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The Most In-Demand Programming Languages Heading Into 2021

Jeff Monaghan

computer_programmingSoftware developer is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of software developers is expected to grow by 22% through 2029, and the median salary currently exceeds $100,000. Considering the sheer number of different software applications used at home, work, and every place in between, it’s no wonder that the demand for software developers continues to rise.

For programmers, coders, and other developers seeking development work, it’s never been more important to stay current on the programming languages being used throughout the world. Although some of these languages share key similarities and others require an entirely different level of understanding, having a deep knowledge of the right programming language can help land the right job or find work in a particular field.

Like human languages, there are hundreds of different programming languages that range from the mainstream to the obscure. Even though many of the most popular languages power today’s web, cloud, and mobile computing technologies, some of the most outdated languages still have a place in highly specialized industries. Still, for seasoned developers and fresh coders alike, having a working knowledge of the most in-demand programming languages can help establish a clear path towards a successful career.

Here are some of the most in-demand programming languages heading into 2021.

Python
Considered as one of the easiest software languages to learn and master, Python stands out as a great starting language for beginners. Often named one of the world’s most popular programming languages, Python powers the backend stacks of many startups and is essential in the growing fields of data science and AI. Considering that developers are still working through a rocky transition from Python 2 to Python 3, jumping into Python presents a great opportunity for new programmers and experienced developers to gain the upper hand on a growing programming language.

JavaScript
For the eighth year in a row, JavaScript has held the top spot as the world’s most commonly used programming language. As one of the most essential technologies powering the modern web, JavaScript’s extensive reach is used everywhere from websites to browser-based applications. Flexible, powerful, and widely available, mastering the JavaScript language can allow any developer to carry out front-end and back-end web development tasks. 

(Read: The Anatomy of an IT Job Search)

Java
In spite of its age, the 25-year-old Java technology is still used by more than 69% of full-time developers, with more than 51 billion active Java Virtual Machines in use throughout the globe. Web app developers and program managers rely on Java’s flexibility and user-friendly approach for its adaptability, stability, and versatile API. Considering that 90% of all Fortune 500 companies rely on the programming language, mastering Java is essential for coders seeking to work in back-end development projects, desktop computing, and Android development.

C
As one of the oldest programming languages in use today, C is still one of the most coveted programming languages. C’s general-purpose language makes it possible to power a wide variety of devices that rely on embedded software, such as Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic is also believed to be a driver of C’s recent growth and popularity, as the language powers the software used in many medical devices.

C#
Microsoft’s highly secure offshoot of C remains the go-to language for Windows applications and the .NET framework. Powering the Unity game engine, in use by approximately one-third of today’s top games, C# is used regularly by more than 30% of developers. Because the language continues to evolve and is used by thousands of companies around the world, brushing up on C# provides a great opportunity for developers seeking to work in Windows, gaming, and even virtual reality environments.

Swift
Quickly climbing the ranks as one of the newest programming languages in wide use, Apple’s Swift is powering the iPhone maker’s develop-once, use-anywhere approach. Developed as the successor to the company’s Objective-C language, Swift is a forward-leaning language that’s great for developers seeking to build apps for iOS and Macintosh.


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