Common Business  Orientation Language

COBOL (stands for Common Business  Orientation Language) is  a high-level language used for developing business applications. COBOL was developed in 1959 and since then it has been the business language of choice.

60-year-old COBOL has become a nuisance, some IT specialists wants to get rid of it but do not have the courage to so because of costs and that there is no guarantee the new system will deliver. According to Reuters, COBOL supports over 80% of financial transactions today, in fact Reuters calculates that there is still 220 billion line of COBOL code currently being used in production today. Financial institutions and other companies have come to the uncomfortable realization that ripping out old COBOL applications is pricey and complicated. They rather hire staff that will maintain the existing COBOL code.

COBOL programming skills is shrinking due to COBOL experience programmers moving into non-development role like management, others are retiring and there is no institution that is currently offering COBOL course in South Africa. This result in increased demand for COBOL programmers for the next 20 years. According to IBM, “…the community of COBOL programmers is shrinking faster than the open positions they create can be filled. The average age of a COBOL programmer is 58, and roughly 10% are retiring each year. It is estimated that there will be 84,000 unfilled mainframe positions by 2020”.

There are now some concerns about where the next generation of COBOL programmers will come from. The financial institutions are currently having trouble finding talented young COBOL developers who want to work in a financial institution. Secondly, COBOL isn’t as sexy as working with Python, Java, C++, PHP and so on and hence is not attractive to the youth. Since the demand is high and the supply is low, COBOL programmers tend to be paid more than other programmers and hence this is an incentive for the youth to enter the COBOL programming field. Secondly, South African youth unemployment is high and we can reduce this unemployment rate whiles at the same time increasing the supply of COBOL programmers.

According to the World Economic Forum the top three skills that are required for the fourth industrial revolution are complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity.  Therefore, COBOL programming is relevant for fourth industrial revolution because its capable of building problem solving, critical thinking and creativity skills.

Bit a Byte Academy is a registered member of ITCU dedicated in offering high quality COBOL programming course using real world practice. The course is offered by facilitators with over 30 years of IT experience. Bit a Byte Academy also assist students to find employment after completing and passed ITUC exams.

How do we assist students with employment?

  • Teach students how to prepare a CV.
  • How to prepare for interview.
  • We will conduct interviews with students.
  • Send CV to IT replacement agencies.
  • Check which companies are looking for COBOL programmers and collaborate with IT replacement agencies.
  • Build a relationship with HR’s of institutions that are using COBOL as a programming language.

About the Course

Level: 5 Credits : 10

Target Audience

  • Individuals with a minimum of 50% in mathematics (MATRIC)
  • Graduates who are interested in the COBOL programming world and would like to change their careers.
  • Individuals who are currently employed and would to change their career to COBOL programming.

Course Objectives

  • Understanding what a computer is and its components.
  • Full understanding of how the computer operates and works.
  • Differentiate between batch and online programme.
  • Be able to design a computer program using tools such as flowcharts and Nassi- Shneiderman charts.
  • Understanding of the COBOL programme structure.
  • COBOL statements such as MOVE, ADD have a good knowledge of SUBSTRACT, DIVIDE, etc.
  • Be able to write a structured computer programme using COBOL as a procedural.
  • Be able to debut and test COBOL programme.
  • Good understanding of what is a JCL and be able to execute batch programmes using JCL.

CLOSING APPLICATION DATE: 21 February 2020, so click on the below register tab to register before it’s too late: