What programming language is best for your career?

By Robert Half on 4 November 2019

With so many different programming languages in existence, it pays to find out specifically what type of expertise businesses and recruiters are looking for.

With more and more services moving to digital platforms, talented programmers and developers with IT skills are becoming huge assets to firms in many different industries.

Coding capabilities are becoming increasingly attractive as businesses become more aware of the exciting ways in which they can be practically applied.

The fact there is pressure to teach children coding skills at school is a measure of how vital it is expected to be in the future, where everyone will have the wherewithal to construct a mobile app or website.

But in the here and now, those who have these capabilities will find themselves with an edge over other candidates when pursuing tech-focused jobs. But with so many different coding languages in existence, it pays to find out specifically what type of expertise businesses and recruiters are looking for.

Here are a few examples of the top coding skills that businesses are increasingly relying on right now that could help land your next job.


One of the long-established and most ubiquitous forms of coding, Java is a facet of almost every online service we come into contact with. Perhaps one of its key benefits for the modern-day developer is the fact it is used to develop Android apps and is behind some of the most visited sites on the entire internet, from Amazon to LinkedIn. Java’s popularity comes down to its readability and simplicity, so knowing Java is always going to steer you in good stead in applying for technology jobs.


While unrelated to Java, this programming language works across multiple platforms, so is ideal for websites that will be accessed via different devices and browsers. It's perfect for anyone developing websites with effects, interactive features, animations and pop-ups - common features on just about any brand website these days. If you’re looking to work in a creative environment and add to user experience, then this is certainly the programming language to learn.


For programmers who want to work with Microsoft Windows rather than Apple systems, C# can be a great multi-purpose language for developing web applications. It's popular with businesses as it's a cost-effective option and a modern, simple, general-purpose, object-oriented option.


PHP is a widely-used server-side scripting language that is especially appropriate for the creation of dynamic web pages. Suitable to design any type of website, this coding language can be embedded into HTML code and supports all major web servers, such as MySQL. Being a very user-friendly programming language, PHP is ideal for junior programmers, as well as for seasoned ones.


For organisations that routinely handle large quantities of complex data, SQL skills can be highly desirable. SQL means Structured Query Language and it's great for processing and storing high volumes of information. It is one of the most popular programming languages that are in-demand in developers to date as every technology eventually has something to do with SQL.


A useful stepping stone into more advanced forms of programming language, Python is a relatively straightforward programming language that delivers highly readable websites and is used by the likes of Reddit, Google and even NASA. Since it's regarded as an entry-level form of coding that doesn't demand too much prior knowledge, it could be ideal for relatively new professionals to help small businesses that want to boost their online presence without bringing in advanced specialist expertise.

Which programming language is right for you?

This list merely scratches the surface of the programming languages that exist, but the simple fact is that with the right coding skills, you will be ideally placed to offer valuable technical support and be a source of ideas for any organisation.

If you’re looking for a developer job, then it’s important to highlight your skills and professional development on your CV and the programming languages you are familiar with. See our advice for jobseekers hub to see how you can optimise your CV for you job search.

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