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Should I Learn Python or Java?

Updated on: November 15, 2023

Are you starting your programming journey and wondering whether to choose Python or Java? This article breaks down key aspects of both languages to help you decide. Find out what makes Python a favorite for beginners. Get the basics, compare Python and Java, and see which language may be your best starting point in the world of coding.

We have been talking about Python for years now. You may be wondering when the craze will fade. You may even think it is already too late to jump on the bandwagon! It begs the question of whether learning Python is still worth it.

Python and Java are two of the most popular programming languages, ranking first and fourth, respectively, according to the October 2023 TIOBE Index. If you landed here wondering whether to learn Java or Python as your first programming language, your question makes sense and is worth a thought.

However, is your goal to break into data science or power up your analytics team? Then look no further! Python is your language of choice.

And you need to figure out where to start. We have a course Introduction to Python for Data Science to teach you the basics of data preprocessing and data visualization tools in Python through 141 interactive exercises.

No programming experience? No worries! We got you covered. This Python course also includes a module on Python basics to get you started and keep rolling.

What Is Python?

Python is a high-level, interpreted programming language acclaimed for its clear syntax and readability. For this reason, it significantly eases the learning process for newcomers. It is a versatile language that supports multiple programming styles, including object-oriented, procedural, and functional programming. This adaptability allows beginners to grasp fundamental programming concepts and quickly transition to actual coding tasks.

The simplicity and robustness of Python have made it a favorite across various industries. It is used extensively in:

  • Data science and analytics to handle large data sets and perform complex calculations.
  • Web development to power server-side operations.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop predictive models.
  • Scientific computing to assist in research and development.
  • Finance to do quantitative analysis and algorithmic trading.
  • Education to teach programming and computational thinking.
  • Software development to create both simple and complex applications.

Its versatility and ease of use have made Python a staple in the technology stacks of global giants like Google, NASA, and Netflix, as well as countless companies around the world. It, fuels a wide range of applications from web algorithms to space exploration. More on that in this article.

What Is Java?

Java is a popular programming language that lets you run the same code on different machines. It is used to write code that can be easily used again in other programs. With Java, you can write your code once and then run it anywhere Java is installed. This is why it is found on all kinds of devices from computers to smartphones.

Java is widely used because it is secure, fast, and reliable.

And it is not just for big companies; Java is also used by people making apps and new digital tools. It is an important language for many types of projects.

Should I Learn Python or Java for a Job?

In deciding whether to learn Python or Java, your first consideration is probably the job prospects. So, which one do you learn to get a job?

Python and Java are among the most in-demand programming languages. Whether you choose Python or Java, you learn job-relevant skills. That said, according to devjobsscanner, Python is the second most demanded programming language while Java is the third.

Python or Java in 2023?
Python or Java in 2023?


At the end of the day, it depends a lot on your goal. Python is the best choice if you want to break into data science and machine learning. But if you want to be an Android developer, Java is a better choice.

What if you are still undecided about your career path? While Java and Python are both general programming languages, Python is a better choice. With Python, it is easier to pivot from one field to another.

Winner: Python

Read these articles to learn more about the job market for Python skills:

Which Pays More: Python or Java?

The next question has to do with pay. This may give you the motivation for learning Python if you are still trying to convince yourself.

So, which one pays more? Both programming languages pay well. But if we have to choose one over the other, Python pays more than Java according to the 2023 Stack Overflow survey.

Python or Java in 2023?

Source: Stack Overflow Survey 2023

In general, programming skills are in high demand and bring a lot of value to the business. For this reason, software development tends to pay well. If you are looking for a change, consider a programming career.

Even if you do not make a career switch, adding programming to your skill set helps you advance your career and be more productive. Learning Python may even make you smarter, and it will make you richer than Java! So, what are you waiting for?

Winner: Python

Which Is Better: Python or Java?

No one programming language is better than all the others. At the end of the day, a programming language is nothing but a tool, a means to an end. However, some programming languages are better suited for certain tasks than others because of their design, built-in libraries, and support from the community.

Python comes with many benefits, with a lot of support and tools available for fast and efficient scientific computing and machine learning. And because Python is already full of features thanks to its built-in library, you save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

Like Python, Java has many built-in tools and a strong community. It is secure and faster than Python because it is a compiled language. While Java is not as trendy as Python, it is still a very relevant language for business-oriented software development. It is the language of choice for developing Android applications and is widely used in web development.

But keep in mind that you may find it more difficult to pivot if you start with Java instead of Python. What if you want to change your specialty? With Python, it is much easier because Python is used in almost every area of software development: web development, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, DevOps, robotics… you name it!

Winner: Python

Is Python Harder Than Java?

You may be wondering whether Python is more challenging to learn than Java. Thanks to its easy and intuitive syntax, Python has a reputation for being easy to learn. In contrast, Java is known for its many lines of code and may be more difficult to handle initially.

Let’s say I want to declare some variables in Python. I can do so as follows:

# Declaring variables
learn_python = "Welcome to"
a, b = 3, 2.5
true_boolean = True

In comparison, I have to write the following snippet to do the same thing in Java.

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Declaring variables
        int a = 3;
        float y = 2.5f;
        boolean true_boolean = true;
        String learn_python = "Welcome to!";

In Python, it takes 3 lines of code to declare 4 variables. I could do the same in just one line, but I want to keep the code clear. Also, you do not need to declare data types in Python, as it takes care of it on its own. With Java, you need to enjoy writing to get any meaningful output.

Python or Java in 2023?


Java requires you to declare data types upfront. Otherwise, you have to debug compiling errors. You spend more time debugging errors if you go with Java. Learning Python gives you more time to focus on programming concepts, which, as you may guess, is more important than the choice of your first programming language.

Winner: Python

Is Python More Useful Than Java?

You may be wondering if Python is more useful than Java. Again, it depends on what you need to do.

Python is of little use if you want to code an Android application. However, if you perform tasks like automation, data analytics, robotics, or machine learning, Python is more helpful.

Python is by far the most used programming language in machine learning. While it is also possible to do machine learning with Java, there is much less community support. Again, it comes back to what you want to achieve – a programming language is only a tool. But remember: Python gives you more options than Java.

Winner: Python

What Is the Future: Java or Python?

Does the future belong to Java or Python? No one really knows – programming and software development generally move extremely fast. However, one thing is for sure: Python is now the king of programming languages. And its popularity keeps growing.

The Python community is the strongest one when it comes to community support. In contrast, the Java community is in decline. This is not a good sign if you ask me.

Python or Java in 2023?

Source: Tiobe Index

With its versatility, easy syntax, and ease of use for research, prototyping, and development, Python has a brighter future than Java in my opinion.

Winner: Python

Want to Learn Python? What’s Next?

If you are on the fence about whether to learn Python or Java as your first programming language, consider your next steps carefully. Python has emerged as a leading language for beginners due to its simplicity and efficiency in various applications, from web development to data science.

We have top resources to kickstart your Python learning journey. And we are excited to offer you our Python Basics. Part 1 course for free! It is a perfect starting point in Python for beginners. Simply sign up for free and begin learning Python on Our interactive platform allows for immediate coding practice in your browser with no setup required.

Our platform stands out for its user-friendly interface and interactive learning experience. It is designed to help you start coding in Python with ease, giving you practical exercises and instant feedback to enhance your programming skills. This approach not only makes learning Python straightforward but also enjoyable and effective.

In 2024, learn Python!