Learn the language and the culture and you might land a job that that lasts until retirement
A career as a Cobol programmer might not be as sexy as slinging Java code or scripting in Ruby, but if you buckle down and learn hoary old Cobol, you could land one of the safest, most secure jobs in IT.
Analyst reports indicate that Cobol salaries are on the upswing. The language is easy to learn, there's a healthy demand for the skills, and offshore Cobol programmers are in short supply -- plus, the language itself holds the promise of longevity. All that loose talk about mainframes going away has subsided, and companies committed to big iron need Cobol pros to give them love.
To learn about other skills in high-demand during tight times, read "Recession-proof IT jobs." ]
In a troubled economy, with analysts forecasting IT spending slowdowns, secure IT positions could quickly become scarcer than they are today. Seasoned Cobol programmers, in contrast, "should be in pretty good shape job-wise. If they have a position at an organization that intends to keep its legacy Cobol apps, then they are probably set for life," says industry analyst Jeff Gould, director of research at Interop Systems. "Many mainframe customers with large mission-critical Cobol apps are locked into the mainframe platform. Often there is no equivalent packaged app, and it proves to be just too expensive to port the legacy Cobol to newer platforms like Intel or AMD servers."
Why Cobol is alive and well