Career Opportunities in PHP [Ultimate Guide]

PHP development is among the most widely used programming languages in the world. Its open-source tools and fast running speed make it a preferred choice in almost every IT development area. Moreover, it is behind nearly 80% of the web. You see, several online platforms today are PHP-based, such as Facebook, Yahoo, Tumblr, Flickr, MailChimp, Wikipedia, and WordPress. 

Aspiring developers in India must not overlook PHP as this technology is on the radar of many big IT firms and multinationals. Some of them include HCL, Wipro, TCS, Accenture, and Cognizant. If you are contemplating a career in PHP, this article is for you. 

Fundamentals of PHP for Beginners

PHP is a scripting language first released in the year 1995. It stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Danish-Candian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf created this object-oriented and functional programming language. Since the scripts are executed on the server, PHP is highly suited for web development. Its implementation languages are C and C++, and it runs well on Windows, Unix, and Linux OS. 

The applications below give a snapshot of the capabilities of PHP in the development ecosystem. With PHP, you can:

  • Generate dynamic page content
  • Create, open, write, and close files on the server
  • Send and receive cookies
  • Collect form data
  • Modify data in your database
  • Encrypt data 

So, being proficient in this general-purpose scripting language can prove beneficial for beginners. Now, let us look at what a career in PHP development looks like. 

Read: PHP Project Ideas & Topics

Career Opportunities in PHP

1. Command-line Scripting

This function is primarily concerned with parsing on web servers so that the user browser gets the correct HTML. PHP parsers can run the script without a server program or browsers. PHP scripting allows developers to pass the files as a command-line argument to WinSQL, which then runs the functions sequentially. Therefore, it is a practical approach that is also easy to use and effective. 

2. Server-side Scripting

In this technique, scripts are employed on a web to produce a customized response for client requests posed to a website. So, it is the central area of operation where PHP developers can showcase their expertise. 

Server-side scripting includes programs and applications like web browsers, web servers, and also PHP parsers.

Also Read: PHP Interview Questions

3. Database Concepts

User interaction entails the processing of data stored in files and databases. So, database concepts are integral to the job of PHP developers. A database can be described as a collection of data resources or information. 

As a PHP developer, you should be able to integrate the PHP language with database management tools, such as MongoDB, MySQL, Postgresql, Oracle, among others. 

4. Desktop Application Development

PHP’s capabilities as a language also extend to developing client-side applications that can be installed and run locally on users’ computers. In a desktop application, the graphical user interface or GUI holds prominence in ensuring that the human-computer interaction is efficient and comfortable. 

Since the underlying logical design plays a vital role, successful PHP developers have a thorough understanding of client-side scripting languages, including JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. 

5. Web Development Careers

Several web development jobs like web designers, web architects, and webmasters are open to PHP proficient candidates. The primary duties of these posts could consist of:

  • Building the foundation of websites
  • Selecting color and text style
  • Monitoring site performance
  • Keeping a tab on web traffic
  • Applying HTML coding skills to add new features 

6. Compiler Based Applications

If you are well-versed in a particular language other than PHP, you can build an application in that language and later align it with the PHP ecosystem. For instance, you can create extensions with PHP using the C language. The same concept is used by the Magento platform, an e-commerce solution. 

This feature of PHP brings flexibility to the work of developers, and thus enables innovative applications. 

7. Computer Programming

This career option takes on some of PHP development duties, but mainly involves the usage of C++ and Java languages. Computer programmers write code for new systems and products, working alongside software developers. Additionally, they analyze the existing software programs and perform tasks related to debugging and troubleshooting.

PHP expertise also comes in handy when you move to supervisory and managerial roles in the software development industry. 

Essential Requirements of a Career in PHP

To qualify for PHP development posts, you should focus on picking up and refining the following skills:

  • Training or practical experience in PHP
  • Familiarity with other scripting languages
  • Comprehension of PHP-based frameworks
  • Skills in MVC, CMS, HTML, JSON, XML
  • Certifications in MySQL development and administration
  • Command over OOPS concept, API integration
  • Developer understanding of Ubuntu, Linux OS, Zend framework and many more

So far as the desired educational qualifications are concerned, a bachelor’s degree in computer science and related disciplines is a go-to for most openings. Advanced engineering studies and degrees like MCA can offer a competitive advantage to the candidate’s profile. Computer science programs typically incorporate learning in web programming, computer architecture, algorithms, and operating systems. After this, one can opt for postgraduate courses that help build candidates’ logical thinking, analysis, communication, management, and teamwork capabilities. 

The average annual salary of fresher PHP developers in India is Rs 3,45,843, while at the senior levels, the total compensation reaches Rs 5,69,159 a year. The remuneration is highly dependent on one’s skills and expertise. Those who have in-depth knowledge of CMS and multiple frameworks fare well compared to those with basic training. Level of education attained, professional experience, and industry exposure are other criteria that recruiters take into account at the time of hiring for PHP development jobs. 


Moving Ahead

Besides being a reliable server-side language, PHP is also good at improving with the changing environment and incorporating new features in its subsequent versions. A significant number of PHP-powered sites continue to use PHP 5 to this date. 

There are many career paths in user interface design as well. The trends below indicate the scope of the market demand of PHP:

  • Responsive web design
  • Usage of Flash (to create 3D interactions)
  • Presentation of websites 
  • Special effects (For example, parallax scrolling on websites)
  • Fixed headers (for effective brand promotion), and so on. 

As more and more organizations embrace technology in the coming years, the demand for PHP development is set to rise even further. New opportunities would be available in diverse areas, from e-commerce to blogging to enterprise software to mobile apps. 

When you are just starting in the field, you can also explore avenues in freelancing. Many online bidding sites like Upwork, Elance, and Freelancer, publish full-time and part-time assignments, catering to entry-level and seasoned technical personnel. Also, remember to practice your skills and make full use of the open-source tools and cross-platform ability of PHP. The vast development community has a lot to offer if you are committed to learning and growing. 

Check out: PHP Developer Salary in India

Summing up

With this, we have provided an overview of the career options in PHP. We intended to acquaint aspirants with the basics of PHP and different profiles available in the present-day job market. Next, we attempted to summarize the current skill sets preferred by the employers and ended with a way forward. We hope you find all this information useful in your preparation! 

If you’re interested to learn more about full-stack software development, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s PG Diploma in Full-stack Software Development which is designed for working professionals and offers 500+ hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects, and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

Q1. Which is easier to learn – PHP or JavaScript?

PHP is designed only for backend development, whereas JavaScript was initially used only for frontend development. But later on, when Node.js was introduced, JavaScript came to be regarded as a programming language for full-stack development. Now, it is possible to build a whole application using JavaScript. When it comes to learning both languages, PHP is relatively easier to pick up than JavaScript. Setting up a server and understanding the nuances and peculiarities of PHP are much simpler than those of JavaScript. However, JavaScript is a more universal language than PHP. So the effort spent in learning JavaScript brings greater value.

Q2. Is PHP an object-oriented programming language?

PHP is a scripting language that is mainly used for backend development but can also be used for general-purpose coding. PHP was initially designed as a procedural language. But later on, with PHP 5, object-oriented programming concepts were integrated into it so that it can be used to develop more complex web-based programs that support reusability. Object-oriented concepts in PHP are classes, objects, inheritance, interface, magic methods, and abstraction. So, while basic or primitive datatypes like scalar can be used in PHP for integers and strings, object-oriented coding is also supported through declaring objects and classes.

Q3. Does Facebook use PHP in the background?

Facebook uses different technologies like Apache, Linux, MySQL, and PHP. However, to accommodate billions of active users, Facebook has had to alter and scale up its operation to incorporate various other elements and modify many of its existing features. But yes, Facebook uses PHP – it contains a built-in compiler that helps convert the code into native computer language on the web servers, boosting overall performance. Since PHP is a scripting language, its code runs comparatively slower than native codes executed on a web server. But when it is converted into C++ code, it can be easily compiled to perform better. This helps Facebook maximize its web server capacity by relying on PHP.

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