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What are the best paid enterprise IT programming languages?

by Heat Recruitment

The IT sector is rapidly expanding, and so with it, we see a comparable rise in the number of specialists required. Indeed, cybersecurity and IT staff are seeing a huge rise in pay packets in the midst of the current climate – cybersecurity workers in particular have seen their pay increase by a minimum of 10% – far above the national average increase of 1.8%.

Amidst weightier pay packets and this skills shortage, we see IT specialists increasingly working on a contract basis. How then, for financially minded IT specialists, can skills be properly remunerated? Which programming languages have the greatest potential return on investment?

In terms of sheer popularity, the languages making up the top three will surprise no-one. JavaScript, Java and Python have claimed the top spots, claiming 97%, 63% and 54% growth in pull requests respectively.

The best paid programming roles rely on supply and demand. In short, pay packets hinge on programming languages with fewer specialists and greater amounts of projects ongoing. Whilst, by virtue of sheer obscurity, the best paying tasks can often feature ‘dead’ languages, future-facing programmers will expertly side step these projects in favour of more evergreen opportunities. True to form in the modern world, however, every language is in demand – just with varying degrees of supply.

Placing fourth in terms of the pay commanded we see C++ – commonly used in high performance software and software infrastructure. With searches for the term steady at 6.3% of the overall total, C++ specialists can often secure £50,000 and above.

Despite coming fifth in terms of search engine queries, however, Python currently places third in terms of salary potential. Objective-C places second, but is excluded from this piece for obvious reasons. Indeed, Python specialists are currently being recruited for £60,000+. Used by Google and NASA, the versatile language is a mainstay of the modern programming scene.

Simply by the virtue of its prevalence, Java has claimed the mantle of ‘best paid programming language’ for 2017. With the ability to run on virtually any platform, Java is the workhorse of IT programming. Nearly 90% of developers have some form of specialisation in this language, and in the UK, Senior Java Developer roles can provide salaries upwards of £60,000 – £70,000.

It is an indisputable fact that a string of qualifications and experience in various languages is the best way to secure long-term financial returns. On a case by case basis, the language with the most significant return on investment is clear. More common languages will indeed provide a return on investment, but it is the variety of skills that keeps this return consistent.

As the skills shortage shows no sign of abating, the pay packets commanded by IT specialists will only rise further. For the future, however, the programming languages demonstrating the fastest levels of growth (in terms of pull requests) is Swift and TypeScript – with 262% and 250% increases respectively.

Whilst mastering the languages of today will indeed see pay increase, it is the IT specialists at the cutting edge of programming languages who will be able to corner early markets with their skillsets. Demand for developers is currently far higher than the number suitably skilled and qualified people to fill the positions available. Should 2018 see the trends of 2017 and prior years continued, demand for top talent can only increase.

Have we missed any out? Our IT division is growing fast, with demand for professionals with the above skills rapidly increasing. If you’re looking to make your next move in your IT career, read our Ultimate Guide to IT Jobs and get in touch with us today. Or take a look at some of the roles we have right now.

By Marcus Granville