Until recently, there were very few computer programmers with top-notch coding skills. However, with the ever-changing technology landscape, more professionals are required to fill varied IT positions, with most of them requiring a firm grasp of leading programming languages.

In case your desire is to advance in your career or perhaps go into a new one altogether and require a mastery of one or more programming languages, it’s possible to get confused on which one to go for. Since you have to pay and spend time working on them, it’s best to choose right.

There are a number of things to consider as you try to figure out the right one. This includes the level of difficulty you’re ready to learn, the current knowledge level that you have and that can align with the coding skills you currently possess, or why learning a programming language is a priority now.

Whether it’s about developing a mobile-based application, getting a certification for a programming language, or learning new skills, you still require to do the right thing. Below are varied top and in-demand programming languages for 2021. You’ll discover more about each language, how complex it is, and how you can use it.

Best Programming Languages You Can Learn

1. Java

Java is among the most commonly used programming languages, which also happen to be in high demand today. The language is general purpose and belongs to Oracle Corporation. It has a structure that is object-oriented and is now an accepted standard used for applications, the platform notwithstanding. It can work with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc, due to its WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) abilities. Thus, Java is well-accepted because it’s portable across varied platforms which include mainframe data centers as well as smartphones, among others. Currently, over 3 billion gadgets run on applications that have been built using Java.

The utilization of Java is seen in app and web development in addition to big data. The program is used also on many popular websites for their back ends, and which include Google, Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon. It’s also largely used in several applications. The newest Java frameworks such as Spring, Hibernate, and Struts happen also to be popular. Because of the millions of developers who use Java globally, there are many ways that one can learn Java. Programmers using Java have a successful community online and support one another in solving challenges.

On average, Java developers make about $75k per year. Here are more highlights about Java:

Intermediate level;
Requires problem-solving skills and awareness of the object-oriented framework;
Useful in platforms such as mobile, web, and desktop;
It’s a leading programming language that happens to be highly popular and most in-demand;
It’s the best for gaining top-notch coding skills;
Benefits: Enhances your capabilities in accessing and manipulating critical computer functions such as file system, sound, and graphics aimed at modern and sophisticated programs capable of running on any OS; a great way to gain critical coding skills that are highly required globally.
Downsides: Complex high-level language; a lot of vocabulary to learn;
Widely used and is highly applicable.

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2. Python

Python programming language is most commonly used today and is best for beginners since it’s easy to learn due to its readability. The open-source language is free and has extensive support components as well as community development, easy integration together with web-based services, data structures which are user friendly, and desktop applications that are GUI-based. The programming language is popular with deep learning and machine learning applications.

Python is mostly useful when developing 2D imaging as well as 3D packages targeted at animations, which include Inkscape, Blender, and Autodesk. It has been helpful as well in creating leading video games such as Civilization IV, Toontown, and Vegas Trike. Python is helpful when developing scientific as well as computational apps such as FreeCAD in addition to Abacus as well as being used by leading websites such as YouTube Pinterest, Quora, and Instagram. When it comes to earnings, Python developers can make around $79k annually. Here are more highlights of Python:

Beginner level- It enables beginners to quickly become productive;
Requires problem-solving and abstract thinking skills;
Used in platforms like Desktop and Web;
Popular among developers and programmers;
Benefits include flexibility; naturally and intuitively readable; its official tutorials as well as documentation are highly regarded
Downsides: Does not begin with programming fundamentals;
Popular and widely accepted across businesses and technical education;
Widely used coding skills.

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3. Swift

Most recently Swift made it to the top 10 list in the TIOBE monthly index ranking regarding popular languages for programming. Swift was developed by Apple in 2014, with the target being Mac and Linux applications. The language is open source and someone can easily learn. It supports most things from Objective-C for programming language. Swift needs minimum coding skills if you compare it with the rest of the programming languages, and it’s possible to utilize it together with IBM Bluemix as well as IBM Swift Sandbox. Swift is helpful in popular apps for iOS such as Mozilla Firefox, WordPress, SoundCloud as well as in games like Flappy Bird. Swift app developers take home about $103k yearly. More highlights of Swift include:

Targets beginners to intermediate level skills;
Skills needed include willingness in studying tutorials; one doesn’t need to have know-how in another programming language;
Works in Mobile platforms such as Apple iOS apps;
Benefits: Easier learning it; clean syntax; less code; faster compared to other programming languages; it’s open source;
Downsides: The language is still young; has no support for previous iOS versions; poor interoperability with tools associated with third party;
Extensively used to create iOS apps, which are utilized on the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.

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4. Kotlin

Kotlin as a programming language is general purpose and is applied in Android apps, server-side apps, desktop application, and web application development. Kotlin was designed with an aim of making it more sophisticated that Java, and those using it attest to this. Most Google apps have Kotlin as their basis. Some companies using Kotlin in programming include Pinterest, Coursera, PostMates, and more. As a Kotlin Developer, you should expect about $128k per year as the average pay and the potential earnings could go as high as $170,000.

Kotlin has some great benefits and its highlights include:

Targets intermediate to advanced level learners;
Requires a prior experience using programming languages, specifically Java;
Works with platforms such as Mobile, Web, Server, and Desktop;
Popular among developers and programmers;
Useful in Android applications;
Benefits include: Easier to adopt; less code-heavy compared to Java as well as other languages; it’s completely compatible with a language like Java;
Downsides: Missing static keyword and fluctuating speed in relation to compilation;
Highly applicable and widely used.

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5. C#

C# is a development from Microsoft that became famous back in the 2000s because of its support for the object-oriented concept of programming. As a programming language used for .NET framework, it ranks among the highly powerful for the same framework. Anders Hejlsberg, the language’s creator believes C# is more similar to C++ than Java is. C# is mostly suitable for apps on Windows, iOS, and Android, since it makes use of Microsoft Visual C++, a development platform that is integrated. C# is mostly utilized on most popular website back ends, which include Dell, Bing, MarketWatch, and Visual Studio. C# developers should expect earnings of around $67k per year. There are several benefits that come from learning C# and its highlights include:

Targets intermediate level;
Needs basic comprehension in writing code;
Works across platforms that include enterprise software and mobile applications;
It’s popular among developers and programmers, though not like Java, which happens to be its nearest competitor;
Benefits include: fast; simple to make use of; object-oriented; scalable & easy to update; interoperable with various other codes; open source; extensive library;
Downsides: C# is less flexible because of its dependence on .Net framework and has an x-platform GUI that is a bit poor;
Downsides: C# is less flexible because of its dependence on .Net framework and has an x-platform GUI that is a bit poor;
Almost a third of software developers use it, and more specifically its relevance is to Microsoft developers.

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6. C & C++

C could as well be the oldest programming languages that are commonly in use. In fact, it is from where all languages like Java, C#, and JavaScript were derived. The C++ programming language is an improvement of C. Currently, most developers skip C, while there are those who believe learning it first offers vital foundational skills necessary for learning about C++ development. Both languages apply widely in computer science as well as programming.

C as well as C++ developers are able to use compilers for varied platforms. That is why apps developed using these two languages are highly transportable. Both languages are thought to be high-performance and as such, their wide use is in developing applications that consider performance as a critical aspect. This includes client or server apps, commercial products such as video games, FireFox, as well as Adobe. C as well as C++ developers earn about $77k annually.

The highlights of both C and C++ programming languages include:

C suits intermediate to advanced learners; C++ is for beginner to intermediate-level learners;
Require skills that include problem solving; basic knowledge in computer; though geared towards lower-level management of computer resources, it’s beneficial to have awareness in computer functions like memory management;
Works with platforms like Desktop, Mobile, and Embedded;
They are popular with programmers. C has seen more migration to C++;
C++ is among the most popular programming languages today;
Benefits: C is helpful in learning the basics of programming starting from the lowest level; C++ offers more control compared to other languages;
Downsides: The C language has downsides like making coding in it stricter, not friendly to beginners, and has its learning curve a bit steeper. Likewise, the C++ has downsides such as it being more challenging to understand and used productively compared to C.
C & C++ are among widely used programming languages.

7. Go

Google developed Go in 2007 and meant it for web applications and APIs. Go is currently among fast-growing languages in programming because of its simplicity in addition to its ability in handling multicore & networked systems as well as massive codebases.

The creation of Go, also called Golang, was to meet the requirements who work on big projects. It has become more popular in big IT firms because of its simple as well as modern structure in addition to syntax familiarity. Organizations that use Go are such as Google, Twitch, Dropbox, Uber, and more. Currently, Go is becoming more popular among professionals like data scientists due to its agile and high performance nature. The expected pay for Go developers is somewhere around $111k annually.

More highlights of Go programming language are such as:

It targets beginner as well as intermediate-level learners;
Required skills: knowledge of at least one of the other languages; patience; willingness during learning;
Works with cross-platforms, but mostly desktop;
Not popular compared to Python or Java, though its popularity has continued to rise;
Benefits: Widely considered as a moderate language; easier to learn; transparent code; compatible; fast;
Downsides: No generics and this implies developers are likely to end up writing extra code than it would have happened if they were using other languages. Another issue is about limited library support and a developer community that isn’t that supportive or robust;
Widely used, mostly for Google apps (those created at Google).

8. Matlab

Matlab programming language is proprietary and MathWorks owns it. Originally, the language’s release was in 1980s. It’s designed specifically for engineers and scientists. Programmers utilize Matlab in building deep learning and machine learning applications. Maltab programs allow users to perform data analysis, creation of algorithms, processing of images, and verification of research. Generally, learning the programming language is easier compared to others in the list. MathWorks’ official website includes a devoted extensive section for answering questions regarding Matlab. On average, Matlab developers should look forward to earnings of about $101k per year.

Matlab programming language highlights are:

Suits beginners;
Recommended skills include basic programming;
Mostly works with desktops;
Compared to Python, it’s not popular. Its popularity is rising for running visualizations and for hardware engineering;
Benefits: Easy to use for running and testing algorithms; easily debugged; allows extensive analysis of data and visualizations; easier to grasp;
Downsides: Relatively slow as an interpreted as opposed to compiled language and it has its installation file taking significant space in the computer;
Not utilized extensively outside science.

9. PHP

The open source PHP programming language creation took place in 1990. Most web developers have found it necessary to learn, as PHP is often used in building over 80% of the websites found in the internet. This includes Yahoo and Facebook. Programmers mostly utilize PHP in writing server-side scripts. However, developers can utilize it in scripts related to command line. Also, programmers who have high-level coding skills in PHP can utilize the language in developing desktop apps. PHP developers attract an average pay of $82k annually.

The highlights of PHP as a programming languages include:

Skill level is beginner to intermediate;
Required skills: it’s simple when you have foundational knowledge in programming languages; newcomers can easily learn;
It’s cross-platform as it works on mobile, desktop, and web;
Popular with developers since it’s mostly used by over 80% of active websites;
Benefits: Open source; cost effective; flexible when it comes to database connectivity; simple to develop; can be integrated along with several different tools;
Benefits: Open source; cost effective; flexible when it comes to database connectivity; simple to develop; can be integrated along with several different tools;
Despite being utilized by many websites, it’s preference is coming down.

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10. Ruby

If you’re just beginning to learn programming and need a language that is easier to learn, then Ruby is what you need. It was designed back in the 1990s, with its design having a syntax that is friendlier to use while at the same time being flexible when it comes to its object-oriented infrastructure as it supports procedural as well as functional programming notation. Ruby implements a web-app framework called Ruby on Rails or simply “RoR”. The developers of Ruby have touted it as a language that is easier to use in writing code and for the short learning period that is required. The advantages have resulted in a huge community of developers who use Ruby. There is also an enlarging interest due to its growing preference by beginner developers. Ruby developers are expected to earn a pay of almost $77k yearly.

The highlights of the Ruby programming language are such as:

Level: beginner- Ruby as well as Ruby on Rails have continued to evolve and now have become a very popular choice for Ruby developers;
Skills required: Abstract thinking (should visualize what users would like to see in an application); problem solving;
Work with web platforms;
Rising popularity;
Benefits: Flexibility; Syntax that is easy in reading and writing; reinforces good style during programming;
Widely used.

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11. R

Essentially, this open source programming language called R is a differing version of a programming language called S. For code, a lot of what programmers and developers write for S can run on R with no modification at all. Apps built in this programming language are used to process statistics that include linear as well as non-linear modelling, testing, calculation, visualization, in addition to analysis.

Applications developed using R are able to interface with varied databases. They can also process structured in addition to non-structured kind of data. R isn’t easy to learn for newcomers as its learning curve is fairly moderate. However, it has a robust online developers’ community that can be helpful when you’re learn new skills in coding.

The important highlights of R programming language are like:

Fits intermediate level learners;
Skills required: Easier when one understands Python or JavaScript; Recommended for those whose grasp in mathematics is good;
Used mainly for desktop platforms;
No longer as popular as before because of Python which is now rivalling it;
Benefits: Open source; various packages available; great for applications for machine learning; cross-functions with Windows, Linux as well as Mac OS;
Great support essential in managing data;
Great support essential in managing data;
Downsides: Slower than Python or Matlab; storage of objects in physical memory and this can be strenuous to resources; no basic security;
Mostly utilized in analytics.

How Do You Get Started?

Despite the existence of many programming languages, only a few in the list should be of interest to you, and based on our opinion, these are mostly the first seven. If you wish to begin a career in app development or programming, transition into a different but similar field, or perhaps rise up in the career ladder, learning any or a number of these languages would be an excellent step. There is the right course for everyone, whether you’re just beginning or have some experience in the field. Once you’ve made up your mind to learn a programming language of your choice, going for a reliable training course as well as certification would be a good move. After that, you can now apply and get that highly-paying developer or programmer job you’ve always wished to get!