By Hari Krishnan Nair
In 2020, the sudden global rise of digital-first business solutions led to a spike in demand for programming talent that can build and customise these solutions as per the need of organisations. According to industry estimates, there are close to 85,000 vacant roles for coders across companies. Looking at this scenario, it is the best time for students as well as professionals to gain fluency in key programming languages to build a successful career in 2021.
How to choose the right programming language?
For freshers and graduates, picking the right programming language is a stepping stone to ensure steady growth in their professional life. Each programming language is designed for a specific purpose and has its own merits and demerits. Here are three parameters that are essential in decision-making towards a language of choice.
1. Job opportunities available in the chosen language: Professionals equipped with such skills should be able to command great career opportunities in leading roles like software application engineer, computer system engineers, web developers, data analyst, business intelligence analyst, amongst others, with sizable remunerations.
2. Uptick in popularity of chosen languages: The choice of the programming language should be mainstream and firmly established in the software development industry.
3. Career goals: Gaining fluency in these programming skills becomes important if the learner is looking to carve out a career in digital competencies like data science, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Here is the list of top programming languages that will be in demand amongst employers in 2021.
Python: It is one of the most rapidly growing and versatile languages as it contains a plethora of libraries that cater to different roles. It is considered easy to use as is interpreter-based and has high levels of readability. Indeed, a job search portal ranked it as the third-most profitable programming language in the world. The average salary of a Python developer in India with 2-4 years of experience is around Rs 5 lakh.
Java: The existence of Java dates way before Python. It continues to be a popular choice in large organisations like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, IBM, HCL and Cognizant. The language is known to be extremely stable and is extensively used for enterprise-scale web, mobile and desktop application development as well as big data applications. Learners can command popular roles like junior developer, architect, Java web developer, Java Android developer and Java EE developer after equipping themselves with such skills, with a median salary ranging from Rs 3-11 lakh per annum.
R: It is one of the best programming languages to learn as it is a comprehensive statistical analysis language that encourages developers to initiate new ideas. The flexibility of usage allows R to be used on massive datasets at various organisational levels. It offers an excellent framework in the fields of data science and analytics, machine learning, statistical computing and graphics. The average base salary of a data analyst with R skills in India is around Rs 5 lakh per annum. The maximum salary that professionals can earn in this profile is around 9.7 lakh per annum. KPMG, Amazon, EY, Honeywell, Dell and Wells Fargo are some companies that are using this language to code.
PHP: Created in 1990, PHP is an open-source programming language that is considered essential amongst web developers. This language is used to build more than 80% of websites on the internet. Some of the most popular websites like Yahoo and Facebook are built on PHP. The basic average salary of a PHP developer in India can be Rs 6 lakh per year.
Swift: It’s an open-source, easy-to-learn and general-purpose programming language developed by Apple in July 2010. It requires fewer coding skills compared with other programming languages, and can be used with IBM Swift Sandbox and IBM Bluemix. With a few years of experience, Swift developers can earn nearly Rs 11 lakh per annum.
Kotlin: It’s a statically-typed, general-purpose programming language introduced by JetBrains in 2011. It is sponsored by Google and was announced as one of the official languages for Android development in 2017. The language is majorly used in developing Android apps, web applications, desktop applications, and server-side application development. Developers with relevant skills and some experience can command salaries of Rs 8-10 lakh per annum. Almost every company working in mobile app development prefers hiring developers who can write apps in Kotlin for Android.
The author is co-founder, Great Learning