Alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the core programming languages used to build  websites. While HTML is used for the structure and CSS for the look of most websites, when it comes to interactivity, JavaScript is the top choice for web developers.

So if you’re a beginner programmer who’s hoping to learn JavaScript, you’ve made the right decision. Here are some of the most popular methods of picking up this powerful language, as well as the pros and cons of teaching yourself.

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What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages used by web developers all over the world. JavaScript is used for:

Learning JavaScript

Learning any programming language requires hard work, practice, and dedication, and JavaScript is no exception. It’s a complex language, so before you invest your time and money in learning JavaScript, you’ll need a clear rationale as to why it’s necessary for your career path. If you’re certain it’s a skill you’ll need in your arsenal, you’ll then need to decide on the appropriate learning option. Should you go for a degree or the less formal route of online certifications and bootcamps? Or will you go it alone and brave independent self-learning? Let’s take a closer look at each option to help you find out.

When it comes to learning JavaScript, there are multiple modes through which you can educate yourself. Depending on where you are in your career, you can pick a path that suits you best. Your main options will be:

Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees – Many aspiring developers choose to pursue a computer science degree. You can learn programming languages like HTML and CSS, which are necessary to learn JavaScript. The biggest advantage of this mode of learning is that you get a degree in coding.

However, in recent times, there has been a growing shift towards other modes of learning. Around 89 percent of employers believe that candidates who have graduated from coding bootcamps are equally—and sometimes more—prepared than traditional college degree holders.

Online courses Beginner-level JavaScript tutorials are the best way to get started if you’re pursuing the online learning option. By enrolling in an online course, you’ll be able to learn fast and efficiently. Benefits of this mode of learning include:

Bootcamps Bootcamps are fast-tracked courses for learning JavaScript. You’ll learn the basics of JavaScript, leading on to advanced level knowledge over a condensed four to six-month bootcamp. The learning is extensive and outcome-based. To find out more, read our guide to the best Javascript bootcamps.

Certifications in JavaScript

Certificates in coding can help you validate your skills and stand out in the competitive job market. They’ll also pave the way for higher remuneration and better job opportunities.

A certification may not give you all of the foundational knowledge you need to become a successful web developer, but it's a nice way to demonstrate your skills on your resume.

The Pros and Cons of Teaching Yourself JavaScript

Like any language, you can teach yourself JavaScript. But be warned: it’ll take a healthy dose of persistence and troubleshooting to really get a grasp of JavaScript on your own. There will be challenges along the way. But it is possible: plenty of people have successfully landed programming jobs with their self-taught JavaScript skills. We’ve listed some pros and cons of the DIY approach below.

The pros:

The cons:

Skills Needed to Excel at JavaScript Programming

JavaScript has become one of the most important languages in web development. To reach the advanced stage of learning, you need to have certain foundational skills. These include:

Jobs Requiring JavaScript Knowledge

There’s been a noticeable rise in demand for JavaScript skills across various professions. Common job titles that demand proficiency in JavaScript include:

Key JavaScript Terms

Here are some of the most common terms related to JavaScript that you should be familiar with.

Tools Used by JavaScript Developers

JavaScript has gained prominence and has become one of the most-used programming languages used by developers all over the world. JavaScript deploys a range of tools and libraries that help you code efficiently. Proficiency in some of these tools is important as you start developing with JavaScript. Some of the important tools are:

If you’re ready to learn more about JavaScript, check out our guide to JavaScript Best Practices.

Still deciding which programming language to learn next? Check out The Top Coding Languages by Industry, which should give you a better idea of where to start.

Regardless of whether you start with JavaScript or HTML, teach yourself or get a Software Engineering degree, you can enjoy a long and lucrative career in coding. It just takes some dedication, goal-setting, and continued learning.

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