Which programming language pays the most in 2020? Scala vs Java vs Python vs Ruby
By Samantha Allen 23 Apr 2019
There’s no doubt that learning and developing new skills will lead to better career prospects and better paying job roles. Software developers are only becoming more and more in demand as the world embraces technology more. So what’s the most valuable programming language to learn? We review the top 4 most well-paid and well-known programming languages: Scala, Java, Python and Ruby. Read on to find out more about these valuable programming skills and how to learn them.
What is Scala?
Scala was created in 2003 and is becoming one of the most in-demand programming languages as it becomes a bigger part of today’s technologies. Scala is very much influenced by Java and has a lot of similarities, so there’s not much you can do in Java that you can't do in Scala.
Scala was created with the goal of being a better language than Java, avoiding the restrictive and tedious aspects of Java that cause frustration for developers. Learning Scala can be more difficult than initially learning Java, but the result is much cleaner and well organised code, which will ultimately increase productivity as it’s easier to use.
The Scala compiler is incredibly smart, avoiding the need for developers to state the obvious (which can be a frustration of Java). Scala relies on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and allows developers to make good use of standard JVM features and Java libraries. To the Java Virtual Machine, Scala code and Java code are indistinguishable.
You can code Scala in the same way that you code Java, so while you don’t need to know Java in order to become a Scala developer, it could give you a head start and should be fairly easy to transition to Scala from Java.
What is the average salary for a Scala developer?
According to ITJobsWatch the typical UK salary for Scala developers in 2020 is £74,000 per year. This has increased over the last few years, from £70,000 in 2019 and £69,000 in 2018. As you would expect, salaries in London are higher but excluding London the typical UK salary in 2020 is £55,000 per year.
The average UK salary for Software Developer jobs according to https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/salary-checker/average-software-developer-salary is £52,500 per year in 2020.
Why are Scala developers so well-paid? What is Scala used for?
Scala is a high-level general purpose language, and can be used for a wide range of applications, from machine-learning to web apps. Scala’s Java compatibility makes it well-suited to Android development, and it’s compatible with existing Java programs.
HMRC uses Scala for many government tax applications. Morgan Stanley uses Scala for their finance projects. Scala is also used for The Guardian’s website, and by certain teams in Apple Inc.
How many Scala jobs and developers are out there?
Scala is a well-paid programming language for a reason, and it’s likely to be around for a long time. Roughly speaking, there are around 880,000 Scala developers in the world, which was about 4-5% of the world’s software developers in 2018.
Book a training course to learn Scala HERE.
What is Java?
Java is one of the oldest and most popular programming languages, and has inspired other languages. Java will work on any computer device as long as there is a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed.
Java is an established language, attracting some of the biggest companies in the world to use it. There’s no sign of Java declining in use as it has constantly evolved and combines stability with innovation.
What’s the average salary for a Java developer?
According to ITJobsWatch the typical UK salary for Java developers in 2020 is £65,000 per year. This has increased over the last year, from £60,000 in 2019 and £55,000 in 2018. Of course, salaries in London are higher so excluding London the typical UK salary in 2020 is £52,500 per year.
The average UK salary for Java Developer jobs according to https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/salary-checker/average-java-developer-salary is £62,500 per year in 2020.
Why are Java developers so well-paid? What is Java used for?
Java has been one of the top 2 most popular programming languages for the last couple of decades. Java is a versatile language and is used for web apps, desktop apps, operating systems and more.
How many Java jobs and developers are out there?
Java was created with the goal of being a programming language that could run on any device - including refrigerators and toasters. As we now have the devices that benefit from this code, Java will likely become even more popular in the foreseeable future.
Depending on the source, there are likely to be between 8 million and 10 million Java developers worldwide. Don’t let this put you off though, as Java is proving to be as popular as ever and the salaries are showing no signs of declining in 2020 and beyond.
Book a training course to learn Java HERE.
What is Python?
Python is one of the most popular programming languages in recent years and is a highly recommended language for beginners.
Released in 1991, Python is a general-purpose language which is designed to be simple to read and write. Python is so accessible that kids in school are now learning it. Unlike many programming languages, Python’s syntax is concise and easily read by humans.
What’s the average salary for a Python developer?
According to ITJobsWatch the typical UK salary for Python developers in 2020 is £65,000 per year. This has increased over the last few years, from £60,000 in 2019 and £57,500 in 2018. As you would expect, salaries in London are higher but excluding London the typical UK salary in 2020 is £51,500 per year.
The average UK salary for Python jobs according to https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/salary-checker/average-python-salary is £67,500 per year in 2020.
Why are Python developers so well-paid? What is Python used for?
It seems that while Python is an easy language to learn initially (and kids in school are now learning Python), there aren’t so many masters of it. If you’re exceptionally good at Python, you’ll earn a very good wage. So if you’re serious about a career in software development, Python is worth diving into and sticking with, especially if you can master it at a higher level than the majority of techies.
Python is used for developing desktop apps and web apps. Dropbox, Pinterest, Instagram and Reddit are amongst the apps built with it. Python is widely used for some of the most popular modern technologies, including machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and Big Data.
How many Python jobs and developers are out there?
There are likely to be LOTS more Python developers around over the next decade as the youngsters learning Python will enter the jobs market too. But right now there’s plenty of room for skilled Python developers - there’s no signs of this language going away or dwindling in popularity anytime soon.
Book a training course to learn Python HERE.
What is Ruby, or Ruby on Rails?
Ruby is considered to be a fun language to work with, and was popular with startups and newbies.
As Ruby is a high-level language it enables developers to build something from scratch with less code, taking away the complex details for you. The Ruby on Rails framework has tools that make common development tasks easier.
What’s the average salary for a Ruby developer?
According to ITJobsWatch (https://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/ruby.do) the typical UK salary for Ruby developers in 2020 is £62,500 per year. This has increased over the last year, from £57,500 in 2019 and £52,500 in 2018. Again, salaries in London are higher but excluding London the typical UK salary in 2020 is £52,500 per year.
The average UK salary for Ruby on Rails jobs according to https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/salary-checker/average-ruby-on-rails-salary is £67,500 per year in 2020. If you search for Ruby Developer jobs, however, the average salary is £67,500 per year in 2020.
Why are Ruby developers so well-paid? What is Ruby used for?
Ruby is used mostly for back-end web development, and popular sites such as Airbnb, Shopify and Twitch were built with Ruby on Rails.
How many Ruby jobs and developers are out there?
Although there are many sources criticising the popularity and demand of Ruby, the facts are that it’s still proving to be a programming language in high-demand.
Book a training course to learn Ruby HERE.
So what’s next?
There are countless programming languages available to learn and master, and you won’t go wrong with any of them necessarily. There are software skills that pay even better than those mentioned here, such as Clojure and F#.
But if you’re looking to gain skills in a popular, in-demand and well-paid language, then learning Scala, Java, Python or Ruby are fabulous choices. You can find training courses for all of these programming languages at Go.Courses.
You may also want to read "What's the most popular programming language in 2020? Python vs Java vs C".