Employers Want Technologists Who Know These Programming Languages

Which programming languages do employers want technologists to know? According to a new breakdown by IEEE Spectrum, knowing some of the world’s most popular programming languages can translate into significant job opportunities. 

IEEE Spectrum’s latest list of the world’s top programming languages allows users to isolate languages by employer demand. “We measured the demand for different programming languages in job postings on the IEEE Job Site,” is how the organization explains its methodology. “Because some of the languages we track could be ambiguous in plain text—such as D, Go, J, Processing, and R—we use strict matching of the form ‘X programming’ for these languages.” Based on that approach, IEEE was able to generate the following breakdown:

Python’s presence at the top of this list shouldn’t come as a surprise, given its utility in both generalist and highly specialized contexts. Over the past few years, more technologists and researchers have relied on Python for data-science and artificial intelligence (A.I.) work, building out extensive documentation and libraries in the process.

C, Java, JavaScript, and C++ are likewise the languages that power an enormous percentage of the world’s software; even if employers are interested in building future apps and services in other languages, there’s an enormous mountain of legacy code in these older languages that will need to be maintained for many years, if not decades. 

However, it pays to note (literally) that the most popular languages among employers aren’t necessarily the highest-paying ones. An analysis from Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, shows that languages such as Ruby and TypeScript can pay just as much, if not more, than Python and JavaScript. As with so much in tech, individual specialization and experience can have an enormous impact on compensation.

If you want to learn a programming language that employers want, though, you can’t go wrong with Python. If you’re new to the language, consider beginning with Python.org, which offers a handy beginner’s guide to programming and Python. Sites such as w3schools also offer handy tutorials on the language’s many aspects.