best programming language to learn

Several IT jobs today are demanding for their employees to have a solid grasp of the top programming languages – yes, more than one. If you are someone who is looking to advance in your career and are looking for the best programming language to learn, this would be the right guide for you. 

You will have to consider several aspects such as willingness to learn, difficulty level, existing knowledge, your reason to learn the top programming languages, and more. Whether you want to get a certification in programming, or learn how to develop mobile applications, there is a need to learn the best programming language. Through this blog, we will talk about the best programming language to learn in 2021, the annual salary projection, and its complexity. 

Top Programming Languages to Learn in 2021

1. Python

One of the most commonly used programming languages today, Python has quickly evolved to be the language of choice for most beginners. This is due to its ease in readability. Python is a free, open source programming language and has easy integration processes. It is user-friendly and has GUI-based desktop applications. Python can be used in various applications such as 2D and 3D imaging and animation packages such as Autodesk, Inkscape, and Blender. Video games such as Vegas Trike, and Civilization IV are also created with the help of Python programming. It can be useful for scientific and computational application processes and also popular sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. The annual salary of a python developer is close to $72,500, according to glassdoor. 

Also Read: Top 10 Uses of Python in Real World with Examples

2. Java

Java is a perennial programming language that has been used for years in the software industry. It is a general-purpose programming language that is object oriented and can be used regardless of the platform. (e.g., Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, etc.). This is because of its Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) capability. Due to this, java is known to work on cross platform functionality. There are currently 3 billion devices that are running applications that are built with Java. Java is widely used in application and web development, it is also used in big data, and in the backend of popular sites such as Twitter, Google, Amazon, and YouTube. There are new java frameworks such as Hibernate, and Spring. These frameworks are also becoming popular among professionals who wish to learn programming languages. Compared to Python, Java is a bit more complex to learn, but professionals who are experienced with this language are in high demand. As a java developer, you can earn up to $79,000 each year, according to glassdoor. 

3. Kotlin

Another general-purpose language, Kotlin was originally developed by JetBrains in 2011. However, the first version of Kotlin was released in 2016 and is interoperable with functional programming languages and Java. Kotlin has several applications and can be used for desktop applications, web applications, android applications, and server-side application development too. Several applications by Google are based on Kotlin and companies such as PostMates and Coursera are using Kotlin as their primary language. As a Kotlin developer, you can earn an average salary of $136,000 a year, and can go up to $171,500, according to ziprecruiter. 

4. Swift

Swift was developed by Apple in 2014 for Linux and Mac applications. Swift is an open-source programming language that requires lesser coding skills when compared to some of the other programming languages. Swift can be used with IBM Swift Sandbox and IBM Bluemix and is also used in popular areas such as WordPress, Firefox, Mozilla, and SoundCloud. Professionals with programming knowledge in Swift earn an average annual salary of $96,000, according to glassdoor. 

5. C#

C# was developed by Microsoft and rose to fame in the 2000s and is an object-oriented programming language. The creator of C#, Anders Hejlsberg, said that the language is much like C++ when compared to Java. It is one of the most powerful languages for the .NET framework and is best suited for Android, iOS, and Windows since it takes the help of IDE products, Microsoft Visual C++. Popular websites such as Dell, Bing, and Visual Studio, also use C# in their backend. According to glassdoor, a C# developer earns an average of $68,500 per year.

6. C and C++

The root of programming languages such as C#, Java, and Javascript, C is one of the oldest languages that is commonly used. If you are looking for the best programming language to learn, you must definitely learn C as it provides a foundation for C++ development as well. In computer science and in programming, C and C++ are widely used. 

C and C++ are both considered to be high-performance languages and are widely used in areas where performance is crucial, such as commercial products (Adobe), client/server applications, and video games too. A C and C++ programmer earns an average salary of $76,500 each year, according to Glassdoor. 

7. Go

Developed by Google in 2007 for APIs and web applications, Go has very recently started becoming one of the fastest growing programming languages. Go is popular due to its simplicity. It can handle multicore systems and massive codebases. Go is also known as Golang and is popular among large IT companies due to the syntax familiarity and simplicity of use. Twitch, Dropbox, and Uber are some of the companies who are making use of Go as their programming language. Go has gained popularity among data scientists due to its performance and agility. A Go developer can earn an average salary of $92,000 per year, and earn up to $134,000 according to glassdoor. 

8. PHP

PHP was created in 1990, it is an open-source programming language that many web developers find essential to learn, as this language is used to build more than 80% of websites. Facebook and Yahoo are some of the companies who are making use of the programming language. Developers also use this language to write command-line scripts, server-side scripts, and desktop applications. For beginners, PHP is considered to be a relatively easy language to learn. PHP programmers earn an average annual salary of $81,500 according to glassdoor. 

9. Matlab

Matlab was originally released in the mid-1980s and is a proprietary programming language owned by MathWorks. Matlab was built to be used by engineers and scientists and is used to build machine learning and deep learning applications. It is also used to create algorithms, verify research, process images, and analyse data. 

The MathWorks website has an extensive section that allows you to learn more about matlab. A Matlab developer earns an average salary of $101,000 each year, according to ziprecruiter. 

10. R

A free software environment for graphics and statistical computing, R is a programming language that is widely used among statisticians and data miners. They mainly use R programming for data analysis and statistical software development. R programming was created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman and alongside Python, has grown to become one of the most widely used programming languages in 2021. According to ziprecruiter, R developers earn an average salary of $91,000. 


This brings us to the end of the blog on what is the best programming language to learn in 2021. There are hundreds of programming languages available today, however, these are just the top 10 that you should pick up and are the most popular or widely used languages in most of the companies across the world. If you wish to shift your career or move up the ladder in your current role, it is important to upskill and continue learning the programming languages that are in high-demand. Join Great Learning’ PGP Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning course. Unlock your dream career and learn the most in-demand skills.



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