Half-life of knowledge and software/hardware careers???
I've been pondering this topic for a while (as of 2010) and have discussed it with a few select friends/colleagues over the years. One of the reasons I started CodeChix is because I ran into this issue myself and saw many others who were also struggling with this realization as they hit their 30's. This is what resulted in the Sunday afternoon workshops that CodeChix organizes and conducts to help women (and men) engineers try to stay "current".
This article hits the nail on the head (rather hard) and is worth reading. What changes do we need in the industry to make it a profession that is valued with growth (in age/experience as well as technical knowledge)?
I would like to do something to figure out if this issue can be addressed and how to go about doing it because if this is what it's going to be like, try telling your kids and see if they're remotely interested in STEM or engineering. Hah! They have sense - they'll run like hell. I would have if someone had mentioned this to me when I was studying CS and wanted to be an engineer. Is this what we want to emulate for the next generation?
The status quo is just not sustainable....
An associated post on the real STEM crisis: