Know the Programming Lingo: 6 IT Languages to Land Your Next Role

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Programming languages have come a long way over the years. To succeed in a role in software programming and coding, computer science or information technology, you’ll need to know more than basic HTML. It’s now essential to have at least a few different programming languages in your IT toolbelt.

Looking to begin your career or land a new position in IT? Here’s your guide to useful and up-and-coming programming languages that companies are looking for in today’s top candidates.


Python was named the top programming language of 2020 by the TIOBE Index, a monthly report that provides an update of the world’s most popular programming languages based on usage by engineers, companies and courses across the globe. It’s a worthwhile language for programmers to add to their skillset – over 50% of hiring managers are seeking candidates who know Python.

Python is used in fields such as data mining, AI and numerical computing; and has been used to build well-known platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and SurveyMonkey. The language is used mainly for app development, data science and back end development.

Programming leaders argue Python’s growth and rising popularity is due to heightened demand for software development in all fields. Programming skills are needed in nearly every industry today and it is a simpler programming language that can be learned easily by non-engineers or beginners in software development. For those looking to get started, Microsoft offers a free Python for Beginners video series on YouTube and a newbies’ guide is available on Python’s website.


Interested in finance, investing and e-commerce? Java is a programming language you would both enjoy learning and be able to use practically in a developer role.

This top-tier programming language is used mainly for app development and e-commerce, especially by companies that specialize in finance, billing and investing. Java is categorized as a general use and object-oriented programming language, meaning it can be used to create features that comprise functions to make up the structure of programs and applications such as enterprise software, big data analytics and scientific computing applications.

Several online resources exist to help you learn Java or have questions answered about the language, such as a tutorial site, sub-Reddit thread and a forum by Oracle.


Not to be confused with Java, JavaScript was the top language hiring managers look for in candidates across the globe, as well as being the most widely-known language by developers, according to a 2020 HackerRank report.

In a different report from Stack Developer, JavaScript was named the most popular language among developers for the eighth year in a row in 2020, with over 70% of survey respondents stating they’d used the language to program within the last year. The language is prototype-based, meaning once an object has been built using JavaScript, it can be later used as a template for creating similar objects.

JavaScript is widely known as the scripting language for Web pages, but it’s also used in non-browser settings such as Adobe Acrobat. Leading companies such as Reddit, eBay and Coursera all used the language to establish their platforms.

SQL (Structured Query Language)

If your organization is involved with database work and backend programming, having a programmer familiar with SQL on your team would be immensely useful. The purpose of SQL is to manage and query relational databases, document sales reports and overall business management.

Not only is SQL immensely useful for organizing and analyzing data, but it also topped the charts as the most popular programming language found on job postings in the last 60 days. The list was put together by Burning Glass, an analytics software company that analyzes millions of job postings from across the U.S. SQL operates on stream management systems or relational databases, which organizes data in tables for users to easily extract from or manipulate.

To further your career possibilities with SQL, learn its extension, NoSQL. This sister language, also known as Non-relational SQL, was created to improve SQL’s scalability while retaining the other language’s ease of use. NoSQL is perfect for working with immense amounts of data and storage because it is easy to scale. Tech giants including Google, Facebook and Amazon have utilized NoSQL to store and retrieve their enormous volumes of data.

C, C# and C++

Developed in 1972 by Dennis M. Ritchie, C is the most widely used programming language of all time. Since its publication and application, C has been adopted as a system development language. Though C is not as high-level as other programming languages in operation today, its expansive application is used in operating systems, text editors, databases and millions of other projects all over the world. Moreover, the entire C language family was used to partially program Microsoft Windows, Mac and Adobe programs.

C#, a variation of C, was released in 2002 by Microsoft and is predominately used for building desktop and mobile apps, virtual reality and game development – including both 2D and 3D games. Some users call C# a “much loved improvement” of another variation known as C++.

C++, part of the same language family, can build easily off pre-existing C code because they stem from the same family. It also includes an STL (Standard Template Library), which is a collection of libraries for algorithms, data structures and arithmetic operations.


Swift is one of the newer programming languages out there, but don’t let that downplay its impact in the programming world. It was first released by Apple in 2014 as a language to develop iOS and macOS applications, which operate on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs and Mac products. The language combines concepts from the open-source programming community with the broad Apple engineering culture.

Worried that learning Swift will pigeonhole you into only working with Apple products? Don’t worry – iOS apps are the most profitable and dominate the U.S. market share against Android apps. It’s also user-friendly for new programmers and Swift’s framework eliminate several common errors by adopting modern programming patterns.

Programming Roles in IT

It’s difficult to determine which programming language is “best” according to the surveys and reports done by data analytics firms. Every report involves different criteria for its rankings and each programming language differs in its specialty functions that apply to various types of projects, industries and virtual platforms on which something is being built. Think about your aspirations in the software developing field and do your own research about which programming language is best suited for you.

If you didn’t study computer programming or formally taught one or several languages, you can still pursue a career in the field by attending a bootcamp or online classes – some of which are free.  

At Addison Group, our clients are looking for job candidates with these skillsets and programming capabilities to help their organizations succeed as technology continues to evolve. Below are a few examples of programming positions our clients are looking to fill:

  • Full Stack Developer
  • Front End/Back End Application Developer
  • Principal Systems Administrator
  • Integrations Manager
  • Software Engineer

To kickstart your career in programming, reach out today.

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