You would think programmers stay in IT for their entire career. I know several people that were good programmers who left IT.
One guy was an Oracle DBA. For some reason he couldn't find work. I'd forward job requests to him from time to time. I think he may have been forced out of IT due to his age.
Another guy, an old Mainframe programmer turned Java programmer, was hard of hearing. After being downsized, he never found work again.
Same story for a report writer I worked with, couldn't find work most likely due to his age.
Except I know other people, for instance, who left IT to become a high school teacher. One guy was into airplanes and he has his own business building small skypes aircrafts, instruction and gets to live his dream.
One lady got out of programming to go back to school to learn paralegal.
I've know people who had to move across country to land a job. I know some people taking drastic pay cuts to stay in IT. An ex-coworker I worked with went a little cookoo and is no longer able to work period.
The world of programming changes fast. Some people are able to retain the same skill set for decades without learning new stuff, they are the exception. Most programmers have learned all new skills sets over the years. Some programmers became DBAs, some programmers became Managers, some Managers got out of IT as some middle management positions have dried up.
Programming is taxing mentally and emotionally, requires change, adaptability, constant learning. Some people just don't have the stamina to keep it going. Some people get burned out and never touch a computer again.
However, if you like logic, like to solve problems, like challenges, like to learn on your own and like to be creative, there's no better job in the world than being a Computer Programmer.
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