Computerworld recently published a list of most sought after IT skills in 2009. According to the article, CIOs will be looking to retrain in-house staff rather than rely on consultants where possible in 2009. That doesn’t have to mean bad news for consultants — we can remain competitive by offering the skills companies need the most. Computerworld writer Thomas Hoffman says CIOs will be looking for specific skills; market those skills to current and prospective clients, and your 2009 calendar should be full.

Take a look at Computerworld’s list of the nine most sought after IT skills in 2009:

#1: Programming/application development, with an emphasis on SAP and .NET

#2: Help desk/technical support — Unfortunately, this is something that is not well suited to consulting, although you could dedicate a single employee to this function and offer that service to several clients.

#3: Project management, which means your promotional materials might need a tune-up. Make sure prospective clients know that you can meet deadlines and budgets.

#4: Networking

#5: Business intelligence — BI and IT are definitely blending.

#6: Security

#7: Web 2.0

#8: Data center, with virtualization taking a front seat

#9: Telecommunications

My primary skills lie in #1, #2, #3, and #5. I’m surprised to see Web 2.0 on this list — has it really become so popular? Small to medium-size companies certainly aren’t utilizing it. The one skill I want to push in 2009 is virtualization. It’ll be a big help to small and medium-size clients who need to grow but don’t have the budget for it. If you can show a prospective client how to save money, while paying your fee, you can be an exception to the in-house trend.

Do you agree with Computerworld? What skills do you think your clients will clamor for in 2009?

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