Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?
I can attest to that based on almost 30 years of my own career in software development. The only and very slight problem is that management does not understand this matter.
Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?
I saw 10s of engineers who made this switch. In some industries (telecom equipment, storage) it is very common. I do not understand the question about language - I suppose you can program in C and it is still bread and butter in many cases.
Try to get contract job first. In the past I had good experience with some guys that now are working for http://www.symphonyteleca.com/