Which Programming Language Is Best for Getting a Job?

Jan 25, 2020

With so many programming languages in existence, it can be overwhelming for a student to know where to start. This article aims to answer some questions by providing a list of popular languages with descriptions of their applications, challenges, and job potential.

Careers for Different Programming Languages

In general, computer programmers and web developers earn a bachelor's degree in computer science, use professional development or continuing education to keep up on new programming languages, and may earn certifications in specific languages. If you're planning a career in computer science, the wide range of topics, concepts, and programming languages can be overwhelming. This article will help you decide which programming language could be most beneficial for you to learn.

Career Median Salary (2020)*
Developer (SQL) $73,018
Developer (Java) $73,994
Web Developer (JS) $59,519
Software Engineer (C#) $72,921
Software Engineer (C++) $75,497
Software Engineer (Python) $88,847
Web Developer (PHP) $55,633

*Source: Payscale.com

Career Information for Programmers


SQL, pronounced 'sequel', stands for Structured Query Language and is used for managing large databases, which is something universally important for every business in the modern age. From banks to hospitals, universities to small businesses, SQL is the tool of choice. With such a large variety of businesses in need of SQL experts, it's no surprise demand is high. SQL is unique among database managing languages in that it allows for easy retrieval of records.


Java has long been a fixture of the programming world and is one of the most popular programming languages worldwide. It's used for developing native Android apps and is loved by developers for its readability and long-term compatibility. Java is typically used to create applications or applets that can run on one device or across many. Such applications include Netflix, Amazon, and LinkedIn.


While Java is used to build in structure of applications, JavaScript is what makes them exciting and interactive. Often abbreviated as JS, JavaScript is known for being the primary programming language of the World Wide Web. All major browsers have JavaScript capabilities built in, because nearly every website incorporates JavaScript into its function. If every website needs JavaScript, then every business with a website needs a JavaScript developer.


C# was developed by Microsoft and released in the year 2000, making it a young programming language. Like Java, it was created from C++ with the intention of focusing on the object oriented method of programming. C# is used to develop software components rather than entire applications, meaning it can be used within a sophisticated operating system or in an independent system with small, dedicated functions. With such a wide range of possible applications, it's an extremely valuable tool to keep in your back pocket.


C++ is C#'s more general purpose predecessor. First released in 1983, C++ has long been a fixture of computer programming. Both Microsoft and Apple rely on C++ to develop operating systems and applications. With that perspective, it's safe to say that most of the world runs on C++ at some level.


Python, named after Monty Python, is a programming language with a sense of humor and a simple syntax. Often recommended for beginners because of its readability, Python has become the standard first language to learn. But many find they keep coming back to Python because of its flexibility and the many libraries that are made available for topics in science and research.


PHP is similar to Python, but with web development features integrated directly into the language. Many new learners move from Python to PHP with relative ease as it is a practical language for web development. The language has a larger userbase than Python, which gives it a wider range of applications. Both Python and PHP are valuable tools both in learning to program and in continuing to master computer science.

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