The market for robotic process automation (RPA) is accelerating rapidly. It’s a tried-and-tested technology, but in recent years the scope for what can be automated has broadened significantly. This is thanks to the integration of AI and machine learning technologies.
All of this means enormous career opportunities for robotic process automation professionals. In a red-hot market, skilled RPA developers are in demand like never before. In 2020 alone, according to Indeed, there was a 21% jump in the number of job vacancies posted which featured the word ‘automation’ in the job title.
The market is set to continue its meteoric trajectory, with experts predicting it could grow by $10.4 billion by 2023.
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19
Automation has been creeping into a wide range of industries for decades, but the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have been a catalyst for many organisations. According to a survey by Deloitte in 2020, two-thirds of organisations used automation in their Covid response. The technology was primarily used for facilitating more remote working, but also to deal with dramatic increase in processing requirements.
A recent study by technology leader UiPath found that 60% of RPA professionals believe the pandemic has accelerated demand for RPA on a worldwide scale. And among businesses, 50% are planning to increase RPA adoption in the wake of Covid-19.
Tom Clancy, the senior vice president for UiPath Learning, told Business Wire:
“There’s never been greater demand amongst businesses to accelerate digital transformation efforts for business agility and continuity. RPA has proven itself as a technology that enables businesses to be agile, flexible and efficient. It’s not surprising to see RPA professionals in greater demand than ever before.”
HOW RPA PROFESSIONALS FEEL
The UiPath study asked 1,500 RPA professionals from 84 countries about their careers, and their expectations for the future. The respondent group were mainly developers, but also included RPA leads and managers, solution architects and RPA infrastructure engineers.
The results were overwhelmingly positive, as a conclusive 96% said they were satisfied in their careers and 80% felt that their employers valued their work.
In terms of financial rewards, other research has found that RPA developers are paid around £6,000 more than other developers. The most in-demand roles across RPA, automation and AI are currently project managers, business analysts, systems architects and lead developers. At the top of the list are CoE programme leads, who are in highest demand as professionals with the right skills and experience are so difficult to find.
In terms of what the future holds for RPA, 92% of survey respondents said they believe the industry has a high potential for growth over the next five years.