It's rare to meet a developer who can only code in one programming language; most mid- to senior-level engineers at investment banks know how to code in several. Nonetheless, even the most multilingual developers need to prioritize some languages above others. So which programming language will give you the best chance of getting a banking job?
We looked at jobs posted on eFinancialCareers to identify the languages most frequently required in the finance sector. We then compared these to the languages appearing most frequently on CVs recently uploaded to our candidate database. The results, shown in the table below, indicate the level of competition engineers equipped with different languages can expect to face in today’s banking job market. We've compared the results to the last time we did this research, in July 2020.
As the chart shows, the availability of developers in any coding language has dropped significantly since 2020, and this includes popular languages like Java and Python. Two years ago, there were 14 Python coders chasing each job in banking and finance. Now, there are just eight.
Some coding languages, however, have far fewer applicants per job than others. When it comes to Kotlin, for example, there are only two candidates per role right now. Similarly, there are only five candidates per job for people who can code in Rust.
Our figures suggest there's limited value in learning rarefied coding languages like OCAML, for which there are hardly any jobs. There's even less point in learning Fortran, which is popular with some hedge funds, but for which the number of candidates far, far outweighs the number of jobs.
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