What Is JavaScript & Why Is It A Good Academic Option?

Published on: August 11, 2021

When it comes to JavaScript, there is still a lot of confusion about what exactly it is and why learning it can be good for your resume. It has been around since the mid-nineties but is still an essential part of the online landscape. While JavaScript might sound like it is part of the Java platform, this is not the case.

What Is JavaScript Exactly?

JavaScript is described as a high-level, interpreted programming language, but simply put; it is what allows websites to be interactive. HTML and CSS are enough to deliver a website and make it look good, but it won't actually do much without JavaScript. Until the arrival of WebAssembly in 2017, JavaScript was the only programming language that web browsers could understand directly. Of course, JavaScript is not only used to create websites but also things like mobile apps, browser-based games, web apps, and more with the aid of libraries and frameworks. It is this versatility that makes being able to code in JavaScript such a valuable skill.

Why Should I Learn JavaScript?

One of the main reasons why JavaScript is so popular amongst beginner coders is that it is very easy to learn, especially compared to other programming languages. Another good reason to learn JavaScript is that almost everyone involved with the web and web development uses it. At this point, virtually all browsers are powered by JavaScript, and because it is so widely adopted, it also means that it is a very in-demand skill. In addition, learning JavaScript adds to your marketable skills and gives you more control over your own content. While it is easier than ever to create web content using templates and other services, learning JavaScript allows you to break out of the mold and create your own unique content.

Is JavaScript Still Relevant?

As mentioned earlier, JavaScript has been around since 1995, which might lead some people to believe it is outdated or no longer relevant. However, the fast pace of the technology sector has left many tools and programs in its dust, but JavaScript is not one of them. It is not only still one of the most commonly used programming languages out there but also forms an integral part of most websites, and there are no signs of this changing anytime soon. In fact, JavaScript has become even more useful than before because it started as a client-side language but can now also be found on the server-side of websites, mobile devices, and desktops. Best of all, because JavaScript has been around for so long and is used by so many people that you have a huge community to draw upon in terms of support. One of the only other languages with a similar level of community support is Python.

What Are My Career Options With JavaScript?

According to the "Top IT Skills Report 2020: Demand and Hiring Trends" compiled by DevSkiller, 72% of companies are looking for JavaScript developers. It was one of the most in-demand IT skills of 2020 and one of the top 5 languages that most companies are looking for technical skills in. This is confirmed by the 2019 Developer Survey done by Stack Overflow, where 69.7% of professional developers polled listed it as their most popular programming language (https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2019#most-popular-technologies)

What Are The Different Types of JavaScript Courses That Are Available?

There are many different JavaScript courses available, so it is vital to pick the ones that are specific to your needs. For example, if you are a complete beginner to the world of programming, then an introductory course could be beneficial before fully committing to a full course. On the other hand, if you are already working in the field and know other programming languages, it could be better to skip some of the basics and opt for a course covering any gaps in your knowledge.

Free Courses

Free JavaScript courses are generally aimed at beginners and tend to range from 25 - 40 hours to complete. These courses can teach you the syntax for working with JavaScript, making interactive websites, and debugging your code. Beginners should look at courses that teach the basics, while intermediate users can opt for courses that are based on their existing understanding of programming concepts.

Paid Courses

Since JavaScript goes hand in hand with browsers and the internet, it is easy to do online. Paid options range from introductory courses that can be completed in a few hours to comprehensive courses that could take a few weeks to complete. Paid courses can require either a once-off fee or a monthly subscription.

Degree Programs

Online e-degree programs for JavaScript are also available. These are generally geared towards teaching users how to build real-world applications using JavaScript and cover topics such as HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Node, Express, and React. These programs can also cover database design and teach users how to build a progressive web app. JavaScript is often also included in degree programs for Web Development or Information Technology - Web and Mobile Programming.

Conclusion

The fact that it is beginner-friendly, versatile, and very much in demand ensures that JavaScript is a great study option for would-be web developers and anyone interested in programming. Proficiency in JavaScript continues to be a valuable skill and a great entry point for further studies in the field of programming.

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