The best programming languages to learn in 2022

Based on job demand, Python is the top language, followed by Java, JavaScript, C++, C# and C, says CodingNomads.

Programming language concept. System engineering. Software development.

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One of the challenges for people pursuing a career in programming is deciding which languages to learn. With so many languages used for different purposes, choosing the ones you want to study will depend on the specialty that most interests you as well as on job demand. A report released on Tuesday by programming course site CodingNomads looks at the "best" programming languages for 2022.

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If you're excited by the data and logic side of coding, you may wish to learn Python, Java, C, C++ or C#. If you're jazzed about visual design and user interfaces, TypeScript might be up your alley. And if you're looking to develop mobile apps, you'd want to check out Java for Android, and Swift or Objective-C for Apple's iOS.

Aside from satisfying your own professional interests, you naturally want to select a language that's in demand among employers and promises a good salary. In this regard, CodingNomads examined the most popular languages based on job postings and on salary.

Looking at the greatest number of job postings on LinkedIn across the U.S. and Europe, CodingNomads awarded the top spot to Python. In second place was Java, with JavaScript, C++, C#, C, TypeScript, PHP, Perl and Ruby rounding out the top 10.

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Image: CodingNomads

Analyzing the average salaries of the most in-demand languages according to data from Indeed and Glassdoor, CodingNomads put Ruby in first place with an average salary in the U.S. of $111,994. C++ came in second with a salary of $103,818. The other languages and their salaries were Python at $103,540, JavaScript/TypeScript at $100,492, Java at $96,786, C# at $89,203, PHP at $85,435, Perl at $83,159 and C at $82,924.

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Image: CodingNomads

TypeScript was not listed separately because it had limited salary data. But CodingNomads deemed its salary similar to that for JavaScript jobs. Also, these figures are considered average salaries and not what beginning programmers would earn. But successful coders can expect to meet or beat these salaries within a couple of years, according to the report.

Python

As a general purpose, server-side language, Python is used for a variety of tasks from simple scripting to advanced web applications and artificial intelligence. For developers interested in data science or machine learning as well as overall software development and web development, Python is the best language to learn, according to CodingNomads.

"While Python has been around for decades, the demand for Python skills in 2022 will continue growing exponentially thanks to its use in the booming industries of data science, machine learning and AI," said Ryan Desmond, co-founder and lead instructor at CodingNomads. "In addition, Python is considered one of the easiest, most powerful, and most versatile languages to learn, making it popular amongst companies, developers, and aspiring developers."

Java

A respected and time-tested language, Java is widely used by organizations around the world. Java is the main language behind Android, which owns an 85% share of the mobile market. It's also the most popular language for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Java is considered harder to learn than Python but easier than C or C++, according to CodingNomads. The main reason is that Java improved on C, and Python improved on Java. On the plus side, once you master Java, learning something like Python will be much easier. Anyone who wants to pursue a career as a general software engineer or mobile developer and doesn't mind the challenge would do well to study Java.

JavaScript

Used on more than 97% of the world's websites, JavaScript allows you to set up dynamic and interactive content, animated graphics and other complex features on the web. It's also the most popular language among contributors on GitHub.

Unlike the other languages covered in the report, JavaScript is primarily a client-side language in that it executes within a web browser. However, it's increasingly being used on the server side with run-time platforms such as Node.js and Frameworks. Overall, JavaScript is the best language to learn if you enjoy coding for visual design and user interfaces.

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SQL

One popular language described in the report is SQL. Not listed among the top 10, as it's more a querying language than a programming language, SQL boasted more job postings than all the other languages on the list in both the U.S. and Europe. No matter what programming language you use, you'll typically use SQL to talk to databases. Therefore, learning this language is a good idea for most software developers.

Whichever languages you choose to study and pursue, CodingNomads offers an especially useful piece of advice.

"While several of the languages on this list would be great programming languages to learn, one of the most important and impactful things you can do while learning to code is to learn one language really well before attempting to learn another," CodingNomads said. "If you try to split your time learning multiple languages at once, it will take you a very long time to get proficient at any of them. Whereas if you focus and get really good at one language, it will be easier to pick up additional languages in the future."

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