The Most Valuable Programming Skills to Add to Your Repertoire Right Now

What should you add to your technical tool belt over the next year? A lot of technical professionals are weighing this conundrum right now, so we’re here to help! The following five—okay, technically six (see #4)—programming skills will not only beef up your resume and expand what you can do with your technical skill set, they’re also all really high in demand and will open up a wider range of job possibilities for you.

1. Python: Data jobs have seen a strong demand all year long and they’re at the top of the list for the trending job titles of December. The go to language for everything data related is undoubtedly Python, although R also has a place of prominence in the field. If you’re interested at all in data science or artificial intelligence, getting into Python is an absolute must.

2. TypeScript: Whether or not you consider this a “full” programming language, it’s hard to ignore its rapid adoption among a wide range of developers, especially those on GitHub. Some experts are even predicting that TypeScript is starting to cannibalize JavaScript’s overall market share. Plus, some technologists think of this tech as the new and improved version of JavaScript! Regardless of where you land on the nuances of its place in the technical world, it’s hard to ignore the surge in usage and demand that TypeScript is currently commanding, which can make it a real asset when looking for a new job or arguing the value you bring to the table when asking for a raise.

3. Rust: If you’ve ever perused the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, you will have undoubtedly seen that Rust is often among the top if not the very top most loved programming language. Praised for its elegance, simplicity of use, memory safe, and ease of adoption even for amateurs, Rust is a great language to learn if you don’t have a lot of time dedicated to the learning process because you can pick it up and run with it quickly.

4. Swift or Kotlin: Yes, we’re cheating by selecting two (very) different programming languages for the fourth slot but they both relate to mobile development and, while it would be great to know both, there’s a lot you can do with one or the other. Both are considered first class languages to use for development on their respective operating systems, though it’s fair to say that Java is still the overall preferred programming language for Android developers where as Swift is the undoubted iOS heavyweight. If you’re getting into mobile development at all or looking to learn how to develop mobile apps for Android when you specialize in iOS or vice versa, these languages should be at the top of your list.

5. Java: Here’s the thing about Java—it’s not going anywhere any time soon. It has such a wide range of applications and a staggering popularity of use among developers that it’s definitely worth learning if you haven’t already. Plus, it’s always in high demand among employers so you know having Java on your resume is a good idea if you’re a technical professional.

Hopefully this list of the best programming languages to add to your repertoire right now gave you an idea of what you want to get into over the course of the next year. While all of these might not be the right fit for the specific job you have or the career you want, they’re widely useful across the board and adding one or more of them to your current skill set will make you a more valuable employee, help you secure raises, help you get promoted, beef up your resume, help you secure a new job when you’re ready, and keep your passion for technology alive. What could be better than that?