9 Most Lucrative Programming Languages to Learn if You Want a Career in Web Development

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 23, 2018

Oct 23, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Web development as a career is expected to grow by 15% in the next 5 years. This makes it one of the most in-demand jobs on the market.

But breaking into the web development industry requires a lot of specialized skills and with so many different programming languages available it's difficult to know where to start.

Whether you're looking to become a web developer or just looking to give your current career a little boost, learning to code can open doors.

To help you get on your coding feet, we've created a list of the best programming languages to learn if you want to become a web developer.

Let's get started.


HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a language that helps create a webpage using a process called text markup. This process entails marking text in a document with specific syntax that determines how the information will look to the user.

In HTML, tags or text placed between two angled brackets are used to define the structure of a web page. These tags control everything from text, to headings, to links.

This is the most basic programming language to learn and it's usually what most web developers start with when they begin coding.

This, and CSS are client-side or front-end web development languages. This means that they control every element that visitors interact with and see.

2. CSS

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, allows you to liven up HTML web pages. This language basically gives your website a sense of style. It allows you to add fonts, colors and other design elements to your webpage.

CSS and HTML provide everything you need to produce polished neat looking websites. Luckily HTML and CSS are 2 of the most popular programming languages so there are tons of free resources to learn them.

Though you can produce a good site with only HTML and CSS, the websites designed are somewhat limited and can't handle the same functions of dynamic sites.

Let's take a look at some more dynamic languages and see how they can help your career as a web developer.

3. Python

Python is a beginner friendly opensource language that has some of the clearest easy to read syntax. This makes it one of the best programming languages for beginners to learn because it's the most like English.

Python is also a server-side script this means that it's in control of the part of the website that the user doesn't see. Like files and database management.

It's a versatile language that can be used for almost anything from application and website development, to machine learning and network servers.

4. JavaScript

Javascript is the most popular programming language available. In fact, a survey of developers in 2018 found that 69.8% of developers worked with JavaScript within the last year.

Luckily, if you feel overwhelmed there are frameworks and libraries meant to make Javascript easier to learn. This includes frameworks like jQuery, Ember, Vue and angular.

Though it is primarily used like HTML and CSS as a client-side language, it can be modified with apps like Node.js to make it work on the server side.

If you're looking to begin a new career as a web developer, Javascript is a great place to start. It's user-friendly, works in almost every major browsers, and has versatile syntax.

5. Java

I know what you're thinking, "didn't we just go over this language?"

Actually, no. Java is a completely separate language from Javascript.

It was developed in the 90s and has been a popular programming language for over 20 years. It's the programming language of choice for Android applications.

One major benefit of Java is its speed. It consistently performs well on raw speed benchmark tests. This might be why the majority of Fortune 500 companies use Java for back-end web design and building applications.

As you can see, mastering Jave provides great opportunities to work at some of the largest companies in the world. It's a good thing that Java is taught in many introduction to programming courses.

6. C#

This language is often considered Microsoft's alternative to Java. Because it was originally created to be used to develop applications in Microsoft's .NET framework.

Though it was developed and used for Microsoft apps, it can be used with Xamarin platform to develop applications that can be used on multiple devices.

It is made up of C++ and C. This makes it syntax similar enough to other C derived languages that it is easy to pick up if you program in a different C language.

It's also used in virtual reality development and is the standard language for building 2D and 3D games in unity.

7. Ruby

When it comes to finding the best programming language, your choice is going to heavily depend on what your ultimate goal is.

If your goal is to create web applications, then learning Ruby is perfect for you. The easiest way to beginning learning this application is by using Ruby on Rails

The primary benefit of learning the language is it's easy to understand syntax and helpful user community.

8. Swift

Swift is the youngest programming language on the list. But don't let that fool you, it is quickly growing to become one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

It was created in 2014 and is primarily used for developing apps for macOS applications and iOS. This makes learning Swift one of the wisest programming investments you can make.

9. PHP

This language is so powerful that it powers almost 80% of all websites. PHP rose to popularity because of its use in sites like Facebook Wikipedia and WordPress.

In fact, because of its popularity on WordPress, its one of the best languages to learn for freelancers and web designers.

The language can also shift data from databases like MySQL, making it the perfect language for back-end web design.

Turn your Knowledge of the Best Programming Languages into a Career

Understanding best programming languages is only the first step to becoming a web developer. There are many more things to keep in mind when it comes to starting a new career.

If you're looking for advice and help on how to switch careers and become a web developer, check out our articles today!