Javascript is the most popular language among developers today. People with Javascript skills are in high demand in the job market, particularly in fields like web development. Its unshakable popularity has allowed Javascript to attract hoards of new learners searching for exciting and lucrative career paths.

Although the current state of Javascript is not a new development in the programming domain, it begs us to ask one question. Can you get a job with just Javascript?

Unfortunately, no.

Javascript is not a be-all-end-all route to becoming a developer. It’s only a programming language that allows you to develop software to address certain user needs and wants. But if you learn Javascript with this end goal in mind, you will have an easier time finding jobs that value your skills.

If you add technologies that complement Javascript in different job roles—like HTML, CSS, React, or Express—you’ll have an even better chance at catching recruiters’ eyes.

Javascript is only a tool

Javascript is not an end product a business can deliver to customers. It’s only a tool that helps you build the desired software.

Javascript comes with a special syntax and numerous built-in processes to let you piece together different functionality. But it doesn’t tell you anything about how to apply that language knowledge to build practical, real-world applications.

You need to learn the quirks of relevant development domains to get that understanding.

Let’s imagine you’ve already learned the ins and outs of Javascript. You understand the advanced concepts in the language, like promises, generators, and event loop. You know how to write solutions to challenging algorithm problems with ease. But if this proficiency doesn’t contain the practical knowledge needed to develop actual software, you’ll have difficulty adapting to the demands of a Javascript job.

That’s why language knowledge itself is not enough to land a job for any learner.

You can bridge the gap between the industry and education by tying your learning path to a development domain that has a noteworthy job market. By taking this route, you’ll gain the skillset required to land a job faster than simply learning the language.

So, what are the development domains with noteworthy job markets in today’s programming landscape?

Where do Javascript job opportunities lie?

As the language that runs the majority of the web frontend, most Javascript job opportunities come from web development. The popularity of frameworks like React Native has also allowed Javascript to become prominent in mobile development.

Considering these programming domains where Javascript has a secure foothold, we can list a set of job roles that provide opportunities to Javascript learners.

  • Frontend developer: Develop the user-facing side of a website
  • Backend developer: Develop the logic-handling side of a w ebsite
  • Full-stack developer: Develop both frontend and backend of a website
  • Mobile app developer: Develop mobile applications

These roles aren’t always set in stone. Their boundaries sometimes overlap with each other depending on company-specific definitions. Some even use slightly different naming conventions. For example, you may have heard terms like Javascript developer, web developer, front-end engineer, etc.

Despite the way each job role is named, they span the web frontend or backend and mobile app development most of the time.

Understanding how Javascript practically applies in one of the above roles prepares you for a job better than just learning the language. For example, learning Javascript for web development teaches you how to use Javascript to manipulate the DOM. It gives you an idea of how Javascript combines with HTML and CSS to build web frontends. It also allows you to know by experience how to use the language to satisfy user requirements.

Unfortunately, Javascript is not the only technology used in these job roles. They require several tools and technologies to work in tandem to develop either web or mobile applications.

So, it’s common for recruiters to look for applicants who have experience combining Javascript with such additional technologies.

What else should you learn to get a Javascript job?

Let’s clarify one thing first. It’s not impossible to get a job as a web or mobile app developer if you know only Javascript. You may have even come across such developer stories occasionally on the internet. But it’s not the norm.

The majority of such job opportunities are offered as internships or training programs. They recruit you for low salaries and impose certain conditions on your future career path. Most of the time, landing an opportunity like that has more to do with luck than skills.

So, if you’re hoping to build a fail-proof resume that gets you recruited, you’ll have to learn several technologies involved with your preferred job role. Let’s go through them one by one.

Frontend developer

Front-end developers build the user-facing side of a website that runs on a browser. In this context, Javascript is used to control the dynamic behavior of the website, like manipulating the DOM and retrieving data from remote APIs.

They may also need to use HTML and CSS for web design purposes. The degree to which you’d require such knowledge depends on the exact job definition. The categorization of front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end shows one such boundary that separates the responsibilities of frontend developers.

Front-of-the-front-end developers focus heavily on designing web components with HTML, CSS, and some Javascript. They may also need to learn HTML and CSS frameworks as they move ahead.

On the other hand, back-of-the-front-end developers handle application functions like API calls and routing. They primarily work with Javascript and require passable HTML and CSS knowledge. Mastering a frontend framework like React or Angular is an additional advantage in these jobs.

Backend developer

Backend developers handle a website's main business logic and data processing tasks. They create servers to listen to frontend requests, manage database access, and implement load-balancing measures to provide services to users with minimum latency.

Javascript enters backend development through Node.js. It's a Javascript runtime environment that allows users to execute Javascript code locally outside the browser. If you wish to become a backend developer with your Javascript knowledge, you’ll have to explore the unique ways Node handles backend-specific tasks in detail.

Javascript backend developers should also be familiar with a Node framework like Express. Having more common backend-specific knowledge will give you further leverage in this domain when looking for jobs. It includes:

  • SQL or NoSQL databases
  • Deployment platforms
  • API architectures like REST
  • Backend architectures like microservices

Full-stack developer

Full-stack developers are responsible for building a website's frontend and backend. They have a broader knowledge range than a frontend or backend developer. But it doesn’t have to be as deep as the knowledge of a developer specializing in a single area.

If you’re aiming for a career as a full-stack developer, you have to grasp the basics of frontend and backend development. That means you must learn at least a subset of the technologies discussed in each previous job role.

Mobile app developer

Javascript has become popular in mobile development as a language that facilitates cross-platform development. It allows you to reuse a single codebase to build apps for multiple platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows.

React Native framework is the most common way Javascript is used in this domain today. But it is not the only one. Platforms like Ionic and Cordova allow you to build mobile apps with standard frontend technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

In addition to these technologies, you must understand how different mobile OS operates and interacts with applications to become an excellent mobile app developer candidate. You may also need experience working with storage options available for mobile devices like SQLite and Firebase.

Just Javascript may not be enough, but…

You rarely find a job in the programming field that relies only on one technology. It’s a law that applies to Javascript as well. If you’ve been wondering whether you can get a job with just Javascript, this post must have shown you that it’s not enough.

However, your depth of Javascript knowledge still plays a significant role in convincing recruiters of your development skills. Most interviews check applicants’ understanding of Javascript in related job interviews. They focus on testing your Javascript skills despite the involvement of other technologies in that field.

So, Javascript may not be enough to make your developer dreams come true. But it becomes indispensable to the success of a job interview when the time is right.