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What is a marketable skill?

I read your answer regarding becoming an independent SAP consultant and one of the comments was that the person had no hot niche skills. I would like to know what you consider marketable skills. For example, I only worked as Basis/UNIX/Oracle support, and I find it hard to sell. Am I mistaken?

I agree, Basis/UNIX/Oracle is not an easy sell. It is more of a "skills base" than a "hot niche." In other words, there are hot niches you might be able to find that would build on your current Basis skills. One such example would be to get exposure to SAP's new Web-based architecture, starting with the Web Application Server (WAS). There are a lot of Basis consultants out there, but there aren't many who have WAS knowledge. It's not easy to get this kind of skills exposure, but it's clear that in the long term, SAP is going to "phase out" Basis in favor of its new "Web-driven" technology architecture. This is a multi-year scenario, but why not try to stay ahead of the curve? Right now, it's hard to land cutting edge project opportunities, but the first step is to honestly assess your current situation. One shift that may help you is to stop thinking about this whole process as "marketing" and start thinking of it as "ongoing self-education." Start reading anything you can get your hands on related to cutting edge technologies, hit a trade show or two, and follow your self-education wherever it leads you.

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