Does 2021 Look Bright For a Career In Java or Do You Need to Switch Now?

Java was developed and released by James Gosling and team at Sun Microsystems in 1995. At the time, Java quickly became popular among application developers as it offered all the features of an object-oriented language.

From 1995, the language has had an eventful run of more than two decades.

However, the world of technology is dynamic. The hot trends today can reduce to nothing tomorrow.

Today, newer languages like JavaScript and Python are posing a threat to Java’s popularity.

Thus, people getting into programming may wonder if it is still relevant to learn Java in 2021.

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25 years hence, still going strong

Thanks to Java’s platform-independence, it still features among the top programming languages.

If you take a look at the TIOBE index of the past few years, it won’t take long to notice how Java consistently features among the top five popular languages for the year.

It takes a bunch of unique features to withstand competition in such a dynamic industry.

How has Java managed to do this? What makes Java popular even after 25 years since it was first introduced?

Features that form Java’s strengths

Here are some of the core features of java that are responsible for its unwavering popularity.

1. Wide range of uses

Java can be implemented in almost any kind of project. From interactive widgets called applets to back-end development, Java’s application spans a wide range of domains.

Java is also useful in Android app development, web applications, building IoT solutions and so on.

Thus, the Java developer can choose the kind of projects they wish to work on.

2. Platform-Independence

The primary reason behind Java’s surge in popularity in the mid-90s was its ‘write once, run anywhere feature.’ Other popular languages at the time were platform-dependent. This affected the code reusability.

Java, on the other hand, has the Java Virtual Machine or the JVM which converts the code into bytecode, making it possible to execute the lines anywhere, irrespective of the platform.

3. Massive Community

The Java developer community is not only massive, it is continually expanding as well. As of 2019, there were an estimated 7 million Java developers around the world.

Thus, Java developers are backed by a supportive community where they can seek help should they get stuck in their code.

Also, the community would not expand if not for the proportional increase in opportunities for Java developers. Thus, it is a sign that companies do value and offer high-paying jobs to Java developers.

4. Other Features

There are a host of other features such as rich library support, support for big data and machine learning, good IDEs, open-source language and high scalability.

The fact that the language is so popular also means that there are hundreds of credible sources to learn from.

There are numerous Java resources, both free and paid.

These, coupled with the extensive community support make it easier for a novice programmer to get a stronghold of Java programming.

Where are Java developers Employable?

We have seen the desirable features that have ensured that Java remains at the top of the pack.

So, if one learns to code in Java, what are the domains where one can find employment in 2021?

1. Mobile Application Development

Java and Kotlin are the primary tools used for Android app development. With the rise in usage of smartphones, app development is a field with growing opportunities.

Programmers who are skilled in Java can either build mobile apps as freelancers, join startups or work in organizations involved in Android development.

2. POS Terminals in the Retail Industry

Due to platform-independence, Java is useful in embedded systems and to code programs for terminals other than laptops and mobile phones.

The POS machine in the retail industry uses Android. So, Java developers again have an opportunity here.

3. Software Products and Solutions

Most of the service and product based companies employ Java developers, irrespective of the domain. Such is the power of the language.

Consider the fact that Hadoop, Apache, Gmail, Atlassian are some of the software products born from Java code.

Thus, Java developers can find opportunities wherever there is large-scale product development.

4. Website Development

High-traffic websites like LinkedIn and Salesforce rely on Java for their websites.

Although Java may not directly be employed in a majority of the websites, other languages that descended from Java are extensively used in web development.

How can a Java Developer Upskill in 2021?

The attractive salary packages, the enormous developer community, and the abundant resources online, all mean one thing – Java developers probably outnumber all other developers.

Thus, finding a relevant job may not exactly be a cakewalk. Here are a few things that Java developers can educate themselves about, to be at the top of their game in 2021.

1. Docker and Kubernetes

Today, recruiters in large organizations and SMEs need applicants who have knowledge of Docker and Kubernetes.

App development within containers have become popular as the concept provides several benefits over the traditionally implemented virtualization.

Docker and Kubernetes are tools useful to run, distribute and monitor containerized applications.

2. Socket Programming

Having the knowledge of network programming in Java is a bonus for any developer.

A single book or a short online course is enough to understand the fundamentals of socket programming in Java.


Those developers who keep themselves updated, attract diverse opportunities.

While it is true that other languages are quickly taking up the top ranks when it comes to popularity, Java has firmly cemented a place for itself and shows no signs of dying down in the near future.

Malini Shukla

Tech Evangelist | Thought Leader | Mentor. Passionate technocrat, working on next-gen technology

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