What are the most in-demand jobs in automation, AI and RPA?

Tim Olsen from Hays talks about the job landscape in the automation and AI sector and the most valuable skills for workers in this area.

Automation is one of the fastest growing job markets right now and includes artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA).

Why the increasing demand for automation?

Companies recognize the untapped potential of intelligent automation. As automation kicks in, those who don’t become less productive and are likely to be left behind. The awareness of the value of automation is nothing new, but the boom in demand is largely driven by the need for greater efficiency, faster deployment and scalability.

According to the Deloitte 2020 survey, two-thirds of the companies surveyed also point to the role of the Covid-19 pandemic in accelerating the demand for automation. For these organizations, automation has made remote working easier and helped them meet increasing processing needs.

It is no longer a question of whether to automate, but when and the best time is always now.

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RPA is a proven technology, but the integration of AI and other cognitive technologies expands the scope of automation and the scope of its benefits. This accelerates the market even faster and those with skills in both areas are therefore in great demand.

This need is reflected in the training courses that are now being offered. Microsoft recently launched its own AI offering, Azure Applied AI Services, and MIT just launched a new RPA graduate course to meet market demand. Nevertheless, this is still a shortlist of candidates. The industry is growing faster than the know-how.

The Value of Transferable Skills in Automation

Jobs are often well paid. For example, in the UK, Glassdoor data suggests that RPA developers are paid an average of £ 6,000 more than other developers. And job seekers may already have some of the skills recruiters look for.

I started my career in mobile phone sales and was promoted to a senior position before becoming a project manager working on voice technologies for Vodafone. I later moved to Capita, where I helped scale the automation department from three to 177 people.

Since then, my focus has been on automation and I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it can be to find the right candidates for these roles. It’s about gaining the depth and breadth of skills that are difficult in the marketplace. There are many transferable skills that can help create a pipeline from a wide variety of jobs into the world of automation. Recruiters want to see you have battle scars.

The most sought-after jobs in automation, AI and RPA

Project managers and business analysts are in demand, system architects and lead developers are particularly in demand. Experienced Center of Excellence program leaders can be difficult to find and are therefore in great demand.

It all comes down to experience. There are many candidates who claim to have RPA experience, but few of them have applied their skills in various industries. What is needed are people with a wide range of experience, including in cognitive technologies.

Although there are many developers in Blue Prism and UiPath, Automation Anywhere developers are still scarce and companies are forced to look for resources overseas. Knowledge of related technologies such as cloud, chatbots and natural language processing are rated highly, while business analysts increasingly need in-depth knowledge of vendor ecosystems and process / task mining in order to stand out from the competition.

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How do I get a job in automation, AI, and RPA

This is a growing sector so newcomers can develop their skills to make them employable in the longer term. While there is no substitute for years of experience, many employers will be willing to overlook a lack of experience when the candidate demonstrates important transferable skills, soft skills such as problem-solving skills, or a commitment to learning and professional development.

Business analysts and project managers should be diplomatic with good communication skills. You should also understand the benefits of automation. Often times, this job involves learning to automate certain areas of an employee’s work, which can make people fear that their role will become obsolete. A good business analyst or project manager will be able to get all the information they need about a given role while explaining how automation makes their job easier and more fulfilling.

Developers should consider specializing in complementary technologies such as cloud computing. As Microsoft’s Azure suite shows, the cloud can act as an entry point into the world of automation. So any knowledge of cloud technology will help you understand how automation can work.

Potential candidates could sign up for online training courses from companies such as UiPath, Blue Prism, or Automation Anywhere. These companies are leaders in AI, RPA, and automation, and UiPath and Automation Anywhere currently offer free training that is recognized by most companies with an interest in the field.

In such a fast-paced industry, however, it is important to brush up on your skills and qualifications even after you have started your career.

Automation is the future

Automation, AI and RPA will change the job market in the next few years. However, there are still fears about the impact automation could have on traditional workplaces, and automation leaders around the world are calling for automated services to be introduced ethically.

For example, companies might initially use automation to get rid of the more repetitive tasks that don’t require a lot of human engagement.

It’s not about taking people out of the equation; it’s about getting the robot out of humans and freeing the intellect. This takes the drudgery out of work and leaves people free to build relationships and be more creative.

Automation, AI, and RPA can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize churn. But there will always be a role for human interaction – regardless of whether it is about “managing” your digital workforce as an automation specialist or interacting with customers, colleagues and suppliers.

The workplace will inevitably see a shift towards intelligent automation, and the most sought-after jobs will change over time, but the sector will remain.

By Tim Olsen

Tim Olsen is director of intelligent automation at Hays Technology.

July 28, 2021