Financial institutions around the world rely on programming languages to help their businesses. If you want to be ready to enter the financial industry and start your career in FinTech, make sure you develop skills in the best programming languages for finance.
Programming is not only useful for tech companies. It is widely used in the healthcare, education, communications, finance and banking sectors. In this article, we’ll explore the most popular programming languages for finance careers.
What is finance?
The term finance refers to investment, money and wealth management. Effective financing and financial solutions are critical to the success of any business and individual. The operational management of organizations lies in good budgeting. Without a concrete financing plan, a company would not be able to operate according to its plan and objectives.
What are programming languages?
Software developers and engineers build desktop applications, mobile applications, and other software products using various programming languages. Some are considered high-level languages while others are considered low-level languages, all of which have specific functions and uses. In the financial and banking sector, programming is essential to improve the business process.
What are the most popular programming languages used in finance?
Programming languages for data science, statistics, web app development and mobile applications are widely used in finance. As FinTech continues to evolve, these technological developments have become essential for the financial sector.
Programming is used to develop financial applications and financial models that enable business analysts, financial analysts, and other financial experts to perform financial services and operations more effectively.
Best programming languages to learn for finance
Which programming language is best for finance?
Choosing the best language is essential to perform tasks efficiently. Depending on what your role in the financial industry is, different languages may be useful to you. In the section below, we’ll give you details about the best languages for finance, along with a description of their features.
Python is an object-oriented programming language widely used in a variety of industries, including data analytics, technology, health, communications, and finance. It is open source and most of its wide range of libraries are available and free to download. Beginners and even non-programmers can easily learn Python’s simple syntax.
Python is a popular programming language used in analytics and quantitative finance. It can easily perform statistical analysis and calculations. It is a general purpose programming language used to generate a huge amount of financial data for analysis. Developers build applications for banks and program billing software and digital payment systems via Python.
R is a statistical computer programming language created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman. This is a well-known language among data scientists, data engineers and data analysts. R Studio is the integrated development environment (IDE) for the R programming language and is considered one of the best software for statistical analysis.
R is one of the most efficient programming languages for finance. R’s statistical function enables financial experts to perform financial tasks and analysis quickly and easily. It is used in credit risk analysis, financial reporting and financial data visualization. Many R packages are useful for finance, such as FinancialInstrument, RTAQ, and Quantstrat.
Structured Query Language, more commonly known as SQL, is a powerful language for managing databases and is popular for finance. You can access, retrieve, add, update, or delete data in the relational database systems (RDBMS) through SQL. Examples of well-known RDBMS are Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server.
SQL has become more popular in recent years and will be the top four most used languages in 2021 according to Statista. Through SQL, you can easily manipulate these databases to manage financial transactions, expenses and income. You can also query data using SQL to analyze trends and create financial reports.
Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA, is a programming language created by Microsoft. VBA is built on Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio. VBA macros in these programs perform many operations, such as automating repetitive tasks and merging existing functions to build solutions in Visual Basic.
VBA is widely used in Excel for various purposes. With VBA, users can quickly manage and analyze data such as sales, income and expenses. Various financial procedures can be performed in VBA, such as sales processing, accounting, risk management modeling, and data processing. It can also perform complex calculations and protect workbooks in Excel that may contain confidential financial data.
MATLAB is a language mostly used in machine learning, signal processing, and other more advanced engineering computing. It was developed by MathWorks and started as Cleve Moler’s dissertation. It runs on Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems.
MATLAB helps analysts and engineers analyze data, model and develop algorithms. Machine learning algorithms help the financial industry with process automation. MATLAB is used to develop machine learning applications for finance and allows you to perform risk analysis and statistical modeling.
Which programming language should I learn first?
When you start learning financial programming, you should start with Java. Java is easy to use and beginners can easily understand its simple syntax. It is also more convenient to use because it is cross-platform. Java is an open source language, which means you can download and use it freely.
The various functions of Java are widely used in the financial world. It is a flexible language with many applications and APIs that allow you to program and perform many tasks. Knowledge of Java is also a great advantage as many companies and organizations in the financial world use Java.
Is it possible to choose the ‘wrong’ programming language?
Yes. This is because not all programming languages have the same functions. Some languages are well suited for statistical calculations, while others are more suitable for data visualization and data analysis. Knowing their features and limitations will help you choose what’s best for your needs and preferences.
How do you learn finance?
There are many ways you can learn finance. The best strategy ultimately depends on your needs, budget and schedule. Below are some of the most common and efficient ways to learn finance.
Obtain a bachelor’s degree
If you want a career in finance, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, banking, accounting or business administration is the best way to do it. This should be your first step in learning the fundamentals of the field and developing the skills you need to become a finance expert. A master’s degree can increase your appeal during the application process.
Sign up for short courses
Enrolling in short courses is a practical way to learn finance, especially if you already have an established career and want to expand your knowledge. Many organizations and training facilities offer online and in-person finance programs. These courses can last from a few weeks to several months. You can take an online course at your leisure as most of these are at your own pace.
Learn from ebooks
Numerous ebooks for finance, accounting and business are available on the internet. These ebooks are written by professional financial experts and cover various business topics such as investing, budgeting and economics. This is also a great way to learn about finance at your own pace.
Financial projects and case studies are a great way to start building your portfolio. Choose exciting, relevant and interesting topics for your project. This is a practical way to apply what you have learned during your finance studies. Keep in mind that you should invest your time and resources in case studies. Also make sure they are well documented.
Join financial communities
You can find online communities where experts are constantly sharing their business advice. This is a great way to connect with people and grow your network. Some communities also offer career opportunities to their members, along with career advice that can help with your professional growth.
Learning Finance: Top Resources
- Graham Stephan† This YouTube channel has over three million subscribers and was created by a real estate agent Graham Stephan. It covers a variety of business and finance topics such as real estate, investments, the stock market, cryptocurrency, and more.
- Marko – Whiteboard Finance† This YouTube channel was started in 2017 by an investor, entrepreneur and finance student. In this channel, you can learn about various topics in business such as personal finance, entrepreneurship, the stock market and real estate investing.
- Analyst Forum† This is a forum and community for chartered financial analyst (CFA) topics. This forum allows aspiring financial analysts to share knowledge and collaborate with fellow analysts.
- CFI ebooks† This is a website where you can download free ebooks on business topics such as accounting, investment, commerce, economics and finance.
- City data† This is a social information site that started in 2003. It posts discussions on various topics such as business, schools, taxes and more.
Ready to break into technology?
Software developers and programmers in the financial services industry are in high demand. The corporate world offers them plenty of opportunities and offers competitive salaries and benefits. Working in financial technology is one of the best careers for professional development. You can find many resources on the internet that will help you learn finance software development.
FAQs about the best programming languages for finance
The typical skills required to build financial software development include programming skills, problem-solving skills, and software development lifecycle (SDLC) knowledge, as well as skills in operating systems and databases. Basic knowledge of finance is also an advantage, but may not be required.
The finance industry offers many career opportunities in technology, such as app development, product technology, data science, business analytics, and cybersecurity analytics.
Those are different ways you can learn to develop financial software. One of the easiest ways is by coding bootcamps. Enrolling in a coding bootcamp will provide you with hands-on training in software programming and build your technical skills.
According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a financial software engineer is $98,000.
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