Right now there isn't much sense in going for backend programming as a career. Reason being is that there has been such a focus on backend programming and an influx of people in india charging so much less that backend programming as a career is becoming a bad idea. The only positions really opening up are as IT professionals to operate corporate servers and so forth. Not incredibly glamorous. Or from companies like adobe to produce software in house. But even some of these positions are becoming outsourced.
The best positions are in front end and mobile application development, as well as project management. I'm a front end / UI developer/designer and get around 20 requests a week to work on projects. I charge a reasonable price (which I have slowly been raising) and am not running out of work. I opted to specialize in Drupal since it can manage more sophisticated applications than Wordpress and am doing pretty awesome. Wordpress is alright, but better for more design oriented people and people willing to make a little less. Although, my friend who is an elite wordpress programmer gets around 15 requests a day, although the budgets are substantially lower than what I see.
There is a huge market for mobile application development as well, but responsive web development will likely dip into this a bit in that banks and so forth are in less need of an app, and responsive web development has the advantage of working on a computer as well. So basically, apps that require an internet connection will be losing some ground. Apps not needing internet are growing massively though. But at some point there will be an app for pretty much everything that can be offline... so not that great of a field in the long term.
Specialties - Drupal and Magento. Languages, PHP, Html 4, 5, xhtml/xml, (js, jquery, mootools, bootstrap) css2/3. Additional stuff, mysql, vm, git, svn, wordpress, oscommerce, zencart, photoshop, indesign, flash (AS2+3), Illustrator, Final Cut, Premier, SEO, social media, open graph. So basically... a shit tone of stuff to know for something that doesn't seem like it would be too much, but totally worth it. On my way to some project management stuff which I've been doing a bit and pays A LOT more. Stoked.
Funny thing is, I always offer to teach my friends... and no one ever accepts the offer.