Developers remain among the most in-demand roles in the tech community, and those skilled in the right programming languages can command salaries of over $100,000. But as the popularity of many coding languages rise and fall over time, it's important to know where to target your learning to gain the best job prospects, according to a Friday report from job search site Indeed.
Indeed analyzed US job postings in the tech software category, and determined which programming languages were most in-demand by employers between May and August 2018. The coding languages were ranked based on the percentage of job postings within the tech software category on Indeed that contained their name.
SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)
Here are the 10 most in-demand programming languages in that timeframe, and the percentage of Indeed job postings that mention them:
30% of job postings
At the top of the list, Java is used by millions of developers and billions of devices worldwide. Java is the official language of Android development, and 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java as a server-side language for back-end development, according to an analysis from Coding Dojo. Developers who know Java are often employed as software engineers, software architects, and DevOps engineers, according to TechRepublic's Nick Heath.
SEE: Job description: Java developer (Tech Pro Research)
26% of job postings
18% of job postings
HTML is a foundational language that was ranked as the easiest programming language to learn by WP Engine. Created in 1990, this markup language is one of the primary tools for creating standard web pages and applications across any browser.
17% of job postings
Python is commonly used in scientific computing, data mining, and machine learning. It's the fastest-growing programming language, and Stack Overflow predicts that by 2019, Python will significantly outstrip other languages in terms of active developers. The language is also one of the easiest to learn, thanks to its high readability and simple syntax, according to WP Engine. Common job roles for Python developers are data engineer, full-stack developer, and software engineer.
SEE: Hiring kit: Python developer (Tech Pro Research)
15% of job postings
C# is an object-oriented language from Microsoft, designed to run on the .NET platform, that is also used in video game development and building Windows desktop applications. It is well-documented, relatively easy to learn, and features many useful software libraries for developers to access, Heath noted. Typical jobs for C# developers include full-stack developer, .NET developer, and web developer.
12% of job postings
9% of job postings
XML stands for "eXtensible Markup Language," and is similar to HTML in many ways. It was designed to store and transport data, and to be self-descriptive.
6% of job postings
Ruby is a dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity. The web application framework Ruby on Rails surged in popularity in the early 2000s, as it allowed developers to build and launch applications quickly. However, it has since plummeted in popularity among job postings, leading some coding schools to remove it from their courses. However, it did rise from no. 9 on Indeed's list of in-demand programming languages last year to no. 8 this year.
5% of job postings
PHP is an old and often-criticized language, Heath noted, that is widely used across the web for web pages and apps. Developers often use this scripting language to add functions that HTML can't handle, or to interact with MySQL databases. PHP still underpins many popular CMS systems like WordPress, and is used by Google and Facebook, Heath said. Typical jobs for those who know PHP are web developer and WordPress PHP developer.
4% of job postings
Though it ranked at the bottom of the list, Perl remains popular for system and network administrators, and as a glue language, according to Coding Dojo. Perl began dropping in demand in terms of jobs in 2008, but it still has a number of loyal users, Stack Overflow noted.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Ruby, PHP, and Perl round out the bottom of the top 10. — Indeed, 2018
- The state of women in computer science: An investigative report (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Which programming languages are most popular (and what does that even mean)? (ZDNet)
- How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Programming languages: Python is hottest, but Go and Swift are rising (ZDNet)
- 7 programming languages that every developer should learn in 2018 (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.