Many jobs that are currently in high demand, such as software development, engineering and programming, require the knowledge and skills of one or more programming languages. If you’re interested in one of these career paths, you must learn a programming language.
Programming skills are a huge asset, giving you a significant advantage when it comes to getting hired in a specialized position. Companies and organizations are looking for employees who are familiar and experienced with the languages they currently use.
Here’s everything you need to know about different programming languages, including why and how you should learn a language and an overview of the best languages for various career goals.
Why Should You Learn a Programming Language?
Learning how to program in one or more languages opens many opportunities for a variety of careers. But don’t just limit yourself to one programming language. After learning one language, it becomes easier to discover others, giving you an even wider knowledge base. This knowledge provides you with the skills for a variety of jobs, such as software applications developer, computer systems engineer or cybersecurity positions.
The benefits of learning a language include:
Tips On Choosing A Language
Several factors can help you decide what programming language is right for you. The best place to start is by having a specific goal and thinking about what you want to accomplish with coding. Specific languages are necessary for each different type of programming job. Ask yourself why you’re interested in programming and what you want to do with code. The answers to these questions can guide you in choosing the first language to learn.
Other tips to choosing a programming language:
- List your career choices – each programming language is used for a specific purpose.
- Choose a language that will benefit your career path.
- Choose an easy first language to learn that gives you the fundamentals needed for learning other programming languages.
Programming Languages to Consider
There are many programming languages to choose from. Some are more advantageous and beneficial to learn, depending on your goals and career interests. The following languages are the most popular based on job demand and are trending today:
Used by Google, Nasa, and Pinterest, Python is a high-level scripting language that’s a good place for beginners to start.
- Used for web development and machine learning.
- Possible careers include back-end developers, programmers, and software engineers.
- Used in fields such as information technology and engineering.
- Highly readable and easy to learn.
Java is another high-level programming language that’s been used for decades by companies such as eBay.
- Best used for cloud computing and business applications.
- Best programming language for software engineers.
- Used in communications, education, finance, and health industries.
- Most in-demand programming language.
Ruby and Ruby on Rails
Ruby is a language that’s typically used with Ruby on Rails, a framework used in web development. This code is used by Airbnb and Amazon, as well as NASA simulations.
- Used for web applications, networking, and system administration.
- Possible careers include data science engineers, developers, and ethical hackers.
- Used in design and engineering, information technology, and engineering.
- Uses a syntax that’s easy to learn.
- Career options include software engineers and web developers.
- Used in engineering, design, finance, and information technology.
- In use by most organizations and websites.
- A highly flexible language that can be used in both the front-end and back-end of applications.
Created in 1972, C is one of the oldest programming languages. Used by companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle, C laid the groundwork for many other languages.
- Best used in software development, operating systems, and AI.
- Possible careers include IT administrators, developers, and computer engineers.
- Used in fields such as healthcare, information technology, and management.
- Skills learned with C are highly transferable to other languages.
C++ is a middle-level language often used for large scale projects such as operating systems. A subset of C, C++ is used by Adobe, Firefox, and Google.
- Best for used for application and software development, search engines, and video games.
- Career options include software developers and engineers, ethical hackers, and programming analysts.
- Used in fields such as design, engineering, commercial services, and information technology.
- C++ is fully supported by Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows.
Pronounced “C Sharp,” C# is a programming language that was developed by Microsoft.
- Best used for software and windows applications and development.
- Possible careers include software engineers and advanced web developers.
- Used in design, commercial services, and information technology.
- It is typically used by Axosoft, Microsoft, and Unity.
Created in 1994, PHP is known for web-scripting and is used by CyberCoders, Facebook, and WordPress.
- Best used for web application development and WordPress plugins.
- Best career choices include software engineers, developers, and ethical hackers.
- Used in fields such as commercial services, healthcare, design, and information technology.
- The best advantage is being able to handle data-intensive websites.
SQL, Structured Query Language, is used in database management. Created by IBM in 1974, SQL is used by almost all applications.
- Best uses of SQL are for managing big data and data analysis.
- Career options include database administrators and testers, software and server developers, and ethical hackers.
- Used in fields such as design, finance, management, and information technology.
Objective-C and Swift
Used by Apple, Objective-C is typically used to develop OS X and IOS. It’s recommended to learn Swift, Apple’s new language when learning Objective-C.
- Best used for OS X and IOS applications, and software development.
- Career choices include software engineers and IT and web content administrators.
- Used in fields such as engineering, design, management, and information technology.
Both scripting languages, PowerShell and Bash are used on Linux and Windows systems to automate tasks.
- Best uses are for IT professionals and system administrators.
- Career choices include cloud architects, senior IT positions, and DevOps.
- It is typically used in larger businesses and organizations.
- The biggest advantage is both languages can be applied to IT and sysadmin tasks.
There’s a high demand for knowledgeable and skilled programmers no matter what programming language you decide to learn. Companies and organizations are willing to pay high salaries for experienced coders. Start here by deciding what careers and coding jobs interest you the most, and which will be the most beneficial to your career path.
For more information about the programming languages above, check out the visual below from Varonis. We hope these resources help you create a skillset that stands out to talent scouts to help you earn your dream position.