10 of the Most in-Demand Coding Languages for Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 6, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated July 6, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

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Computer programming is a rapidly evolving field that offers job seekers many professional growth opportunities. To succeed in this industry, one of the most important skills to have is proficiency in at least one of the popular coding languages. Knowing how to code allows you to work in almost every industry, from game and software development to banking and web security. In this article, we explain what coding is and discuss which programming languages are currently in demand.

Related: A Short Guide on How to Learn Coding in 7 Simple Steps

What are coding languages?

Coding languages are the tools used to create instructions for a computer using different technologies, commonly known as programming languages. Developers use them to create complex algorithms for programs. To someone outside the field, they may look like a series of random words, letters, or numbers, but programmers use them to communicate with computers. For example, they can use code to set up a program to sort or process data in a certain way. There are two main types of languages used in programming:

  • Low-level programming languages: These are more difficult for people to read and understand because they are similar to machine codes. However, they allow computers to understand them quickly and programmers who specialize in one or more low-level languages typically have more control over their code and applications.

  • High-level programming languages: High-level languages use real words, which makes them easier to understand for beginner programmers. It can take computers more time to translate them into machine codes. Luckily, modern computers are becoming more powerful, which means the overall time difference to translate low- and high-level languages are minimal.

Related: A Guide to Types of Programming Languages (With Examples)

Most in-demand coding languages

There are many coding languages to choose from if you're considering a career as a developer. The language that would be best for you to learn depends on where you'd like to work and the applications you'd like to create. Here are 10 in-demand programming languages you can consider learning to start your career:

1. HTML

HTML is one of the easiest and most commonly used coding languages that helps format text, images, and other media that appear on a website. It has shaped the way we perceive and use various online functions. HTML code gives websites their structure and is the starting point for many programmers who later on choose to specialize in more advanced coding languages such as JavaScript or CSS. Some of the main advantages of HTML are that it's widely used and supported by every browser, as well as easy to learn and understand.

Knowledge of HTML is useful for almost every programming career. For example, this can be the first step to becoming a web developer, which is a more general career path in programming.

Related: Web Developer Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language that allows programmers to add style to websites. This includes elements like colours, fonts, spacing, and other elements that make up the visual side of a web document. Although neither HTML nor CSS can function as standalone programming languages, they are at the front of every website or application and act as a base for more advanced languages.

If you're thinking about learning CSS to increase your chances of getting a job in this field, you might consider a career as a front end developer. Front end developers are experts in CSS and benefit from learning other front end coding languages as well.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the top programming languages currently used by developers. It has excellent cross-platform usability and features like integration with browsers, servers, and mobile devices. It is constantly evolving and receives regular updates to make it even more relevant to the needs of a modern programmer. Developers often use JavaScript to give websites their functionality and has multiple other uses, including in backend development, serverless computing, or browser game development. If you're interested in learning JavaScript, you can start by completing free online courses or enrolling in a paid learning program.

4. Java

Java is a separate coding language independent of JavaScript. It's a general-purpose and multi-faceted language that programmers have used all over the world for over 20 years. IT specialists often use Java for enterprise applications, mobile apps, and web development, as well as in big data. Developers who specialize in this coding language value its versatility and compatibility. They often refer to it as the “write once, run anywhere” language.

Related: Java Interview Questions for Experienced Developers

5. Python

Python is one of the most widely used programming languages. It is easy to learn and understand and offers a variety of tools that make it useful for almost anything coding-related. It became popular in the 1990s, but programmers still rely on it today. This general-use language's primary focus is on high usability, as it can integrate with C and C++. Other than web development and data science, tech giants and startups working in artificial intelligence, deep learning, or enterprise applications use it often.

6. C

C is one of the first programming languages created and served as a base for other languages, including Python and Ruby. It is one of the most popular programming languages in history, and still highly functional for modern programmers. It's extremely efficient because of its rapid programming speed and is easy to extend. Developers typically use it in system programming, game development, and machine learning.

7. C#

C#, pronounced "see sharp," is a multi-paradigm language developed by Microsoft that works across Windows-enabled platforms. It has an extensive code library, codebases, frameworks, and data types. Developers often use this coding language for developing web applications, software, games, and other complex programs.

8. C++

C++ is an extension of the C language and also one of the foundational coding languages. Some of its benefits include rapid speed and adaptability. It's commonly used in graphics-heavy environments such as game and application development, browsers, and banking applications. C++ is a great language to learn for graphic designers and illustrators, as it's often used to create 2D and 3D animations.

9. PHP

PHP is another one of the oldest coding languages. It has been in use for over 30 years. It's a server-side language embedded in HTML. Just like many languages on this list, it's easy to learn and use and offers many useful frameworks. Mid-sized companies and large corporations often use it for interacting with web servers or any back-end databases that their software uses. Programmers can also use PHP to encrypt data to keep it secure.

10. Ruby

Ruby is a high-productivity coding language used in web applications, data analysis, prototyping, and proof of concepts. These functionalities of Ruby are possible because it's a general-purpose language similar to Python. The language came into use in 1995 in Japan. Today it's still considered one of the easiest languages to learn because it uses simple English words that are easy for programmers to understand. Finding errors or making changes in programming languages is faster because words have more variation and are easier to identify than strings of numbers.

In recent years, Ruby has become popular among many SaaS (Software as a Service) companies, educational organizations, and modern startups that build their platforms using this coding language.

Useful skills for a career in coding

To create an effective programmer's resume, you may want to focus on both soft and hard skills that potential employers may find useful. One way to help you get noticed during the recruitment process is to list specific computer programming skills on your resume. Here are some basic skills you can consider mentioning when applying for a position in IT:

  • Problem-solving: Highlighting problem-solving skills on your resume lets potential employers know that you're prepared to take on tasks that involve research, analysis, and critical thinking.

  • Communication: Programmers should know how to communicate well with other departments because it can make implementing project changes easier. Teamwork is an essential part of a career in programming, and communication fosters team building.

  • Self-motivation: Employers value self-motivated candidates because they are ambitious and growth-oriented. Constantly improving your qualifications and staying current on trends can help the company grow.

  • Time-management: Programmers use time-management skills to prioritize and organize their work schedule. Senior and lead developers may also use it to delegate tasks.

  • Attention to detail: As a programmer, you need to identify minor errors in long strings of code, so having excellent attention to detail skills is essential for ensuring accuracy in this role.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

This article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time. Indeed does not guarantee that this information is always up-to-date. Please seek out a local resource for the latest on this topic.

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