Modern innovative technology has seeped into every aspect of our lives. The multifarious benefits and applications of new-age technology have enamored the world, and given a fillip to tech companies that leverage them to offer cutting-edge products and services. As technology advances rapidly, so does the need for professionals who are adept in these innovations and can work efficiently along with machines. Careers in the technology space are, thus, lucrative and of high-value. One such avenue that is attracting several aspiring tech professionals is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Today, the average salary for RPA Specialists in the US is almost 30% higher than that of Programmers or Software Engineers, and up to 3 times higher than entry-level jobs for nontechnical workers.
What is RPA?
A revolutionary concept that is taking the global IT industry by storm, Robotic Process Automation aims to transform all business-oriented functions, as well as computer processing tasks currently done by humans, into highly operational robotically automated tasks. With the help of robotics software, RPA can imitate and perform any organizational process or operation quickly and much more efficiently than human workers. RPA can be extremely useful in simplifying high volume, repetitive tasks such as onboarding employees, application processing, claims processing and loan processing, to highlight a few examples. This makes it one of the most sought after forms of technology, rising to the same level as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science.
Why is RPA set to play a vital role in the future of work?
Since data automation is intrinsic to RPA, it is anticipated to replace all data entry and rekeying job roles in the future. Its techniques and tools will help perform any computer-related function with a prerequisite protocol. It has a huge scope for application in markets like the Banking and Finance sector, traditionally the quickest adopters of new technologies. Other industries such as Manufacturing, BPO, Healthcare, Telecom, Retail, etc. can also benefit from the power of RPA to simplify repetitive manual tasks like assembling and data formatting, thereby reducing costs and streamlining operational efficiency. This lets employees focus on their unique human capabilities while automating simple yet time-consuming tasks. Other important benefits of RPA have also been widely documented - reduction in errors, better compliance, and improved customer experience at significantly lower costs.
The existing skill-gap in the RPA domain
According to a recent study by Grand View Research, the RPA sector is slated to reach a valuation of $8.75 billion by 2024. Even though the technology is aimed at reducing human efforts, it will still require professionals to manage and oversee processes while further innovating the technology to meet numerous new use-cases. However, the job roles created by RPA will require completely new skill sets, and professionals will need to upskill themselves in order to meet the evolved requirements of organizations that adopt RPA to increase efficiencies.
A significant percentage of Indian professionals still lack the technical skills required to excel in a domain as fast-evolving as RPA. Most organizations in India currently face a serious shortage of skilled workers when it comes to new-age technologies such as RPA, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, etc. Thus, the need of the hour is for Indian professionals to undertake online certification courses that will help them strengthen and update their skill sets, while offering hands-on learning experiences that simulate real-world business practices. It is only on the back of in-depth training that professionals can make the most of the opportunities being presented by RPA.
Building a career in RPA: The skills you need
The new-age, dynamic technology requires professionals to master several skills. These include:
- A basic understanding of general Microsoft office applications like Excel, Macro and Access.
- Problem-solving and analytical skills are essential for any innovative technology, particularly RPA as it involves a convergence of several technologies.
- Since many companies are looking at integrating multiple technologies like AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning with RPA to create a robust digital infrastructure, an understanding of these technologies can give professionals a valuable competitive edge.
Beyond the above mentioned skills, a professional looking to build a career in RPA must have an agile mindset and should be willing to add new skills to his / her arsenal when required by the company or process. Continuous training and knowledge acquisition is, thus, an important part of RPA careers.
Seeing that RPA will be applied in almost all major industries in the near future, learning the ropes and establishing a career in this space is an exciting prospect for students and professionals. And this is for good reason, because the possibilities of RPA technology are seemingly endless!