I'm 32 years old and I just got my Commercial Driver's License (ACZ) back on Wednesday. I switched to trades because of the possibility of a long term career that I could retire from. Not to mention my rights as an employee being protected through unions and the fact that truck drivers are retiring in droves with no one to replace them. I was born a geek and will continue to be a geek until the day I die, but never again will I work in high tech.
Age 15: Was a computer repairman at a small shop part-time.
Age 17: Took a spare last period of the day in highschool to work an evening shift doing computer assembly.
Age 18: Was a network admin for a public health community center part-time.
Age 19: Went to college for Software Engineering
Age 21-30: Worked ~17 different jobs / contracts in programming where I was repeatedly laid off or the company went bankrupt.
I have never been "Fired" from a job.
I am now in my 30's, broke, no plans or stability going forward. This industry is complete garbage. So I switched to truck driving. During school, I was hired by a government department in Ottawa as a test driver. I had not even graduated from my course yet when this opportunity came up. I start next week. If that opportunity doesn't pan out, the Oil Sands in Alberta needs people BADLY!
You kids might have aspirations of incredible glory going in to IT, but I assure you that you will not retire from the company you start at. In fact, you will be chewed up and discarded. Plan your career change during your 12-15 years in IT now before it's too late and you're crushed by an earth-shattering revelation like me. ... and yes, I am bitter about my time wasted in high tech. :(