Career paths for people who don’t want to be leaders is a huge problem in industry. At the moment the only available career path leads inevitably to leadership positions if people want to advance (and who doesn’t). There is no path for people who want to stay technical other than career stagnation.
The net result is that we take our best technical people and turn them into our worst managers and leaders.
We really need to have proper technical career paths for people whose skills lie there rather than in leadership. Same in non technical areas. The skills you need to be a good sales manager are very diferent to the skills you need to be a good salesperson. I;ve seen lots of good sales folks go on to fail badly as a sales manager.