Well, I’m old enough to remember when the “geeks” were the kids with their heads buried in Popular Mechanics and Popular Electronics.
And I fondly remember my grandfather teaching me to solder, working on (IIRC) a Heathkit oscilloscope. (We so need Heathkits to come back.)
So, yea, I’d say that the interest and aptitude needs to express itself well before college. I tried get my daughter interested in (unsuccessfully) HTML when she was about 11. No interest in computers, and even wants all her books to be hard copy rather than Kindle.
But, she‘s a Star Trek addict, can tear down a warp drive nacelle blindfolded, and (seriously now) will pursue a STEM degree, albeit in medicine or med tech.