Programming industry work prospects?

I am hoping to hear from somebody in the programming/IT industry.

Is it worth learning some programming languages possibly for future employment prospects? I am 35 yes I am not young. My buddy seems to think I have the right type of thinking to be a programmer and tells me I could get work with it eventually if I learned it deeply for a few years. Although I think he is just talking rosy garbage, he is pretty skilled with computers though and tells me I have potential because he can tell. I know the basics but nothing fancy.

Could any work prospects come out of learning a couple or a few languages but NOT the real real deep ones like C++? Most say C++ is
wayyy more complex than other languages which would take a lot longer to learn. Also my work background has always been with retail work and nothing to do with IT so as far as any experience in the field is concerned I don't really have any and I certainly not young anymore.

Also with the economy not exactly thriving right now is it really worth it? please be honest and none of this rosy nonsense.
Last thing I really want to do is spend years learning something to find out its pretty much TOTALLY useless!! if I go all out learning these skills I am not expecting instant work at the end of it up I am hoping my horizons would be broadned

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