Core question: What kind of career security can be expected in the software field and how much time can one expect to dedicate towards staying relevant? And also are certain fields more vulnerable? (Game design vs Financial software etc.)
*When I say career security I mean it doesn't matter how long you are at a certain job it's more about if you keep the same basic job title / responsibilities.
Reason for asking: I am a student and during an introduction speech a teacher mentioned that career life in the field is short. His main example was that employers now want to hire software engineers over programmers and then explained some vague difference between the two. I am worried about just how short the career life is.
My understanding of the current situation -
Positive career security:
- Differences in programming languages is mostly syntax and can be understood fairly easily.
- A majority of companies avoid change like the plague.
- After talking to some recent graduates of other schools I've heard that because of companies are unchanging that older languages are given new demand due to a need for maintaining software support. (He mentioned something about banks needing people to maintain transaction software and how they hired a LOT of people all at once to do this but now they are all retiring around the same time causing a scramble for people to maintain the software).
Negative career security:
- The technology field is the fastest changing field there is mostly because it's responsible for the changes in all other fields. When things change as fast they the things they are changing from become more and more obsolete.
- Range of employers can create a steeper than normal learning curve. (Switching from a job that deals with medical software to one that deals with financial or industrial can be a big jump).
- Changes in the mainstream can drown you. (A less software related example would be someone designing CPUs and then quantum computers becoming mainstream)