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RPA presents high potential growth as organisations invest in automation

By Catherine Knowles, Thu 17 Jun 2021

Nearly 100% of robotic process automation (RPA) professionals state they are satisfied with their job, according to a new study from UiPath titled State of the RPA Developed Report 2021.

The report highlights the rapid growth of RPA careers and reveals how RPA developers feel about their future and the impact of automation on society.

The survey found 97% of RPA professionals are satisfied in their careers. Of these, 63% report they are very satisfied, which is up from 51% last year, signalling that RPA developers are engaged in their work despite business disruptions over the past year.

Furthermore, 87% believe RPA will have a positive impact on society.

Another key finding of the report is that RPA is considered a fast-growing and desirable field that is relatively easy to transition into.

The survey found that 92% of RPA professionals think the RPA industry has a high potential for growth over the next five years.

In addition, industry hiring remains hot as 77% expect their organisation to hire more RPA developers in the next 12 months, up from 70% last year.

While 35% of respondents said RPA is their first professional role, RPA is not only attracting new talent to the workforce.

Two-thirds of RPA developers enter from other software development roles, and 21% were formerly business analysts. Half of RPA developers said it was easy to transition into their roles.

RPA is a diverse software development field, the report finds.

Of those surveyed, 86% of RPA professionals think RPA is more diverse or at least as diverse compared to other software development fields.

There are signs of improved gender and age diversity: 20% of the RPA professionals who responded are women and half of respondents are over age 30.

Promisingly, in a selection of students surveyed for the first time this year, 82% are considering a job in RPA after they graduate, citing interest in the technology and their belief that it is meaningful work.

According to UiPath, while developers want to stay in the field, many are looking for new jobs or are open to new opportunities.

80% of RPA professionals are looking for new jobs or report being open to new opportunities, though most of these job seekers (75%) want to stay in the field.

The top reasons they are looking to make a change include the desire to advance their career (78%), increase their salary (78%), and learn new skills (76%).

Finally, the UiPath report finds that as with many professions, RPA employees shifted how they worked this year.

85% of respondents started working from home, and most are still doing so (as of April 2021).

While 90% of RPA developers want to continue working from home at least some of the time, those who are new to remote work have faced challenges, including difficulty unplugging (47%) and collaboration (46%).

UiPath Learning senior vice president Tom Clancy says, “Automation is awakening tremendous potential for businesses to better serve customers and to become more agile and resilient, which is expanding an entire job category to people from all backgrounds and skill levels.

"It’s exciting to see both more diversity and fulfilling careers in automation blossoming.

"We are committed to empowering all who want to acquire RPA skills to succeed in the workplace of the future through free educational resources, training programs, and community events like UiPath DevCon.”

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