A question that’s top of mind for programmers, developers and software engineers: Which programming language should I learn next to get a job in Toronto?

I’m trying to choose a computer programming course and I was wondering if you could steer me in the right direction by giving me some idea of which computer programming languages employers look for most often. I don’t want to end up learning languages that are rarely asked for.

Glad you asked! Here’s the shortlist:

Top Programming Languages Employers Want in 2018


JavaScript has steadily increased in popularity over the past 5 years and salaries are increasing according to Github and StackOverflow.

The most popular JavaScript libraries that our clients are looking for are Node, Angular and React.


Apple released the Swift programming language in 2014. It’s used for developing native iOS or macOS operating systems.

Swift is a must-have for mobile developers.


Python is a top programming language that’s here to stay. It’s used for web development, network servers, machine learning and data analysis, desktop apps and more.

Python is often used with the Django and Flask web development frameworks.

Python is also suited for development with machine learning and data analysis libraries like Scikit-learn and Pandas.


Java is a solid choice for the next decade and beyond. According to Fortune.com, 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java.

Java is typically used by backend developers, big data developers, systems engineers and android developers.

Big data development: Hadoop, Hive, Pig




PhP is used by 83.5% of all websites according to W3Techs.com  is a server-side scripting language designed for Web development, but also used as a general-purpose programming language.

Continuous learning is your super power

Employers are looking for people who can quickly pick up new languages and platforms just when are needed.

Once you learn a popular language like JavaScript or Python, it makes it easier to learn new new languages on the fly.

Programming languages that are in-demand in 2018

Top programming languages to get a job in 2017

( Source: PYPL Index )

  • Demand for Java and Python programmers continues to grow
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript, the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and VB .NET are going strong
  • AngularJS, React and Node.JS are the go-to JavaScript libraries
  • Mobile developers are in demand. Swift is hot for developing iOS apps. Java and Go are great for Android development
  • You can’t go wrong by learning the C languages: C#, C++ and Objective-C

Which programming language should you learn next?

If you know Java, Python and some of the other always in-demand languages listed above, then consider learning some new technologies that programmers use to build these rapidly emerging technologies:

PYPL Popularity of Programming Language Index

( Image source: pypl.github.io/PYPL.html )

  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation is happening big time thanks to recent developments in machine learning and deep learning. Actually, A.I. is creating more jobs than it’s taking away.
  • Augmented reality (AR): We’re seeing lots of buzz about augmented reality (AR). Remember when Pokemon Go took the world by storm? That was only the tip of the iceberg. Virtual Reality (VR) goes hand-in-hand with AR.
  • FinTech: A revolution in Banking and Finance technology. Blockchain, bitcoin, data storage, privacy and protection are the key areas for FinTech development.

Artificial Intelligence is the biggest technology trend for Toronto

Toronto is a global leader in AI research and development

According to this TechNorth-McKinsey Report released in December 2016, Toronto has everything it takes to build a global technology supercluster of ability in artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

Toronto is a world leader in AI development, which means AI and machine learning is a good choice for professional development.

Don’t be discouraged by the high bar of entry to AI engineering jobs

AI Research engineers, Machine Learning Engineers, Data Scientists and Deep Learning Engineer are in high demand and command excellent pay. You’ll find that some of the advertised AI jobs need a PhD. With the right mix of skills and experience, you can find the loophole to get the job without a PhD.

A background in Mathematics, Probability and Statistics gives you an advantage for AI jobs.

Robbie Allen published 150 of the best machine learning, NLP and Python tutorials I’ve found to help you launch your AI career.

A Venn diagram to show how data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence are related.

Machine learning is a sub-field of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Developers build machine learning and data science software with the same algorithms that are traditionally uses in Statistics. Linear Algebra, vectors and some Calculus will give you a big head start in machine learning.

Andrew Ng, who teaches an excellent introductory course on Machine Learning, calls AI the new electricity.

We’re seeing a push to hire women and people of colour to develop AI to offset the potential for gender and racial bias.

Skills in demand for AI Research and Development

Some of the skills in demand for AI development are data science or statistics, data mining, machine learning, Python, R, C++, MatLab, TensorFlow, Scala and Apache Spark.

Programming languages and skills in demand for AI jobs

Programming skills in demand for AI are Python, R, C++, Java, Apache Spark, MatLab, TensorFlow and SLAM

How to pick your first programming language (infographic by Udacity)

Great places to learn new programming skills

Now you know which programming skills are most in demand in the Toronto IT job market. Here are some places the take the next step..

Awesome places to learn to code in Toronto:

Learn programming skills online:

Your thoughts?

Did I miss any programming skills or training opportunities that you think people should know about? Please leave a comment to let me know.

Tim Collins, Founder and Chief IT Recruiter, Stafflink Solutions

Tim Collins, Stafflink Founder and Chief IT Recruiter

We’re here to help you hire mobile developers, software engineers and other IT staff

I’m Tim Collins and I’m here to connect you with the technology specialists you’re looking for. You can reach me at 416-364-2300 or email timc@stafflink.ca

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