In our modern world, coding skills are an essential requirement for many in demand jobs. There are, however, very different types of programming languages, each targeting a specific need and each resulting in a very different career. Consequently, aspiring programmers need to know which programming languages can provide a secure future and take them to where they want to go.

To know which programming languages are currently in the highest demand, there is one reliable source: employment giant Indeed.com’s 2016 report on which programming languages are included in job posts the most. Here is their ranking:

1. SQL

What is it and what does it do?

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a query language. In contrast to the other programming languages on this list, SQL does not instruct the computer to create a user interface but retrieves information from a database or databases, offering an unsurpassed ability to combine individual data sets to accumulative reports.

Why is it in demand and how will it fair in the future?

Big data is spreading in every field of industry. According to an EMC study, by 2020 there will be 1.7 megabytes of new data for every person on the planet in every second. These big data sets need to be handled and evaluated, and there is no better programming language for the job than SQL. From car makers to banks and governments, for the foreseeable future almost any field of industry will need a SQL databank expert, guaranteeing SQL a top rank among the most in-demand programming languages for at least the next decade. As an aspiring programmer, specializing in SQL means job security.

2. Java

What is it and what does it do?

Java is the native programming language of Android apps. Worldwide, 7 billion devices use Java, and 9 million programmers develop in Java. One of the main reason for the widespread use of Java is its flexibility. Java can create almost anythig, from programs to graphical user interfaces and library management system, etc. The only downside to Java is that it is difficult to learn, requiring more effort than most other programming languages.

Why is it in demand and how will it fair in the future?

Having recently celebrated its 20th birthday, Java is still very much in its prime. Java’s status as one of the most widely adapted programming languages seems secure. Combining the advantages of being the preferred programming language of most mobile devices and a language almost every device understands, Java has a secure market position that will guarantee its future for years to come.

3. JavaScript

What is it and what does it do?

Despite sharing an almost similar name with Java, JavaScript is a very different programming language. Mostly used as a scripting language in HTML pages, JavaScript is one of the World Wide Web’s cornerstones, making the web interactive and object oriented.

Why is it in demand and how will it fare in the future?

As an almost irreplaceable part of the internet, every company developing for the web needs a JavaScript expert. With websites constantly competing over the most engaging user experience, HTML & CSS alone are insufficient to create interactive, cool websites, guaranteeing JavaScript a secure place among the world’s most in-demand programming languages.

4. C#

What is it and what does it do?

C# (pronounced C-sharp) is a programming language developed by Microsoft in 2000. Aiming to improve productivity in web development and programming, this evolution of C and C++ provides a solid programming environment for enterprise software based on the .NET Framework.

Why is it in demand and how will it fair in the future?

C# has a specific target audience: developers of business application for Windows. This narrow focus both guarantees that C# will play a significant for years to come but prevents it from ever overtaking SQL and Java. For businesses creating software for Windows systems, there is no better programming language than C#.

Conclusion

Currently, the most in-demand programming languages can be split into two camps. One camp, including Java and JavaScript, consists of mobile and web-friendly programming languages that are popular when developing for general users. The other camp consists of industry targeted programming languages that can be used when working with big data (SQL) or creating business applications for Windows based environments (C#).

Interestingly, C++, PHP and iOS failed to make the top 4, indicating that new programmers aiming for a secure career should focus on Java (Android) over iOS, C# over C, and JavaScript over PHP.