What Tech Skills Are Hot for 2006?

Developers, security experts and project managers will be in demand

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"Customer requirements [for developers] are getting much more specific," says Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh Services LLC in Philadelphia. "The requirement used to be 'Give me a good CRM developer,' " says Lanzalotto. "Now, the requirement is 'Give me a good CRM developer with specific experience in the pharmaceutical industry.' "

NStar, a Boston-based energy utility, is hunting for developers with the power-industry experience needed to support its supervisory control and data acquisition environment, says Eugene Zimon, senior vice president and CIO at the company.

"I would see the need for application developers as much more specialized in terms of developing integration components, user interfaces and reusable components," says Zimon. "It's application development, but it's much more specialized and targeted to make use of your existing infrastructure."

2. Seeking Security Mavens

There's continued demand for people with information security skills, say Symons and others. And even though long-term demand is expected to remain strong, the growing ranks of people who have obtained IT security certifications has had a short-term dampening effect on compensation.

David Foote, principal and chief research officer at Foote Partners LLC in New Canaan, Conn., says there has been strong demand for people with Cisco security skills as well as those with IT auditing certifications. Still, he says, compensation for security skills has tapered off in recent months as many unemployed and underemployed IT workers have obtained security skills to become more marketable. The resulting increase in security specialists has helped to deflate wages, at least in the short term, says Foote.

Dice's Melland says he's starting to see skills shortages in different geographies, including a need for network security experience and government security clearances.

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