huge impact of computers and information technology on our everyday lives and their central and growing role in numerous industries, commerce, government, medicine, education, entertainment and society at large, the future for these engineers looks promising.

Nature of the Job

A professor of software engineering, discusses the three stages in which software engineers are involved during the development of software applications or systems. The first of these is the requirements stage, where software engineers consult with clients to assess and analyse the client's needs and to discuss the desired outcomes. This initial stage enables the development of the concepts and designs needed to achieve those outcomes to proceed into the design implementation phase. 'The specifications must be realised into a complete system of computer programs. This stage encompasses design, coding and testing and is called the development phase,' says Professor Roy. Finally the completed systems must be verified and tested to ensure that they meet the stated requirements. The documentation, delivery and maintenance of the finished applications and systems is the third stage of the process.

Quality assurance processes are integrated into all of these phases to ensure that the process being followed will be successful.

Professor Roy says that software engineers are mainly responsible for managing the overall software engineering process. Software engineers will typically work with teams of software developers and programmers who will undertake most of the detailed programming and testing work.

Typical Physical Working Environment

This line of work embraces the principles and techniques of computer science, engineering and mathematical analysis, project management and human resources management. If you have decided that this is the occupation for you, then you will need to bring strong programming capabilities to the role. A good understanding of software technologies are a must. Software engineers are more concerned with developing algorithms (a procedural model for working out calculations) and analysing and solving programming problems than with actually writing code, so good problem solving skills are essential. Project management is a core ingredient of software engineering. Knowing how to make a project work, on time and on budget, in order to produce quality applications and systems is critical. Human resource management is as much a key function, which calls for a very high level of communication skills.

Typical Occupational Example

Software engineers are involved in the design and development of many types of software including software for operating systems, network distribution and compilers, which provide support for building, business applications, computer games and technical applications used in industrial and embedded applications. They also solve technical problems as they arise.

Software engineers also analyse users' needs and design, create and modify general computer applications software or specialised utility programs to suit individual requirements. Different programming languages are used, depending on the purpose of the program. Software engineers are expected to be adaptable across a wide range of hardware and software domains. The tasks performed by software engineers evolve rapidly, which reflects new areas of specialisation and changing technology. Software engineers often work as part of a team that design new hardware, software and systems. A core team may comprise engineering, marketing, manufacturing and design people who work together until a product is released.

Australian Computer Society
Phone: (02) 9299 3666
Email: info@acs.org.au
Website: www.acs.org.au

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online