How to become an interaction designer

Robert Reimann, Director of Design R&D at Cooper Interactive suggests how to become an interaction designer (in terms of academic training and professional skills).

    We get a lot of email from students and usability professionals asking how one goes about becoming an interaction designer, and what background one needs to get into the field. What are good interaction design programs? What real-world skills and experience are required? What, exactly, do interaction designers do on a day-to-day basis?
I found these comments interesting towards the end.
    * Designers seldom code * Usability research is tremendously important, but it isn't design.
I guess I'm not an interaction designer in this sense. I definitely love coding perl and php. In small organizations, this does happen. Maybe I'm a hack IA/interaction-designer-cum site developer?