For more than a decade, the proliferation of Drupal has been creating a bigger and bigger talent gap among available, qualified talent; and the small, medium and enterprise-level consulting firms who keep getting new Drupal business. The recent Drupal Association jobs survey confirmed this notion, with more than 40% of employers surveyed "constantly looking" for new hires; and of all the companies hiring now or in the future, 74% are looking for talent because their business is growing. The problem is that the pace of talent growth is remarkably slower than that of Drupal adoption.

One reason for the shortage is that for most, Drupal careers require a do-it-yourself approach; which while building resiliance, takes a lot longer than careers that have established educational programs and well-defined career paths that people can follow to get them to employability.  In order to feed the Drupal talent pipeline, the Drupal training space needs to include more formal education options so that those that aspire to be Drupal professionals have the same advantages as those following more established careers. Drupal as a career also needs a little PR.

In this session, we'll talk about the resources that are available for those just starting out, or looking to jumpstart their careers, including the many outstanding training options.  We will explain how we approach building stackable Drupal skills in our career training programs and stress getting experience and getting active in the community to build confidence and credibility.  We'll also cover the advantages of training, mentors, learning communities and resources, as well as how internships and student attitudes impact how long or short the road to proficiency becomes.

Lastly, we'll talk about the challenges for the community in building more Drupal talent more quickly, and how we can all reach outside of the community to help generate the talent we need to support the Drupal project into the future.