Prepare for a Flood of New RPA Jobs

RPA vendors have published many customer success stories proving that RPA increases employee productivity, freeing them up to do higher-value work. 

But what is that work? Some of it—of course—falls within employees’ existing roles and responsibilities: an accountant is able to automate income processing to focus on improving the all-important business cash flow. Or a customer service rep, after the repetitive grunt work is automated, can spend more quality time helping customers and building robust, lucrative relationships. 

There are other job possibilities, however. Specifically, a host of new, RPA-related openings are appearing on Monster, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other employment sites. Precisely because these job categories are so new, companies are having trouble filling them and thus offer very competitive salaries.

Not just technologists required

These new RPA opportunities are not limited only to technologists. Companies urgently need business analysts and others who can study business processes and re-imagine how they can be automated. Businesses will need specialists in areas like systems ethics and how humans will collaborate with machines, as well as generalists to act as liaisons between business and IT. Indeed, many RPA job descriptions will require a mix of soft and hard skills.

Obviously, training and education will be needed, which is why there needs to be an employee retraining component to any formal RPA initiative.

Where to get this training? Leading RPA vendors offer it—much of it for free. Take Automation Anywhere University (AAU), which provides RPA courses and education and completes more than 100,000 trainings each quarter. AAU has awarded 84,000 certifications, and there are more than 100 online classes with 150 academic partners teaching RPA to students bound for professional careers. The engaged student population is growing exponentially from quarter to quarter.

The hottest RPA jobs

Here’s a roundup of some of the hottest RPA jobs that are trending and the skills that will be required to fulfill each of them.

  • RPA developers: An RPA developer works with RPA business analysts to write the code that automates workflow processes. This job is evolving, but in general, successful RPA developers will understand traditional programming frameworks and be proficient in an RPA platform such as Automation Anywhere 360. Depending on the organization's size and the RPA team, they may also be responsible for testing or bug fixes. The role is cross-functional in that developers must make sure that the RPA investment is driving business value. And although leading RPA tools today employ low-code, visual techniques for defining applications and integrations, RPA developers should also have knowledge of programming control flows, exception handling, and data structures.

  • RPA architects: Just as with any programmable software solution that you deploy at scale, as you grow RPA usage throughout your organization, you will need a good software architect. (Often, an RPA developer assumes the responsibilities of an RPA architect in smaller teams where one individual may wear several hats.) An RPA architect typically works at a higher level than an RPA developer, creating the plans and designs for workflow and integrations that will be coded by the developer. RPA architects need the ability to create workflow diagrams and strategically document a process before automating it. They should also be able to judge when a business is attempting to push RPA technology too far and when a traditional software solution might be a better bet.

  • RPA analyst: Just as good software architects make good RPA architects, good business analysts can be easily trained to be good RPA analysts. These are the workers who typically sit between technologists and business users, who define the requirements for automating processes. The difference between RPA developers and RPA analysts can be a bit blurred, as developers take responsibility for understanding business processes, and, likewise, analysts have a basic grasp of RPA tools. Analysts need to produce application prototypes, or at minimum, Visio diagrams and presentation slides that depict workflows. In smaller teams, analysts can also be responsible for the correct use of tools, templates, best practices, and quality assurance (QA) measures for all enterprise RPA initiatives.

  • RPA champion: These are the evangelists for RPA. Their job is to advocate for and spread the word about RPA successes and to educate and upskill new teams as businesses scale from proofs of concept (POCs) and pilots to enterprise-wide initiatives. Champions can come from anywhere: IT, business units, even the executive suite, and as automation expands, this role will turn from part-time to full-time to an exciting career path upward.

  • RPA QA tester: Testing is an essential and continuous process when deploying RPA. It should be embedded into your bot development lifecycle, so you catch problems as they occur rather than discovering them in production. And testing doesn’t just apply to the bots themselves but also to the full ecosystem surrounding an automated process, including legacy systems and human interactions with the bots. All need to be free of errors for bots to function correctly.

  • Bot master: As bots evolve, especially when integrated with advanced AI and intelligent automation capabilities, a human is needed to monitor them and ensure the algorithms and rules are still valid in an ever-changing business landscape. This role will be an important one, as the bot master never lets her eyes off the prize: are the bots in the automated processes still providing value to the business? This requires a mixture of hard and software skills and the ability to collaborate seamlessly between technical and business teams, as well as with the executive suite.

Keep in mind that RPA opportunities are not just for technical experts. Business analysts, Excel super users, and people working already as cross-functional liaisons between business and technology groups are all prime candidates for RPA jobs.

In short, the field is wide open with opportunities. Go ahead, seek higher-value work. You’ll be glad you did.

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