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Automation is driving a new way of working. The future workplace will feature a blend of human and digital workforce, also known as software robots, or bots. This symbiotic relationship is expected to create many exciting, new career possibilities.

Are you ready to seize the opportunities that will arise as we move into this automated era? Now would be a good time to consider the jobs that will be emerging, and to get trained and certified in the most in-demand and high-paying skills. 

The world of RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software designed to automate simple, repetitive tasks that take up a large percentage of a workers’ time, such as onboarding employees, applications processing, claims processing, and loan processing, just to name a few. RPA is becoming an increasingly popular technology in modern enterprises. Industries like banking and finance, healthcare, insurance, and telecom are adopting RPA to allow employees take a step back from those monotonous tasks and take advantage of the employee’s unique, human abilities.

Today, RPA is not limited to simple tasks and it is often coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, making it increasingly possible to automate more complex tasks using unstructured and semi-structured data such as payroll processing, supply chain management, and even software programming.

The benefits of RPA have been widely reported: fewer errors, better compliance, and an improved customer experience at dramatically less cost. Those are huge incentives to businesses, and a compelling reason for RPA’s rapid adoption.

How rapid? The global RPA market is expected to top $8.75 billion by 2024, according to a report by Grand View Research. That means a lot of tasks previously done by humans, or new roles that didn’t exist before, will be performed by bots.

The global RPA economy is expected to top $8.75 billion by 2024, according to Grand View Research.

A win-win in jobs

Many exciting new jobs will be created by RPA as automation will require a new type of skill set. In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, more than half (52%) of the respondents agreed that while many functions will be taken over by machines by 2025, the creation of new types of job opportunities will outweigh the displaced jobs. Humans have always been good at innovating and this research validates the confidence in the creation of new types of industries requiring new kinds of functions and skills.

According to Pew Research, 52% of experts say RPA will create more jobs than it displaces by 2025.

When the car replaced the horse carriage — in effect, automating transportation — millions of jobs were created in the automotive industry: automotive engineers, transmission specialists, factory supervisors, and more. If we look slightly ahead, driverless and electric cars will create jobs for new kinds of mechanical and software engineers, for workers to build and maintain millions of charging stations, and for mechanics trained in repairing these new vehicles. In fact, it’s hard for us to imagine all the new industries and occupations that will be created as automation technology advances.

Moreover, these new jobs will be better jobs and much more suited for the unique creative and cognitive skills of the human brain.

Getting ahead of the game

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2030, automation will drive between 75 and 375 million people to reskill themselves and switch occupations. So, what will these new occupations be, and how can you prepare for them? That is the question.

Businesses will still need humans for tasks that require applying specialized expertise, interacting with or managing people, and unpredictable physical effort. But there is already a need for employees skilled in RPA in many businesses today, such as robotics, automation management, analytics, AI, cloud services, cyber security, and more.

The pay for people with these skills is quite high in comparison to other job categories. Today, the average salary for "robotic process automation" in the United States is almost 30% higher than salaries for general programmers or software engineers, and two to three times higher than entry-level jobs for nontechnical workers. Demand for people skilled in RPA is set to skyrocket.

Salaries for RPA are 2 to 3 times greater than those for nontechnical workers, according to Indeed.com.

The importance of RPA training and certification

More than 2,100 RPA jobs worldwide were listed on LinkedIn as of publication date of this blog, and this represents just a fraction of available positions globally. We anticipate a boom in job availability in the next three to five years, as the majority of companies will, out of necessity, be adopting RPA.

Most companies want to see that candidates for RPA jobs have acquired at least minimal training. Many prefer to hire candidates who have earned certifications in RPA. Getting trained on one or more leading RPA platforms is therefore a good start.

Several RPA training organizations have popped up around the world, offering RPA courses and certifications. Whether you’re a recent graduate or just someone who wants to jump-start a new career, it would pay to look into these. However, caveat emptor: Some of these institutes are more credible than others, and their certification value varies widely. Choose a training organization that teaches hands-on proficiency in the best-selling RPA platforms, preferably one associated with a leading vendor, such as Automation Anywhere University (AAU).

Of course, organizations are always looking for experience as well as skills when hiring. But since RPA is such a new field, most “experts” typically have less than five years of experience, increasing the chances of new entrants to land a job with basic RPA certifications. And the fact that someone took the initiative to seek out RPA training and certification on his or her own makes a good impression on potential employers.

The future looks bright for RPA careers. Get started now.

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About Arvind Thothadri

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Arvind Thothadri, vice president of global training and certification, is a seasoned business professional with extensive experience in learning and technology.

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