Python is the hottest IT skill for 2020

Python is the hottest IT skill for 2020

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Python demand and interest is growing fast

Python is booming. Python courses are topping the most popular lists. Python books are dominating the best-sellers. There is a massive wave of interest in Python across the industry. Why? Because of the massive demand for Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science.

We’ll take a look at what is happening with Python demand in the job market and then run down the best Python training courses and books to help you get up to speed and go after those lucrative job openings.

We’ll also take a look at the best books and courses covering Machine Learning and AI.

Python is the fastest growing language

According to the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Python is growing faster than any other language. On the list of most popular languages, Python is now 4th, behind JavaScript, HTML, and SQL.

In 2018 Python moved past C#. In 2019 Python has edged ahead of Java.

That’s right, Python is now more popular than Java.

According to Stack overflow, “Python is the fastest-growing major programming language today.

The TIOBE programming community index assesses the popularity of different languages every month using measures of the number of courses, engineers, and vendors, and activity in search engines. Python was the TIOBE language of the year in 2018 and on track to be crowned again in 2019.

Python has risen from 7th in the TIOBE index in 2014 to 3rd in 2019.

The IEEE Top Programming Languages report measures statistics from GitHub, Reddit, Google, Stack Overflow, Twitter, and Career Builder, and ranks Python as number 1.

Here’s a chart from Stack Overflow trends showing the incredible rise of interest in Python compared to C#, Java, and JavaScript.

python demand stack overflow

Demand for learning Python in 2020

Let’s take a look at the Amazon best seller list in the Computer Science category.

Number 1 on the list is Artificial Intelligence: Confronting the Revolution, by James Adams.
3 is Learn Python in One Day
13 is Machine learning for Beginners.

Remember, this is Amazon, so the list is mixed up with books like “Making YouTube Videos” and “How to draw Pokemon Characters” and “Alexa for Dummies”, but in this wildly generalised list we have books about Python and Machine Learning in the top 15.

Let’s look at the best sellers in the Computing and Programming category.

2 – Learn Python in One Day
8 – Python Coding and Programming
10 – Machine Learning for Beginners
12 – Python Tricks

OK, Python is also a widely used introductory language in schools and colleges, so there are some books in the best sellers such as Coding for Kids with Python, and Coding for Beginners using Python, but a little lower down we have some very technical books that really show the rising demand for Python:

26 – Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow
27 – Python by Example
33 – Designing Data-Intensive Applications
35 – Deep Learning with Python

Now let’s look on the excellent O’Reilly Online Learning for the most popular books according to O’Reilly subscribers.

Looking at the most-read across all topics we have:

1 – Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow
2 – Designing Data-Intensive Applications
3 – Python Crash Course
15 – Python for Data Analysis
16 – Python Fundamentals
22 – Introducing Python

Switch to the software development category and half of the top 20 most popular books and videos are about Python.

By the way, all these Python, data science, machine learning, and AI books, videos and a load of live online training courses are included in your O’Reilly Online Learning subscription, making it incredibly good value for money.

Python courses are the most popular

Go to the front page of Udemy and scroll down to see what courses people are currently looking at: 

  • Complete Python Bootcamp
  • Machine Learning A-Z
  • The Data Science Course 2019
Click through to the Development category. Popular topics:
  • Python
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Science

The most popular instructor with 1.4 million students specialises in Python and Machine Learning. Looking at the courses sorted by popularity, 3 out of the top 4 relate to Python and ML.

Python job demand

At Linked In Jobs, a search for Python in United Kingdom returns 22,473 results. For comparison, Java returns 23,707 matches. Just 2 or 3 years ago, Python was nowhere near these levels.

Hackernoon measured Python job postings on and found that Python job demand grew from 62k postings in January 2019 to over 70k in August, outpacing the growth in Java, JavaScript, and C++.

According to, 21% of jobs in the programming languages category are for Python, up from 15% 2 years ago.

Python pay levels puts average Python salaries for permanent jobs in the UK at £62,500, up from £55,000 two years ago.

For contract positions, the average daily rate is £525.

The Stack Overflow 2019 developer survey reveals worldwide salaries for different languages. Python is near the middle at $63k. JavaScript sits at $56k, and Java way down at $52k.

Higher up the list we have languages like Scala at $78k and Clojure at $90k. Those languages are so valuable because of the low supply of skilled developers.

Java and JavaScript have massive demand in the job market but also an over-supply of experienced developers, so salaries are consequently lower.

Python is in an interesting position. Supply of skilled developers is good, but not at the levels of Java and JavaScript. At the same time as there is a slight shortage on the supply side, the demand is growing rapidly.

A Harvey Nash survey says that the biggest skills shortages are in data science and analytics, where Python is key. 63% of tech leaders around the country are reporting shortages.

When demand is growing faster than supply, one thing happens. Salaries go up.

It’s time to learn Python.

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