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Top 5 Old Programming Languages Still Worth Learning Today

Photo by Matt Mech on Unsplash

Programming and programming development today is an ever-growing field. While there are many educational opportunities to learn newer languages such as Python and JavaScript, there are still courses available today for older programming languages. Coders and developers will find their own personal taste with the language that works best for them, and there’s plenty of jobs available even with older languages.

When you are launching your educational journey into a programming language, you aren’t going to be stuck on the current trends. You can still learn the older programming languages to develop versatile skills and make you a candidate with breadth and depth in talent.

1. MATLAB – The Matrix Laboratory

The programming language known as MATLAB is formally known as the Matrix Laboratory and has been in existence since 1984. Developed by Cleve Molder and MathWorks, MATLAB is used in technical computing in the fields of science, engineering, and economics today. This language uses a matrix to perform calculations and manipulations to organize data into algorithms that develop simple answers out of complex data sets.

Cleve Moler developed MATLAB for his programming students so that they wouldn’t have to work on complex languages such as Fortran. He developed MATLAB because “the matrix” was easy to learn. It is a black and white language that requires very little abstract thinking.

Today’s MATLAB developer can earn $100,766, on average, and find jobs in banking, telecommunications, fintech, and much more. Take a MATLAB course to learn this language today.

2. SQL – Structured Query Language

SQL, which stands for structured query language, is used for database management. This programming language was created in 1974 by Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce for IBM and is now used worldwide. Today it is still used even by companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and more. Starting salaries for SQL developers are on average $74,659 a year.

With this skill, you can learn the inside skeletons of a database, and also learn how to create one. SQL is a language that communicates within and between databases. The American National Standards Institute says it is the gold standard for database analytics and management. Every company has a database. Every company needs an expert in SQL. Regardless of how old this language is, the jobs are there.

3. C – Classic All-Purpose Language

C language, known as the most classic programming language, was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie. C has become a significant influence on many other programming languages. Today, it is still used by Microsoft, Intel C, and many other major corporations as a necessary programming language.

The language of C programming followed the language of B that Bell Labs developed. C forms the basis of many Unix operating systems and is used in millions of applications today.

This is a scripting language used in games, mobile applications, graphics, and many other technical areas today. Beginning programmers can make around $70,709 in just the first year.

4. BASIC – Beginners’ All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

BASIC was developed in 1964 by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz. This programming language is used for multiple applications all over the world and was once the foundation of Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

The use of BASIC has dwindled somewhat, in an era of Swift and Python. However, it is still an old standby for programmers that have been working for over a decade.

BASIC is a good skill to pick up as it will broaden the depth of your knowledge base in the field of programming. The starting pay for BASIC developers is a little higher than some other languages, another good reason to consider taking on BASIC education. Starting salaries for BASIC programmers are around $90,044 annually.

5. Fortran – Formula Translator

Fortran — short for Formula Translator — is one of the oldest programming languages in the book and is making an incredible comeback today. It was first developed in 1957 at IBM by John Backus, and today can be found in a number of markets.

Fortran was first launched by Backus to pitch an assembly language to IBM for the 704 mainframe. In one year, Fortran was born, and it is still on the market today. It is a language that is still in use 60 years later. For many new programmers, the extended use of Fortran is one example of how programming development careers have longevity. This is a technology that is only going to get better. Programming becomes improved in time; it does not become obsolete. Fortran programmers today can earn an average of $106,926 a year.

Pick Your Programming

When you want to advance your skills as a programmer, you can start with new languages or old ones. These five languages are all still in use today, heavily. When a programming language stands the test of five decades, you know this is a field with job security and career mobility. Begin your programming education today.