Coding is a prized skill in today's business environment and software developers proficient in multiple programming languages are highly valued by organizations for their ability to help businesses go digital and carry out vital business functions. But, there are hundreds of languages, each with their own specific use -- from data analysis to scaling, and everything in-between. This can make deciding what language to learn next a tough decision for many developers.
Fortunately, picking the one that pays the most is a simple way to make that choice.
StackOverflow analyzed responses from over 56,000 individuals to find out which programming languages are associated with the highest salaries, both around the globe and in the USA.
Here's what they found...
Stackoverflow's survey found that F# users earn roughly $74,000 a year, making them, on average, the best-paid developers in the world. This open source, functional-first language is attractive to businesses and software developers thanks to its wide-ranging application uses an active support community.
Sitting in second place with a median salary of $73,000 is Ocaml of the metalanguage family. First appearing 22 years ago in 1996, Ocaml has influenced the development of several programming languages, including F# and Scala, and remains a popular language for many developers today.
Sharing the third spot on the podium are Clojure and Groovy, with companies happy to pay these specialists $72,000 annually. Both Clojure and Groovy continue to tempt a strong number of software developers since their introduction in 2007 and 2003.
Outside the top three languages, Perl, Rust, Erlang, and Scala are all well regarded and the average user can earn anything between $67-69,000 from their employers.
Rounding out the top 10 are Go and Ruby, with average take homes of $66,000 and $64,000 a year. Although these two languages may pay close to $20,000 less than F# does, they still tower over the average salary for all programming languages which sits at $55,000.
The US payday
Over 13,000 of the 56,000 survey takers were based in the US, giving Stackoverflow plenty of data to record accurate salary details for American based software developers.
The first thing to notice is that, on average, US salaries are much higher than their global counterparts. This can be attributed to the strength of America's economy, and massive tech companies (Google, Apple, etc.), who require the very best developers, basing themselves on US soil.
Secondly, the top languages in the US are roughly in line with the rest of the world with eight languages appearing on both lists. The only languages that don't quite make the global cut are Objective-C and Hack which are replaced by Ruby and Rust on the worldwide pay leaderboard.
Despite being the best-paid language globally, F# only reaches eighth place in the US rankings with a median paycheck of $108,000. However, this is still $32,000 higher than the global average for F# users, so it's nothing to fuss about too much.
Instead, the highest US salaries go to Erlang and Scala developers who can expect to earn as much as $115,000 a year. Again, this number is considerably higher than their international equivalents of $67,000.
Ocaml earns the distinct privilege of being the only language to make the top three in both tables. Claiming the third spot in the US rankings and taking home the bronze medal, Ocaml users can make a hefty $114,000 when based in America. Just below Ocaml: Clojure, Go, Groovy, and Objective-C all share the fourth spot and deliver salaries of roughly $110,000 to their programming specialists.
Finally, sitting pretty at the bottom of the US table is Perl. While its annual pay of $106,000 may be a cool $9,000 less than America's top performers, it is still nearly double the $55,000 that an average programming language user will earn globally.