Learn About the Top-Paying Programming Languages

As a developer, there are numerous ways to boost your earning potential. However, one of the clearest differentiators that can lead to surprisingly different salaries is the programming languages you know.

Developers with expertise in the right programming languages can out-earn others in the field, at times significantly. As a result, by adding the right ones to your resume, you can set yourself up for an incredibly lucrative career.

If you’re curious about why some programming languages lead to higher salaries, as well as which ones pay the most today, here’s what you need to know about the top-paying programming languages.

Why Some Programming Languages Pay More Than Others

When it comes to the value of a particular programming language, there are two main factors. First, there’s demand. Regardless of a language’s capabilities or difficulty, if companies aren’t seeking a particular language, knowing it isn’t worth much. Employers won’t see your expertise as a clear value-add, causing it to have little to no impact on the salary you’re offered.

Second, supply plays a substantial role in the value of a programming language. If a particular one is being sought out by employers, the availability of talent that possesses that capability influences salary offers. When there is plenty of talent, pay rates remain flat because companies aren’t competing for job seekers. If talent is limited, companies have to compete for candidates, causing salaries to rise.

Generally, if a programming language is reasonably in demand and there is a short supply, it works in the candidate’s favor. However, if there is also a steeper learning curve for that language, it may bump up pay rates a bit, too, mainly because companies might not be able to upskill their current team.

The Top-Paying Programming Languages

While many would assume that popular languages like C++, Python, Java, and JavaScript would come with the highest salaries because demand remains incredibly high, that isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, some surprising languages are higher on the list.

Here are ten of the top-paying programming languages:

  • Clojure
  • F#
  • Elixir
  • Erlang
  • Perl
  • Ruby
  • Scala
  • Rust
  • Go
  • LISP

When it comes to the top-paying programming languages, supply and demand are the biggest contributors. Fewer developers know some of those languages than the more popular ones, but many companies still rely on certain ones from the list heavily.

However, difficulty also plays a part here, as some of the highest-paying languages have steeper than average learning curves. For example, Clojure is considered to be fairly difficult to learn. For Erlang, it doesn’t have a lot in common with many other languages so, while it isn’t inherently hard to figure out, the departure from norms does steepen the learning curve.

Should You Learn the Top-Paying Programming Languages?

Whether you should pick up the languages above depends largely on your career goals. While these languages can lead to higher paychecks, many aren’t as in-demand as some of the classics. As a result, there may be fewer opportunities to use them.

However, adding one or two to your repertoire could be wise if you already have the most widely sought languages. It’s a way to differentiate yourself, and it may allow you to qualify for roles others won’t, giving you a chance to capitalize on your knowledge.

If you’d like to find out more, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today


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