in reply to Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
My advice is that you might even learn a "fashionable" programming language, but stick to Perl.
Although there are lots of job opportunities for other languages (like Java, for example), there's really a good market for Perl programmers. Here in Brazil, where I live, most of the guys that take part in the Perl Mongers groups work with Perl and make money programming with our favourite language. And certainly not only here. For instance, I also know people working with Perl in Portugal.
Perhaps what you should additionally do is to keep in touch with people who work with Perl and, eventually, they might help you get into the market and even make more money than your teachers and friends!
Then, you could possibly turn them into Perl addicts! :-) Good luck!