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The problem isn't money as such, there are certainly very very good salaries to be made if you're an experienced COBOL developer (I don't know where you picked up the opposite idea from).

The problem is training new developers: you won't get experience developing COBOL (not just the language, but the toolchain, the idioms of the time etc) without developing COBOL, and nobody is going to let you touch the system until you're experienced.

Unlike more recent languages, there aren't a huge range of small/simpler/less important (but still representative) codebases for novices to cut their teeth on.

I think it would take some sort of apprenticeship style setup to train new COBOL devs, but that's really, really hard to get right, and will be a huge drain on the few experienced devs you do have.




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