There are hundreds of programming languages. Researching which programming languages are likely to make it easier for you to land a job can be challenging for a number of reasons.
The size of the market that uses particular programming languages tips the scales when it comes to popularity. North America is a huge market for programming languages, and the statistics can mislead you into learning the languages that are popular according to search engines, yet might not be popular in your market.
Before an online search persuades you to invest long hours in learning Python or Scala, consider some of the factors that should make you ask yourself, “what do I really need to know?”
Large Corporates Tip the Scales
Large corporations are more likely to advertise job openings than smaller employers. The salaries that feature in online searches are mostly for those jobs that get advertised, meaning they are usually for the larger corporations. Not every programmer works for a large corporation.
Java’s demand has risen sharply in the past few years, mainly due to the growth of Android phones. All native Android apps are built in Java. That is a big market, and Java features as one of the most popular programming languages. However, Java might not be popular in your line of work, so don’t throw out C++ if that is what is in demand where you work.
Java’s popularity is constantly rising, and tops the list as the most in-demand and advertised area in 2017, with a growth of over 20,000 jobs as compared to the same period in 2016. This does not necessarily mean Java is superior to other programming languages.
Salaries Are Averages
Using search engines to find out which programming language is likely to land you a high paying job might put Java at the top of the scale. However, many large corporations use Java, and are unlikely to suddenly change to another programming language if they employ a large number of developers, and cannot switch platforms quickly.
Large corporations are likely to pay more than their smaller counterparts, but there are many jobs available for other programming languages that might not count in the statistics.
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Job Titles are not Programming Language Specific
Java might top the search engines in terms of programming languages that pay the highest, because the corporations that advertise for jobs specify the programming languages they prefer. This does not mean other programming languages cannot be used to accomplish the same work.
Jobs are Multi-skilled
SQL is not considered to be a programming language, but you are going to need to be good at it if you want to become successful as a programmer. No matter what programming language you use, you cannot do away with SQL since it is used to retrieve and analyze data from databases.
If you need diverse coding skills for a project, Freelancer.com is the best site to find versatile coders.
The Past does not Determine the Future
Technology changes very fast, and focusing on being an expert in one programming language because it is currently in high demand can work against you in the long run. Ten years ago, Android did not exist yet today it is one of the big players. It does help to learn the history to understand how the industry has evolved, as that can help you to anticipate the way the industry is headed - but do not be held captive by it.
HTML and Python are older programming languages that have not waned in popularity. It is difficult to know which big player will enter the market in the coming years, and maybe change the whole landscape of programming.
So, What Should I Learn?
Programming is a career path that is borne out of passion. Before you embark on this as a career, ask yourself whether you will be motivated to practice coding in your free time. Would you spend time coding if you were not being paid to do it?
Do not pursue programming based on statistics about how much the jobs in that field pay. That will not give you the motivation to do what it takes to become an expert.
If a career is inspired by passion, becoming an expert is not too difficult. It is fun to practice different programming languages, whether they are relevant to one’s line of work or not. Programming is a passion.
Try out different languages in your free time. You will come to discover a number of them that you really enjoy and in time, you will discover ways to use them in your work.
Experiment with Different Programming Languages
Discuss different programming languages with your peers, and experiment using them in your work. Challenge yourselves to use different languages to achieve the same task. Find out which ones are easier to work with, and which ones are supported by the tools you use. Learn to use different languages to accomplish the same work.
Keep abreast with what is happening in the field, check out new languages and try them out. Learn how different languages are used and familiarize yourself with them. Find out new entrants to the market, and what languages their applications use.
Commit to a Lifelong Journey of Learning
Your ability to adapt will determine your marketability, so familiarize yourself with new programming languages as they enter the market. Make learning a lifelong journey, and never reach a point where you feel that you have arrived and don’t need to learn any more.
Be familiar with your market and the in-demand programming languages. Learn what major employers operate in your market, and the languages that are popular with them. Do not be swayed by what is happening in different markets.
Research possible future demands for programming, and anticipate what languages could be applicable to them.
And Finally - Make Coding Your Hobby
Make coding one of your hobbies, and play around with it in your free time. The more time you put into it, the better you become and the more you learn to enjoy it.
Teach yourself to enjoy programming whether you are being paid for it or not. Do not get stuck at one job, but keep your eyes open for opportunities that will help you grow. If you are good at what you do and you do not get intimidated by challenges, apply for jobs that challenge you and pay you more.
One day someone might offer you a handsome salary to do some of the things you have been doing in your free time. It is a bonus to get paid to do something you have already been doing as a hobby.
Would you like to share some of the programming languages you should opt for in seeking better job prospects? We would be happy to learn from you in our comments section.