Column 72 delivers advanced tertiary education in IBM System Z™ (mainframe) technology.

Column 72 Mainframe Trainee Program

The University of Canberra and Column 72 are offering a unique Mainframe Trainee Program. The Program consists of the Bachelor of Information and Mainframe Technology delivered by the University of Canberra and Column 72 and employment in an IBM mainframe environment.

To apply:

  1. You must be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident.
  2. By the end of November, you must have:
      a. completed the first year of an IT degree from any Australian university or a TAFE IT Diploma OR
      b. relevant work experience OR
      c. non-IT qualifications plus relevant work experience

Go to the registration page and upload your contact details. We will contact you and ask you to complete your online application. Your application will be reviewed and, if you qualify, the University of Canberra will offer you advanced standing of eight units for the Bachelor of Information and Mainframe Technology. The degree will be completed at University of Canberra over three years with a combination of summer schools and online learning during the year.

C72 conducts preliminary interviews with candidates in the July-August period. The employers, who are all IBM mainframe customers, will conduct selection interviews between August and November. Successful candidates start their first summer school on campus at UC on the first Monday of December.

While you are completing your degree, you will work full time as a trainee for one of the IBM mainframe customers. You will receive a trainee salary and be given time off on full pay to attend summer school. Your employer will pay all university fees.

You graduate from the trainee program with a Bachelor of Information and Mainframe Technology from the University of Canberra, a leading Australian university with no fee debt and three years of valuable work experience. Then you can continue and build your career at the high end of enterprise computing.

Column 72 means “continue”.

In the days before computer memory and storage devices, programs and data were held on punch cards. In 1928, IBM developed a card with 80 columns and 12 rows to run the electro-mechanical computational machines of the day. This card became the standard when the IBM 360 mainframe was introduced in 1964.

The IBM cards were punched with rectangular holes and read vertically across the rows for each column left to right. Combinations of holes on a single card would represent a single line of code in a programming language such as Assembler, Fortran or COBOL.

Thousands of punched cards were read to execute a simple program. The columns from 73 to 80 were for the card number so, if you dropped the stack, they could be sorted back into order. Any nonblank character in column 72 indicated that the next card in the stack was a continuation of the present card.

When they graduate, C72 trainees continue to a career at the high end of enterprise computing.


IBM continues to build on its Enterprise Linux systems for extreme security, speed and scale based on tried and proven IBM Z™ technology.