Main image of article Top Programming Languages of 2021 Included SQL, Java

Learning certain programming languages can have a sizable impact on your career. Ultra-popular programming languages such as Python are always in demand among employers of all types; master them, and your opportunities will expand.

But which programming languages are the most popular among employers at the moment? For an answer, we can turn to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Here are the programming languages that popped up the most in job postings over the past 12 months:

As you can see, SQL (a programming language designed for managing and querying relational databases) topped the list; companies everywhere are clearly on the hunt for technologists who can use SQL to manipulate the huge datasets that drive most operations. 

If you’re totally new to SQL, Udemy offers a number of SQL courses that range in price from around $100 to $175, while Coursera lists numerous SQL courses in conjunction with major universities and colleges. If you want a super-fast overview/tutorial, check out this offering from w3schools, which breaks down the various elements of SQL into “chapters.”

Java came in second on the list. Recently updated to Java 17 (with “thousands” of performance, stability, and security upgrades, reportedly), the language powers the backend of numerous projects, from Android apps to Big Data analytics. That’s one key reason why the median Java developer salary is $102,000, according to Burning Glass. If you want to start learning this programming language, check out this list of handy tutorials

Python came in third; long an ultra-popular “generalist” language, it’s leveraged increasingly in the context of data science, machine learning, and other highly specialized pursuits. SlashData recently estimated Python’s worldwide developer community at roughly 11.3 million, and there are signs of continued growth. If you’re totally new to the language, start by visiting for downloads, documentation, and more.