What is the most difficult skill set or position to fill today in the computer field? Dice.com says it’s security, followed by virtualization.

In its May 2009 hiring survey, it counted the top 10 skill sets/positions that are particularly sought after right now. SharePoint skills ranked number 10, as you can see below.

Dice also ranked the top 10 technology markets in the US. The Washington DC/Baltimore area ranked as number one based on the number of jobs advertised in technology, closely followed by the New York/New Jersey area. A distant third was Silicon Valley, and Seattle ranked number 10. The list follows below.

Top 10 Tough-to-Fill IT Skill Sets
Here are the top 10 hard-to-fill skill sets/positions, with comments about certifications from Tom Silver, vice-president of marketing for Dice.com (which is promoting its training service that aggregates industry-wide certification and training opportunities). Still, the list is interesting for its own sake, particularly if you’ve been out pounding the cyber pavement looking for a job.
1. Security
2. Virtualization:
“VMware, the leading vendor in virtualization technology, offers the field’s most highly sought certification – the VCP, VMware Certified Professional.”
3. Java/J2EE
4. SAP:
“SAP bills itself as the world’s largest business software company providing enterprise software to clients in every major industry, in every major market. Tech professionals who want to work with SAP can take advantage of a variety of programs, but to many hiring managers, hands-on experience trumps certification. Still, having the right credentials can make even experienced candidates stand out.”
5. .Net: “Microsoft has a variety of levels of certification, but the most bang-for-the-buck probably comes from the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)….”
6. Database Administrators/Administration: “…hiring managers focus on the certifications that apply to their particular implementation. IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle Database are among the most popular, and each offers companion certifications.”
7. Oracle: “…the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) is probably the most popular of the company’s certifications. But it’s only one of many offered by the firm. JD Edwards, Siebel and BEA Systems and other stand alone brands owned by Oracle offer certifications designed to show mastery of their products. Sun Microsystems will soon join the family.”
8. Active Federal Government Security Clearance
9
. Project Manager/Management: “The Project Management Institute offers certifications for professionals with different levels of experience. Its Project Management Professional (PMP) remains the gold standard for project management certification.”
10. SharePoint: “Earning the Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist, or MCTS, demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge in implementing, extending and troubleshooting SharePoint’s components.”

Top 10 Tech Metro Areas
Based on the number of jobs posted by zip code on Dice as of July 1, 2009, this list doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move to get a job (but it does confirm the relative techno-backwater status of my favorite city, Denver—though many IT pros and devs are doing just fine in technology in the metro Denver area).
1. Washington DC/Baltimore: 6,854 jobs posted
2. New York / New Jersey: 5,646
3. Silicon Valley: 2,630
4. Chicago: 1,986
5. Los Angeles: 1,902
6. Boston: 1,733
7. Dallas: 1,607
8. Philadelphia:1,428
9. Atlanta: 1,306
10. Seattle 1,293