In an era when carriers depend more and more on technology, and that technology grows more and more complex, the venerable mainframe is seen as the machine that has the right amount of scalability and security. Most larger companies intend to keep on investing in big iron. However, these machines are more complex than your average PC or Intel-based server box, which can be loaded, configured and ready to run over the weekend.

Then problem is, most college students pursuing IT tracks are attracted to social networks, mobile apps, and lightweight, open-source scripting languages that run across laptops, mobile devices and the Web. Few consider the mainframe a career choice. Insurance companies seeking mainframe talent will need to scramble to compete with other types of companies for this shrinking base of talent.

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