The five hottest skills for your networking career – Network World: “Cliff Samuels Jr: What are the five top hottest Cisco skills to learn today to stay ahead of the curve in a networking career? Is it VOIP, IPV6…
Neil_Anderson: I would say the absolute top five are: security, mobility, unified communications/VoIP, video over IP, and application acceleration.”
If you accept the above comment (and I do not completely agree) then what I see is that Layer 7 skills that are in demand. All of the these technologies mean that not only must you have skills in traditional or core networking, but you must be literate in technologies such as operating systems, protocol mechanics, applicaton configuration, service delivery. Plus you need to communicate with business folks to be successful at Layer 7 service delivery.
Layer 7 is valuable because you have more and / or wider skills than anyone else not because it is inherently magical. Routing and switching is a fundamental skillset, not the end of the road. Its up to you to choose your path.