5 Programming Languages IT Graduates Should Know

Regardless which field of IT you decide to work in, knowing at least one of these popular programming languages is crucial!
Ivy Simon
Editorial Writer
Regardless which field of IT you decide to work in, knowing at least one of these popular programming languages is crucial!

With so many programming languages to choose from, which ones should you prioritise as an IT graduate? 

Though tech employers do hire across a wide range of programming languages, there are a few that are more commonly used by businesses right now. Having a working knowledge of one or more of these will be key in helping you secure a job in the tech industry.

1. JavaScript 

Commonly used in: Web development and software engineering

One might argue that JavaScript is the programming language that will never die. It is one of the most widely used back-end programming languages, making it incredibly useful to learn. 

JavaScript is used as a client-side programming language by 97.3 percent of all the websites. This is because JavaScript is a text-based programming language that can be used on both the client and server sides to create interactive web pages. It adds interactive components to websites that engage users in the same way HTML and CSS give structure and style to web pages. 

Benefits of JavaScript:

  • It has a well-organised codebase that provides enhanced productivity and readability.  
  • Easy to learn and is highly in demand.
  • Platform independence and greater control of the browser.  
  • Provides user input validation features.
  • The top companies using JavaScript are Microsoft, Uber, PayPal, Google, Walmart, etc.

2. Python

Commonly used in: Web development and writing machine learning script

Python has been dubbed one of the easiest programming languages to use compared to others because it is very beginner-friendly. What sets Python apart from other programming languages is how programmers write their commands in-line using English keywords instead of columns, which speeds up the coding process. 

Python is also known for its adaptability, allowing it to be used for almost anything. It is used to develop a portion of the software stack at big companies like Instagram, Google, and Facebook because of its practicality and flexibility. It is also frequently used as the back-end for online services, machine learning, and data science platforms, besides being used as a web application scripting language. 

Additionally, a variety of Python frameworks like Django, TurboGears, and Flask can assist programmers in creating complicated applications. Because of its simplicity in application, Python is widely regarded as the language of the future for software development. It serves as the main coding language for more than 80 percent of developers. 

Benefits of Python:

  • Easy to learn and code.
  • Has extensive libraries and frameworks that support a plethora of applications.
  • Incorporates variants of Java and C like CPython, Jython, etc.
  • Has native GUI support.
  • Companies working with Python: Intel, Facebook, Spotify, Netflix, etc. 

3. C/C++

Commonly used in: Computer engineering and software development

C is unquestionably one of the hardest programming languages to master, due to the complexity of the language used. C is mainly used to create many types of applications and operating systems such as Windows, Photoshop, Git, and Python interpreter. 

Despite its complexity, C is widely used as a foundational programming language before transitioning to learning other languages. People who work on Microsoft and Windows today still use C/C++. It works great for applications built using Unity 3D, making it a versatile solution for video game developers. 

Compared to the past, newer developers don’t pay as much attention to C, as high-level languages such as Python, Java, and JavaScript are easier to learn and save time by requiring less direct code to be written. Even so, there are still some key advantages to learning C that developers can definitely benefit from.

Benefits of C/C++:

  • A good way to understand foundational programming concepts. Making software in C enables you to apply and comprehend more complex ideas from computer science such as Mutex, Semaphore, atomic operations, inter-process communication and shared memory.
  • Essential for interacting with hardware: The embedded software industry makes extensive use of C. Even operating systems, middleware, and firmware use it. Many real-time operating systems (RTOS) are also written in C.

4. Java

Commonly used in: Software engineering

Java is sometimes considered a simpler version of C, in that it is another common foundational programming language. Don’t confuse Java and JavaScript though, as they are completely different. Java is a compiled language whereas JavaScript is an interpreted language. Java has a similar syntax to C and C++, but is easier to understand and has fewer low-level features because it is interpreted automatically by compilers and virtual machines. 

Java is used in a wide range of industries, including banking, retail, financial services, big data, and many more. Large financial institutions like hiring Java programmers to create applications that can automate daily transactions. Java is currently used on more than three billion devices around the world. 

Benefits of Java:

  • Platform independence and object-oriented programming
  • Enhanced productivity, performance, and security
  • It is the most secure programming language
  • Companies working with Java: Amazon, Adobe, Flipkart, Instagram, etc.

5. C#

Commonly used in: Game development and smartphone app development

C# is a programming language that runs on the .NET framework and was developed by Microsoft in 2000. Although C# can be used to develop nearly anything, it excels at creating Windows desktop apps and video games. In addition to being useful for creating mobile applications, C# is also useful for creating online applications. Apps created in C# may run on practically any mobile device thanks to cross-platform solutions like Xamarin.

The Unity game engine, created using C#, is the most popular video game engine in use today and is frequently used to build games. There are over 770 million active users of games built with the Unity engine. 90 percent of all Samsung Gear and 53 percent of all Oculus Rift VR games were also created using the Unity game engine.

Numerous features in C# make it simple to learn. It's a sophisticated language that's fairly simple to read. Additionally, because the language is statically typed, the code is verified before being transformed into an application. This makes it simpler to spot mistakes, which can be very helpful for beginners. Although the syntax of C# is more logical and consistent than that of C++, there is still plenty to learn.