The purpose of this article is to review the robotic process automation skillsets needed to be successful in the marketplace. In a previous article, I explored what RPA Is. In that article, I wrote that “robotic process automation is about automating repetitive, mundane, manual tasks for employees.” The benefits of RPA are to be able to save time and effort and also save money for a business. What used to take hours can be cut into minutes with the right automation in place.
According to Gartner, robotic process automation (RPA) grew 19.5% from 2020 to 2021 and will continue to grow in double digits until 2024. Informal research in Indeed shows close to 16,000 robotic process automation job openings in the United States. This means that businesses will continue to be looking for RPA talent in the near future. The issue you will run into is what to do you spend time learning and maybe what certification can you work towards. There are so many good tools in the marketplace today and it can be overwhelming. I always recommend you go look at all the job openings and determine which RPA tool has more openings than the others.
Automation is the future of business. Everyone needs to understand how to automate business processes. With skill shortages, robotic process automation will help ease the mundane and repetitive work that employees do on a daily basis.
Let’s review the RPA jobs and skillsets required.
Robotic Process Automation Defined
“Gartner defines the robotic process automation (RPA) market
as the market for licensed software platforms
used for building scripts
to integrate any application via a user interface
and a control dashboard or orchestrator.
RPA platforms automate repetitive, rule-based, predictable tasks.”
I went over to Indeed and did a search on Robotic Process Automation. Indeed’s search results came back with close to 16,000 open jobs in the marketplace.
Some of the job titles in the search results were as follows:
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Engineer
- Robotic Process Automation Developer
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Consultant
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Analyst
- Director, Robotic Process Automation
- Robotic Process Automation Tools Administrator
- Robotic Process Automation Designer
- Project Manager Robotic Process Automation
The salaries range from $63K to $130K depending upon experience. You can make a good living and work in RPA.
In my opinion, RPA skills are not much different from other developers/scripting jobs. You need to be able to work with customers to deliver creative and innovative automation solutions to meet their needs. RPA professionals need to be able to communicate and collaborate with internal teams and clients.
Gartner lists some key skill analysis by Gregory Murray as follows:
- Basic RPA Development
- Advanced RPA Development
- Document and Unstructured Data Processing
- Software Life Cycle Management
- Platform Operation
- Troubleshooting and Debugging
- RPA Testing
- Automation Architecture
- API Integration
- Other Development Languages
- Enterprise Applications
- Process and Task Mining
- Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
- Reporting and Dashboarding
In addition to the skills above, a lot of these jobs require some good programming/scripting knowledge. Some programming languages that come in handy when working with RPA tools consist of:
- Visual Basic
- Shell Scripting
- And many others
Top Ten RPA Tools
To keep my analysis independent of my opinions I decided to see what Gartner thought who are the leaders in the RPA space are. The figure below shows Gartner’s Magic Quadrant from July 2021.
Based on the quadrant, The top ten RPA tools based on the right-hand side (leaders) of the quadrant are as follows:
- Servicetrace (www.servicetrace.com)
- Features: Robotic Process Automation, Application Performance Monitoring, Automated Software Testing
- Appian (www.appian.com)
- Features: Low code platform, Complete Automation, Security and Compliance
- Pegasystems (pega.com)
- Low code platform, Center Out Business Architecture, Security & Compliance, Cloud Services
- Workfusion (www.workfusion.com)
- Features: Anti-money laundering, account opening and KYC, Sanctions Screening, etc
- Microsoft (powerautomate.microsoft.com)
- Features: Digital process automation, robotic process automation, process advisor, AI builder, desktop automation
- Blue Prism (www.blueprism.com)
- Features: enterprise-grade automation, robotic desktop automation tools, no code automation
- Automation Anywhere (www.automationanywhere.com)
- Features: Cloud Native RPA Platform
- UI Path (www.uipath.com)
- Features: no code environment, process mining, task mining, task capture
There is no good way to review each and every tool so I provided some highlighted features with links to their products for you to go review for yourselves. These products are probably good to do due diligence on because to land a job as an RPA professional you need to be skilled in some of these tools.
There are so many good tools today in this space that you need to do the following review to determine which product(s) you want to learn:
- Review the job opening on Indeed
- Review the top tools needed for jobs
- Determine your top 2-3 tools to learn
- Determine the training programs available to learn these tools
- Any certifications available?
- Try them out
- Evaluate if they are a good match for you
- Select a tool(s) that meets your needs
- Spend the time training in the tool(s) of your choice
As part of your evaluation, you need to determine your comfort with programming/scripting. You might want to take a course or two in a programming/scripting language as you are learning more about these tools. A lot of these tools provide a no-code option but have options to do more advanced scripting.
In this article, we reviewed what RPA automation is, what are the job openings look like, what the top 10 tools available in the marketplace, what are the key RPA skillsets, and what steps to consider when determining what tool(s) to learn.
The use of RPA tools will continue to grow in double digits through 2024 so there should be plenty of job openings to consider in the marketplace. The salaries for these jobs are very competitive with other types of software development/scripting jobs. Good luck in your search and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
I am DrM, founder of http://techninjamasters.com. I have been working, learning, teaching, coaching, consulting, writing in technology for over 40 years.