Forget about C and Java, Python, C# and HTML. If you are one who enjoys a challenge and hopes to earn income by writing non-traditional programming languages, there’s a place for you in the corporate world. As the business sector continues to morph and expand in unpredictable ways, IT departments often have a need for people who know unusual languages or at least have the ability to learn them. Some of the in-demand unusual languages began decades ago under other names, while several, notably MQL5 are newer and came into being for a specific and modern need. Here’s a brief look at five that are off the beaten path but might open the doors to a career path for anyone willing to take the time and effort to learn.


With JVM, Java Virtual Machine, as its main target, Scala is considered to be a superior version of Java by some because in addition to everything else, it can work alongside all Java platforms and classes in a smooth and seamless way. If you already know Java well and want to add a profitable second, and unusual language to your repertoire, Scala is a good candidate.


One of the hottest segments of the online business service community is brokerage and securities trading. Many are already trading on a daily basis and more are expected to join them within the next two years. The best brokers and financial service websites offer a platform called MetaTrader 5 to their customers. In fact, banks and brokerage firms by the hundreds keep their clients happy by offering MT5. So, where do you come in, as a programmer?

The platform uses MQL5 as its primary language. Users need the ability to come up with their own trading strategies and technical indicators. The whole point of technical trading, in short, is to analyze huge batches of data quickly. MT5 lets traders do that, but without MQL5, MetaTrader 5 wouldn’t exist. If you like the idea of operating with a non-standard program, and particularly enjoy dealing with the securities industry and the financial sector, consider learning MQL5. It’s the top choice for automated trading software brokerage firms who use MetaTrader 5 as their core offering to account holders.


Ironically, R used to be called S, and is a direct outgrowth of that rather esoteric linguistic universe. Used mostly by high-level statisticians, mathematicians, and pharmaceutical industry folks, R is specially adapted to work with numeric data, calculations, and quantitative studies. When you comb though IT job listings, you’ll see lots of demand for this rather unusual skill area. Many times, recruitment pros will describe jobs that deal with big data skills, drug industry specialties, and statistical experts. In those descriptions will usually be a mention of R as being something they want all applicants to be conversant in.

If you like numbers, have a background in mathematics or stats, and have a hankering to score a position in the pharmaceutical sector, consider taking an online course or teaching yourself R from a manual. It’s not daunting to learn but takes a month or so of practice to become comfortable.


If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve probably at least heard of Fortran, one of the very first computer programming languages. Today, refusing to give up the ship, Fortran survives and does its job in the scientific industry. One of the PPS’s (parallel programming standards) called OpenMP uses Fortran, as do dozens of top science apps. One of the best things about it is that it’s easy to learn and sets you apart from other job candidates. Older IT folks will hail your effort to learn it, and younger workers will assume you possess esoteric knowledge of vast importance. In reality, knowing this relic has real value from a career standpoint.


Way back when Dwight Eisenhower was President of the U.S., there was a program called Lisp. Nowadays, Lisp is part of IT history, but one of its descendants lives on. Primarily created to deal with CLR, common language runtime, and JVM, Java Virtual Machine, Clojure is a direct descendant of Lisp but is much more complex. In fact, it even has its own offshoots, called Scheme and Common Lisp. Nearly 1,000 programmers have assisted with the development and expansion of Clojure, and more businesses than ever are beginning to use it, especially those who primarily use CLR and JVM. Learning Clojure will do something besides help you obtain a good-paying IT job; it’s the ideal conversation starter when you’re with a bunch of tech folks and someone says, “What do you do for a living?”