Financial institutions around the world rely on programming languages to aid their business. If you want to be ready to enter the finance industry and start your career in FinTech, you should be sure to develop skills in the best programming languages for finance.
Programming is not only useful to tech companies. It is widely used in the health care, education, communication, finance, and banking sectors. Throughout this article, we’ll explore the most popular programming languages for finance careers.
What Is Finance?
The term finance refers to investment, money, and asset management. Effective financing and financial solution are critical to the success of every business and individual. The operations of organizations lie in proper budgeting. Without a concrete financing plan, a business could not operate according to its plan and objectives.
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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 low level-languages, all of which have specific functions and uses. In the financial sector and banking industry, programming is essential in improving 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 have been widely used in finance. As FinTech continues to evolve, these advancements in technology have become essential to the finance industry.
Programming is used to develop financial applications and financial models that help business analysts, financial analysts, and other finance experts perform financial services and activities 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 finance industry is, different languages might be useful to you. In the section below, we provide you with details of the best languages for finance, along with a description of their features.
Python is an object oriented programming language with wide use in different industries including data analysis, technology, health, communication, and finance. It is open source and most of its wide array of libraries are available and free to download. Beginners and even non-programmers can easily learn the simple syntax of Python.
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Python is a popular programming language used in analytics and quantitive finance. It can easily perform statistical analysis and calculations. It is a general purpose programming language that is used to generate a huge amount of financial data for analysis. Developers build applications for banks as well as programming billing software and digital payment systems through Python.
R is a statistical computing programming language created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman. This is a famous 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. The statistical function of R lets finance experts 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 helpful for finance like FinancialInstrument, RTAQ, and quantstrat.
Structured Query Language, commonly known as SQL, is a powerful language that lets you manage databases and is popular for finance. Through SQL, you can access, retrieve, add, update, or delete data in the Relational Database Systems (RDBMS). Examples of well-known RDBMS are Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server.
SQL has become more popular in recent years and, according to Statista, is the top four most used languages in 2021. 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 numerous operations like automating repetitive tasks and merging existing functions to build solutions in Visual Basic.
VBA is widely used in Excel for various purposes. VBA allows users to quickly manage and analyze data such as sales, earnings, and expenses. Several financial procedures can be executed in VBA like the processing of sales, accounting, risk management modeling, and data processing. It can also perform complex calculations and secure workbooks in Excel that may contain confidential financial data.
MATLAB is a language mostly used in machine learning, signal processing, and other more advanced technical computing. It was developed by MathWorks and started as the PhD thesis of Cleve Moler. It runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.
MATLAB helps analysts and engineers in analyzing data, modeling, and developing algorithms. Machine learning algorithms help the financial industry in process automation. MATLAB is used to develop machine learning applications for finance and enables you to perform risk analysis and statistical modeling.
Which Programming Language Should I Learn First?
As you begin to learn finance programming, you should begin with Java. Java is simple to use and beginners can easily understand its simple syntax. It is also more convenient to use since it is platform-independent. Java is an open source language, meaning you can download and use it freely.
Java’s various functions are widely used in finance. It’s a flexible language with many applications and APIs that will allow you to program and perform plenty of tasks. Knowledge of Java is also a big advantage since many companies and organizations in finance use Java.
Is it Possible to Choose the ‘Wrong’ Programming Language?
Yes. This is because not all programming languages have the same features. Some languages are well-suited for statistical computing, while others are more useful for data visualization and data analysis. Knowing their functions and limitations will help you choose what’s best for your needs and preferences.
How to Learn Finance?
There are plenty of ways you can learn finance. The best strategy will ultimately depend on your needs, budget, and schedule. Below are some of the most common and efficient ways to learn finance.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
If you want to have a career in finance, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, banking, accounting, or business administration is the best way to do so. This should be your first step in learning the fundamentals of the field and developing the skills you’ll need to become a finance expert. A master’s degree can boost your appeal during the application process.
Enroll in Short Courses
Enrolling in short courses is a practical way to learn finance, especially if you already have an established career and are looking to boost your knowledge. Many organizations and training facilities offer online and in-person programs for finance. These courses can last from several weeks to several months. You can take an online course at your convenience since most of these are self-paced.
Learn From Ebooks
Plenty of ebooks for finance, accounting, and business are available on the Internet. These ebooks are written by professional financial experts and cover different business topics such as investing, budgeting, and economics. This is also a great way to learn finance at your own pace.
Finance 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 while studying finance. Keep in mind that you’ll need to invest your time and resources in case studies. You should also make sure that these are well documented.
Join Finance Communities
You can find online communities where experts are constantly sharing their business advice. This is a great way for you to connect with people and grow your network. Some communities also offer career opportunities for their members, along with career advice that can help you in your professional growth.
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How to Learn 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 different topics in business and finance 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 several subjects in business like personal finance, entrepreneurship, the stock market, and real estate investing.
- AnalystForum. This is a forum and community for chartered financial analyst (CFA) topics. Aspiring financial analysts can share knowledge and collaborate with fellow analysts on this forum.
- CFI ebooks. This is a website that lets you download free ebooks about business topics such as accounting, investments, trading, economics, and finance.
- City-Data. This is a social information site that began in 2003. It posts discussions about different topics like business, schools, tax, and more.
Ready to Break into Tech?
Software developers and programmers are in high demand in the financial services industry. The corporate world provides plenty of opportunities for them, offering competitive salaries and benefits. Working in financial technology is one of the best careers for professional development. You can find lots of resources on the Internet that will help you learn software development for finance.
Best Programming Languages for Finance FAQ
The typical skills needed to build financial software development are programming skills, problem-solving skills, and knowledge of software development life cycle (SDLC), as well as skills in operating systems and databases. Basic knowledge of finance is also an advantage but may not be required.
The finance sector offers lots of career opportunities in tech such as app development, product technology, data science, business analysis, and cyber security analysis.
That are several ways you can learn how to develop financial software. One of the easiest ways is through coding bootcamps. Enrolling at a coding bootcamp will let you get hands-on training in software programming and build your tech skills.
According to PayScale, the average yearly salary of a financial software engineer is $98,000.
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