Top 10 programming languages employers actually need

The coding languages student developers know don't always line up with what organizations need, according to HackerRank.

What student developers actually want in a job

The war for developer talent wages on in the US, where there are more than 570,000 open computing jobs and fewer than 50,000 computer science graduates entering the workforce. Making matters more difficult for organizations seeking skilled programmers is the fact that the coding languages employers need are sometimes different from those that developer students know, according to a Tuesday report from HackerRank.

Globally, demand for JavaScript in particular is outpacing student expertise, the report found. JavaScript remains very popular in the enterprise and among developers in the workforce, and employers need it more than any other skill, according to HackerRank.

"There's a big opportunity for student developers to learn JavaScript and JavaScript-focused frameworks," the report stated. "As the direction for web applications have moved from static to dynamic, JavaScript has become increasingly dominant in the industry. In fact, 95% of web applications are built on JavaScript--so it's hard to ignore the disconnect."

SEE: Hiring kit: JavaScript developer (Tech Pro Research)

However, while 48% of employers say they need JavaScript skills, only 42% of student developers worldwide say they know the language, according to the report. The gap is particularly wide in India and Canada, while the US and the UK have the largest populations of JavaScript developers.

This skills gap can be traced back to college computer science curriculums, the report noted: JavaScript typically isn't taught in standard CS programs, and of the top 10 CS programs listed by US News and World Report, none explicitly include JavaScript in their core curriculum. Instead, students must rely on internships, personal projects, or mentorship to learn the in-demand language, the report found.

The reason for this is that computer science programs tend to focus on coding theory versus application, leaving little room for practical, industry-driven languages like JavaScript, according to HackerRank. Further, because the JavaScript ecosystem changes so quickly, it would be difficult for schools to keep coursework up to date, the report noted.

JavaScript isn't the only programming language with a discrepancy between employer demand and student knowledge. Here are the 10 coding languages employers need versus those developer students globally actually know:

1. JavaScript

Employers need: 48%

Students know: 42%

2. Java

Employers need: 47%

Students know: 66%

3. Python

Employers need: 33%

Students know: 53%

SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)

4. C++

Employers need: 21%

Students know: 66%

5. C

Employers need: 19%

Students know: 76%

6. C#

Employers need: 18%

Students know: 16%

7. PHP

Employers need: 15%

Students know: 25%

8. Ruby

Employers need: 8%

Students know: 5%

9. Go

Employers need: 7%

Students know: 2%

10. Swift

Employers need: 6%

Students know: 4%

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