In almost every industry, there’s a growing need for coding knowledge. From auto manufacturing to cellular biology, the top companies are building software solutions, websites and apps that need to accomplish more than they did a year ago, with a user-friendly interface.

That requires specialized knowledge. Which is where you’ll come in with your arsenal of algorithms, making magic where the rest of us see a chaotic array of symbols. But you’ll have to start somewhere.

Whether you want to learn code in order to add more value in your current job, or you’re trying to switch fields entirely, this list of the top coding languages used in every industry can help you prioritize your learning.

Automotive - C/C++

C and C++ are the most widely used coding languages for the car manufacturers. The Motor Industry Software Reliability Association has even developed specific guidelines, MISRA C, meant to promote safety best practices for automotive software.

Cybersecurity - JavaScript

JavaScript is an incredibly popular language - which means lots of apps are built with it, and lots of hackers know how to take advantage of it. If you have a knowledge of JavaScript, you may find it easier to identify potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

Because JavaScript is so common, it’s a solid foundation for Software Engineers, and will likely be included in just about any coding class you consider.  

E-commerce - Java

Developers can confidently build e-commerce sites using Java, since it works well with all the major browsers. It’s also relatively powerful when it comes to finding fixes and debugging: an invaluable trait for any high-volume retail site.

Engineering - Objective-C  

Aptly named, this language is object-based and favored by engineers. Since specialized software will become more and more prevalent across different fields, an understanding of code is recommended, and often required of aspiring engineers.

MATLAB is a close runner-up for engineers who need to develop complex algorithms and visualize data.

Finance - Python

Python is widely used by banking and insurance companies, so a foundational knowledge of this popular language would serve any finance professional. It’s relatively simple as coding languages go, and can be used in conjunction with frameworks like DJANGO, which streamlines the process of writing apps.

Healthcare - Python

With the rise in telemedicine and healthcare apps, coding knowledge is going to become increasingly valuable in the healthcare industry. But developers will have some extra hurdles thanks to HIPAA and the importance of keeping all that personal data secure.

Python is a popular language for health-related apps, since it works with just about any platform. No language is innately secure, so data privacy will be a challenge for coders in this industry regardless of their language of choice.

IT & Cloud-based Solutions: SQL

If you’re responsible for building or managing a cloud-based solution, you’ll probably want to learn SQL. It’s commonly used for cloud computing, and is excellent for data management. When you’re asked to migrate sensitive company info and programs to the cloud, some SQL knowledge will make you the hero of the IT department.

Marketing - SQL

SQL is great for data analysis, even when you’re working with massive datasets. Marketers will appreciate this feature when analyzing campaign results or justifying their decisions for upper management. You can probably get by without it, but those who can use SQL to solve problems and identify trends in their data will prove invaluable to their organization.

And once you know a bit of code, we’ve got a few marketing-focused programming hacks just for you.

Science - MATLAB

As you can tell by the name, this language is built to compute. It has added functionality that allows the math-brained to explore their data in-depth more easily than with other languages. It’s a specialized framework that was built in Java and C/C++.

If you’re serious about learning to code, your research shouldn’t stop here. Each language has nuanced differences and benefits - and it’s safe to say that most of the major coding languages are employed across multiple industries for different reasons.

But if you’re drawn to a particular industry and not willing to jeopardize your sanity by learning 10 different languages simultaneously, this should point you in the right direction.

To recap, here’s a complete list of the primary coding languages used by industry:

Automotive - C/C++

Cybersecurity - JavaScript

E-Commerce - Java

Engineering - Objective-C

Finance - Python

Healthcare - Python

IT & Cloud-Based Solutions: SQL

Marketing - SQL

Science - MATLAB

And if you’re curious which coding languages are popular in your state, we gathered that info, too.

Are you a developer in a field we haven’t listed? Let us know which language you swear by. Tweet @thinkful or drop us a line on LinkedIn.

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