I work as a sysadmin, but my degree and early career was in CS/programming.
Although my time at work these days is mostly dealing with servers and infrastructure/budget issues, I enjoy programming so I have some side projects that keep my coding skills current. Even barring any programming-related career or profit-oriented goal, programming is a great way to create.
To me, programming is worth even more when it isn’t directly related to my job, because it means I can program anything I want. I just thought I’d mention it, because the personal benefits of programming don’t need to be directly career-oriented, and that can help if the job hunt is going slowly. It’s the act of creation, problem solving and personal fulfillment that gives me the buzz.