Just doing a little poking around this morning and I found a Computerworld article, actually I foudn a few that were interesting about the hot skills for 2008. I always hate these lists from IT based magazines because they always seem to spin the articles towards either the advertisers of the magazines or some kind of testing / training organization like Comptia or Microsoft so the slant does not tell you about workplace needs in the future as much as the truth really is.
Anyway I am not sure about the programming languages that they are pushing in this article but the other skills seem to make a lot of sense from the standpoint that I see in my workplace. Here they are is short version.
1. Programming/application development. As companies continue to Web-enable their existing applications and plow deeper into Web 2.0, demand is red-hot right now for people with AJAX, .Net and PHP skills. If you want to enroll in a program, check out UC Merced computer science and the likes.
2. Project management. CIOs are hungry for project managers who have extensive experience overseeing complex efforts that have delivered clear business benefits — not just someone who has obtained a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification
3. Help desk/technical support. Do the math. As companies continue to expand their application portfolios, more help desk and technical support experts will be needed to support those systems. And much of that expertise will need to be on-premises, with only a fraction of the work being shifted to overseas call centers in places like Bangalore, India.
4. Security. There will always be demand for IT professionals with core security credentials, such as intrusion-detection capabilities and government security clearances, but database and wireless security projects will drive that demand even higher this year.
5. Data centers. There has been a flurry of activity among companies and government agencies to upgrade or relocate their data centers to take advantage of virtualization and other recent data automation and efficiency gains.
6. Business knowledge. As IT organizations strive to align more closely with the businesses they support, demand remains strong for people with business acumen, whether they’re specialized business analysts
7 & 8. Networking and telecommunications. All sorts of networking skills are hot right now, including general network administration capabilities and network convergence, wireless and network security talents, as organizations collapse their voice and data networks with wireless and voice-over-IP technologies
If you are looking for a new job this year or even if you just want to know what bigger company IT shops are looking for then I think that this list is really valid.