First of all, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post.
I couldn't agree more - there is no silver bullet to this stuff. UX is particularly interesting because it's not regulated (like law or medicine). There are so many ways to enter the industry and, once you're in, there are countless roles from which to choose.
I also agree that the most important thing is to talk with/understand the people you're trying to help. I will say I think experience over time has less gravity in this industry because it's still so young (and it can be very daunting for people who want to break into UX).
Regardless, I appreciate your perspective and once again appreciate your time!