Drupal Web Developer Career Series Post 1: Drupal Jobs Landscape

Published June 26, 2014

DrupalEasy was really jazzed to host the career how-to session with community leaders, living Drupal success stories, and a panel of talent-hungry recruiters from Drupal organizations around the world At DrupalCon Austin. Drupal Career Trailhead; Embark on a Path to Success provided so much great information on mapping out your Drupal Career, and so many people asked about follow up, that we realized it warranted some further dissemination.

This will be the first of three weekly blogs that encapsulate the advice, tips and must-do elements of career building in the Drupal Community, and will be listed as reference at the DrupalEasy Academy Career Center.

Why pursue a career in Drupal web development?

For the Drupal Jobs Landscape session introduction, Nancy Stango laid out some great stats and thoughtful reasons from her perspective as CEO of Blink Reaction, a company that clearly knows the prospects Drupal has to offer. She brought Blink to DrupalCon for, among other reasons, recruiting of several dozen people to build their team up to 120, which less than five years ago was just 16. Nancy focused on opportunity, and then provided a few tips on finding the right career direction.

The future looks very Drupaly

Nancy, like most with informed-leadership perspectives, predicts that the further advantages Dupal 8 will have over other CMS options will translate into an even faster pace of adoption, and in turn will create even higher demand for Drupal developers across all niches. For those of you just looking into Drupal, 8 is going to really improve Drupal's design capabilities, better support for responsive design for mobile devices, and provide improved HTML5 and multi-lingual capabilities. Improvements under the hood will allow Drupal to provide better personalization services, an improved content administration interface, and modern configuration management control. 

More jobs posted in 2013 than attendees at DrupalCon Austin

Even without the predicted growth of Drupal adoption worldwide, the current demand demonstrates huge opportunity for those choosing the Drupal path. Nancy highlighted some numbers; with 2,700 Drupal-related jobs listed on Drupal.org Jobs in 2013, 2,800 listed on indeed by employers - with another 1,100 listed by recruiters! All of this further enforced by the companies on our panel, with more than 150 positions open among the five organizations! Nancy also mentioned that Drupal jobs pay pretty well. Based on her research, the national average for web developers in Drupal is more than $87,000 per year.

Drupal is a part of something big

To be fair, IT, and specifically web development in general, is a good field to get into. As societies worldwide grow ever-reliant on information communications technologies, the opportunities to contribute to thier development grow with it. The growth of positions in software development is going gangbusters at 18% through 2022, with web development careers specifically growing at a rate of 20%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s pretty impressive when the rate of growth for other occupations in general is predicted at just 11%. Consider the growth of open source technologies devoted to web development, and these career growth stats are no surprise.

Drupal is a big tent

Nancy also pointed out that opportunity in Drupal is not limited to the number of open positions. It extends into specialties, support positions, business size and lifestyles. Opportunities abound for those in every space from freelancers to executives to coders to graphic designers. The Drupal community is not just developers servicing enterprise clients, it welcomes entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, small Drupal shops, contractors, consultants and every specialty and support position from recruiting to accounting.

Look for a great match, not just a great job

Nancy wrapped up with a some advice for anyone embarking on a new career in Drupal (and really, for anyone at any career point.) Consider what’s important to you and find the job that will support the lifestyle you enjoy or desire. Don’t just consider the job requirements and match them to your skills. Consider your values, ideal work conditions and living arrangements. Do you have the inclination and discipline to work for yourself? Will you be happy working at an office? Will a six figure salary be enough to help you overcome the grind of long commute? She added that being true to yourself and your potential employer is key to a good match, so don’t fake it to make it, in any sense. Be honest with yourself and potential employers about your skill level, your values and your aspirations.

Next week: Drupal career paths and waypoints. Go to Drupal Career Online to learn more about DrupalEasy Academy's live, online career training program.

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