Programming Languages to Help You Land That Job

Need coding experience for your career? Try one of these at home

programming languages to help you land that job

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It's no big secret that knowing how to write code is an important skill across multiple career types within several key industries. Some programming knowledge is a prerequisite for many jobs these days, not just those that are considered full-time developer positions.

Roles like project manager and data analyst require at least a basic understanding of computer programming, with more being added to that list on a regular basis.

What Programming Languages Should I Learn?

With so many programming languages in existence, it's not only important to have coding experience but also to choose the right specialties for the particular industry that you're interested in. Although most tend to utilize a wide array of different languages, there are some that hold more weight than others in certain businesses.

We've detailed many popular industries below, breaking down each one's key programming languages into two categories. Those listed under the Building a Base heading are often looked upon as the core languages for that respective industry, while Taking the Extra Step presents advanced options that can provide you with a leg up on the competition when trying to land a new job.

Big Data

An industry that continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the ability to collect and study large volumes of data in the field of predictive analytics relies heavily on specific coding languages. If you're looking to land a job as a data scientist or developer in the budding field of big data, learning one or more of the following languages is a good place to start.

Building a Base

Taking the Extra Step

Educational Industry

Believe it or not, the world of academia tends to be behind the curve when it comes to the programming languages that are used. While higher learning institutions may teach advanced coding courses, the actual languages used to create and administer their own systems are not always the latest and greatest. The reasons for this range from limited funding to having no pressing need to upgrade like you may find in other competitive industries. With that said, there are some programming languages that are more popular than others within educational institutions and related businesses.

Building a Base

Taking the Extra Step

  • Python
  • SQL

App Development

We've listed app development as its own separate industry because of the sheer number of programming jobs available that are specific to creating apps which run on Android and/or iOS smartphones, tablets and other related devices. If your goal is to develop platform-specific apps, then you should choose languages according to your target (i.e., Java for Android apps and Swift for native iOS apps). 

Building a Base

Taking the Extra Step

Gaming Industry

Video games are big business, and the programmers that play an integral role in creating them are often rewarded handsomely - both financially and with other attractive job perks. It isn't that easy to break into this industry as a coder, but developing some expertise in the following technologies will certainly make you a much more desirable candidate. Those languages listed in italics are specific to web-based games. For Android and iOS games, refer to the App Development section above.

Building a Base

  • C#/C++
  • Java

Taking the Extra Step

Manufacturing

When it comes to the manufacturing industry and programming, coders are needed for a variety of areas ranging from inventory management to actual engineering tasks. Whether you're engineering commonly-used items or delving into advanced robotics, the following set of coding languages are typically associated with high demand in the manufacturing sector.

Building a Base

  • C#/C++
  • Java
  • Python

Taking the Extra Step

Healthcare

The healthcare industry has become increasingly reliant on the easy and rapid availability of patient data and other key medical information, and the systems required to facilitate and maintain these virtual materials need experienced administrators and developers to create and run them. Knowledge of the following technologies can go a long way in helping you get hired in a healthcare IT position.

Building a Base

Taking the Extra Step

Financial Services

Whether you're facilitating everyday banking activities, trading stocks or dealing with high-end funds, the financial sector offers significant opportunity for programmers focused on one or more of the following languages - with Python and Java offering a good base to get started. Since this industry spans such a wide array of specialties, it's best to narrow this list down by perusing job listings for the specific area you're interested in.

Building a Base

  • Java
  • Python
  • R
  • VBA

Taking the Extra Step

  • C#/C++
  • SQL

Web Development 

Designing and developing websites and other web-based presences is an industry unto itself, and there are three areas in particular that you should concentrate on if you're looking to break into this field. Even with just a basic understanding of the following technologies you can create and style web pages as well as incorporate advanced behavior and interactivity. 

Building a Base

  • CSS
  • HTML5

Taking the Extra Step

  • JavaScript

General Purpose Languages

Some of the most popular programming languages are unsurprisingly those that are widely used across virtually all industries, making them suitable for a variety of tasks. For the most part, these general purpose languages are in high demand and therefore provide you with a decent chance of securing gainful employment as a coder no matter the field. 

  • C#/C++
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Python

Other Languages with Future High Demand Potential

In addition to the programming languages listed above, there are others that are just starting to gather some steam for all the right reasons and could end up having future demand on the job market in the near to long-term future. While we can't see that future through a crystal ball, it's a safe bet that some or all of these languages would eventually be looked upon as a nice addition to your coding arsenal.

Where to Get Started Learning These Languages

Now that you have a general idea of which programming languages you'll want to conquer for the specific industry that you're interested in, the next step is figuring out how to get started with the learning process. There is no one answer here, as most of the aforementioned languages have a wealth of resources available — both free and paid — including tutorials that are meant to be taken independently as well as online and in-person courses.

The learning path that you choose should be tailored toward your individual needs, preferences and budget.