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Seven in-demand computer programming languages employers are looking for

Computer programming languages regularly feature on the most-wanted skill list for applicants in a range of fields, including computer science, statistics, finance and IT. It is in the best interests of prospective employees looking to secure lucrative, rewarding job roles to have at least several of these skills on their resumes and a desire to learn more in the future.

The best place to acquire these skills is at a leading university offering an online master’s of computer science. By completing a degree with a curriculum that covers all the important aspects of computer science and additional specializations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, you gain the skills and experience required to forge a successful career in this sector.

Most experts agree that programming knowledge and adjacent hard skills are ‘essential’ for securing roles at big tech firms such as Netflix, among others. Here are seven of the most in-demand languages, and a few others that have become more popular since the pandemic.


While new programming languages have grown in popularity in recent years, JavaScript remains the most sought-after skill for employers in the US by some distance. JavaScript first appeared way back in 1995 and along with CSS and HTML is one of the core technologies fundamental to the functionality of the World Wide Web. JavaScript is now used on 98% of all websites.

JavaScript is used to manage webpage behavior, with developers deploying it for tasks such as creating clickable buttons, animations, video players and other things that make content interactive. The good news for prospective computer scientists is that JavaScript is also one of the easiest coding languages to learn. Its widespread usage means that there are numerous tutorials and support communities.


Recent research by tech company HackerRank found that more than 50% of hiring managers are looking to source candidates with Python as a skill this year. Python has numerous use cases, though it is central to tasks such as data science, app development and back-end development. Its general-purpose capabilities mean that it acts as a kind of ‘jack of all trades’ programming language for developers who use it for different styles to achieve different ends.

Many of the world’s most popular apps and sites use Python, including Google Search and YouTube. That’s why it is now the second most in-demand language for employers screening applicants for new job roles. Like JavaScript, Python is relatively easy to pick up and learn, which makes it perfect for beginners, though more experienced users can also boost their resumes by learning it.


HTML is the second most used programming language after JavaScript, according to a list compiled by Stack Overflow. An acronym for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is used primarily as a code for formatting the appearance of documents and webpages. Its functionality is therefore limited when compared to some other programming languages, but it is no less important for web management. Webmasters will often use it to structure text such as titles, headers, paragraphs and internal links.


CSS is another accessible programming language used alongside HTML for web documents, web development and design. CSS is focused primarily on the appearance of different page elements such as their color, size and position. An acronym for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is true to its name as code can be applied that cascades down and acts as the main parent for the features on a website. This eliminates the laborious task of having to enter code multiple times across different sections of a site.

Employers will be looking for CSS as a basic skill for most roles. Fortunately, it is quite easy to get to grips with and can be used as a springboard for learning other more complex languages.


The third most popular programming language according to Stack Overflow’s survey is SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is used primarily for database management, where it can locate and access data and also edit it and remove it. Other use cases include creating sales reports and business management. Communicating with and manipulating databases is a core task for many computer scientists, so this is a skill that employers will be looking for when hiring new workers.


If you want to get into game and mobile app development, then C# is a programming language you will need to learn quickly. However, it is becoming more popular elsewhere, with HackerRank revealing that 20% of all hiring managers now want to bring in developers who can code using C#. It was released 20 years ago by Microsoft.


Perl is a lesser-known programming language and a rare skill on a developer’s resume, with only 3.1% using it. However, HackerRank found that those who can code with Perl command a 54% higher salary compared to ‘average’ developers, so it makes sense to try to add this to your skill set in the future. Perl is an interpreted language, which makes it a bit different from the others listed here, and is used for tasks such as network programming, GUI development and system administration.

While traditional programming languages dominate employers’ wish lists, the latest annual review of skills from Coding Dojo found that there are a number of newer languages growing in demand. JavaScript, for example, has dropped in popularity, while Python, C++ and Go have all been listed in thousands of job openings. These changes have been driven in part by the pandemic, according to experts.

Coding Dojo’s Jonathan Sandals notes: “While we look at the top languages in the industry, we also look at what’s happening below the surface. And two names came up strong: TypeScript and Kotlin.”

He added: “Among the other languages we checked, these two saw a significant rise. Both of them had thousands more jobs than last year, despite the pandemic. They, like Visual Basic and R, seem to be surprisingly benefiting from the pandemic.”

By learning the most popular languages and adding one or two others that are ‘trending’, you can put yourself in the best position to secure a range of job roles that require highly skilled, talented coders.

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