I am currently wanting to go into Software Engineering. With that in mind I want to learn a programming language. I am planning to go back to school and major in either Computer Engineering or Computer Science (depending on which is closer to Software Engineering). Before I go back next year, I am wanting to try and learn a programming language on my own. I feel it will definitely be beneficial to learn a programming language in the long run. There are many and some stand out more than others...such as Java, C++, Python, etc. I am not certain which language would be most beneficial. I realize in the end it would depend on where I get a job at and what they focus on... Also, one of the course descriptions at the University of Arizona (where I am going) is as follows: C SC 352 -- Systems Programming and Unix (3 units) Description: Programming in C, including single and multi-dimensional arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees, and bit manipulation. Unix topics, including debuggers, makefiles, shell programming, and other topics that support systems programming. I am fairly ignorant in regards to programming language and I don't wish to break my wallet, so a programming language which doesn't require me to purchase expensive software would be helpful. Thank you for the advice!