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You might have heard automation being referred to as the future of work, but should you be considering it as the future of your career?

Automation, the techniques used to remove human intervention from processes, has long been considered the future of our working habits. By automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, organisations are able to free up team members for more cost-effective and dynamic tasks. But while it may be the future of working for many, there is still only a small number who have considered automation as a career path. There are however many reasons to consider a career in automation.

The numbers alone point to a fruitful career for many in automation.

The growth of RPA automation in numbers

The first of these numbers is between 75 and 375 million.

That is the number of people it is estimated will look to reskill and switch careers by 2030. This wave of people looking to reskill and train will be driven by digital transformation across all workplaces. Employees will be needed to provide businesses with skills based in robotics, automation management, analytics, AI, cyber security and cloud services.

By starting your development in automation already you have the chance to position yourself ahead of the curve. We can already see the demand growing, in fact, the sector demand for Process Automation has grown by over 40% in recent years.

At the time of writing this blog, a simple internet search found thousands of job openings requiring skills in automation. From this, and current trend predictions we can determine that those who consider a career in automation won’t have to look far for job openings. As the demand for their skills increase, so does the financial rewards on offer.

According to the entry salary for an RPA developer is around £37,500 and the average RPA developer goes on to earn £47,000 a year. The most experienced in the field can go on to earn over £67,000 a year, giving those within the field a clear motivation to do well.

Putting aside the numbers around RPA development, there are many reasons why someone would want to consider a career within the field. One of these is the variety the sector offers its workers. With the number of businesses already or expected to deploy RPA within the coming years, those within the sector have the chance to work with a diverse range of processes within many different organisations.

Further diversity comes from the types of careers to those within RPA. Some people might decide to continue working within RPA development, while others move on to looking at RPA solution architecture or design. This would build on the skills they have learnt as an RPA developer, using them to build and design the actual solutions for businesses.

Another path within RPA to consider is RPA Analyst, sometimes referred to as a business analyst or process analyst, this role is more involved in the business-related aspects of automation. With a strong understanding of RPA development, an RPA Analyst can understand current processes and identify opportunities for automation and improvement.

Finally, someone within RPA can progress to become an RPA Project Manager, which would mix any RPA education with the responsibilities of handling a project on time and within budget. Working within Automation also gives workers the opportunity for exposure to some of the most exciting and emerging technologies. An example of this is Artificial Intelligence (A.I) RPA uses A.I in the form of intelligent processes. This pairs the elements of automating tasks with A.I to process unstructured data or using A.I to improve task performance over time.

At the School of Automation, we recognise the potential for young people to develop an exciting career with automation across the UK and Ireland. That is why we have made it our mission to create the ideal environment for talented individuals to fast-track themselves into future employment by providing them with the education and industry skills required. Those who complete our 12-week training program are guaranteed an interview for future paid employment, they are also then supported for at least 12 months depending on their location.

Find out more about a career in automation or apply now

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As International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world today (March 8), we are championing two of our recent graduates, Mhairi Fraser (21) and Marla Chalmers (20) while highlighting “Women in Tech”.

Both have just completed an 18-month apprenticeship with the School of Automation (SOA) and are poised for a career in RPA, now working on live projects for clients.

We sat down to talk to them about their journey and just what it’s like to complete the course…

Mhairi’s Story

Mhairi from Glasgow, came across the course in 2020 after initially taking the university path in education. She explained: “I had done a year of university and I failed my second semester exams, and I then really thought about what I wanted to do. I was applying for jobs, and then covid hit. My mum saw something on social media about SOA, and I thought I might give it a try.

“I did have to do some initial googling to find out what RPA was - but I think everybody comes into it not knowing exactly what it is. But once you read up about it, and you start putting it into practice, it really helps you to understand.”

The course began remotely during covid, but Mhairi said she found it quite seamless.

“Everything is on Teams – If I was struggling with an assignment and thought it was just me, I could ask a question on our group chat and someone else would be having the same issue - and it was a relief. I say it’s like “High School Musical” –We are all in this together!”

Mhairi has struck up a great friendship with Marla, and they have found out they share the same birthday – albeit a year apart.

“At start of the training project we were both so awkward and now we are really good friends. When it comes to the apprenticeship and skills, I have gained so much confidence with the support that has been offered from my peers and the team at SOA.”

Mhairi has been working on one main project since July 2021, and is currently the longest serving team member on it, so a lot of continuity tasks fall to her.

She said: “Each project is a bit different but you recognise your role in it and the different challenges that come with them. It really is interesting.”

And looking to the future? She plans to continue growing her skills in the RPA field.

“There’s just something really fun about it – like solving a puzzle almost! I can certainly see more females in tech too – for example on some of our projects it has been a 50/50 ratio – and on the client side too, which really is reassuring.”

Marla’s Story

Marla, from Glasgow was on a business administration course before embarking on the apprenticeship.

She explained: “I remember going in with no big expectations when I started, and like Mhairi I didn’t really know what RPA was, but it’s been great to learn so much over the course of the apprenticeship.”

Along with Mhairi and the rest of the team she started working remotely during covid, and found that as they were all in the same boat, it gave them all reassurance together.

“We didn’t have too much to compare it to as it was how we started, and as everything was online, it was fine working remotely. In fact, when we first when back into the office I wasn’t sure I’d like it – but actually it was really helpful to all be together and to talk to one and another instantly if we needed anything.”

And as for the apprenticeship and course itself?

“It really has been crucial in building my confidence – for me, the technical side tends to come naturally, but communication doesn’t, so it has really helped me develop that. I am working on my fourth project now and it has been so good to learn what I am doing to help the wider team.”

“Women in tech is growing – I was in a mixed school and was always one of two girls in computer classes, but I wasn’t too worried by that. It’s great to see more females coming into this field.”

Does the thought of a career in RPA interest you? Get in touch with our team today!

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How many of us knew exactly what we wanted to do when we left school? And did we really know the exact path to get there?

There are so many options when it comes to further education ; college, universities, internships and of course, apprenticeships and traineeships. Here at the School of Automation (SOA) it’s our mission to help anyone build a career in Robotic Process Automation. We know that we work in a fast-growing industry and want to give anyone – no matter what their background – the chance to thrive in this field and have a successful future.

George and Liam are two of our current recruits from our 12-week foundation programme in Ireland which is followed with a one-year Software Process Automation Developer Traineeship.

Liam’s story

Liam, 27yrs old from Co. Clare first saw the SOA traineeship on a jobseeker’s website and it struck him due to the fact he would be able to work and learn whilst taking part in the course. Prior to the pandemic, Liam spent three years at the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) studying internet systems development. He had been looking for something remote, so again SOA’s traineeship ticked all of the boxes.

Liam said: “When it comes to remote learning, as long as I had direction on what I was doing and how to learn, I am fine. We really are supported all of the time and whenever you ask for help you get it. After the initial interview, the team spent about a week getting to know you and see your creativity – it was great that it wasn’t completely just classroom-based, but very interactive.”

Liam added that the traineeship journey so far has been great; trainees go at their own pace and are not rushed to do projects. With the training projects, they are largely done with others so people can work together to generate ideas for projects.

Within the first 12 weeks, the trainees work on test projects to mimic real life scenarios such as gathering data from websites which bots will then put into an excel spreadsheet.

Liam concluded: “I would recommend the traineeship to anybody who isn’t interested in the typical academic experience. It’s quite nice doing things for an actual purpose.”

George's Story

Much like Liam, George, 24yrs old from Co. Clare came across the initial information on SOA during covid. George had ideas of going to college, but it would have involved a great deal of upheaval with finding accommodation, buying a car and moving.

In fact, he had been working in the same local pub for years, just two minutes from his home and realised he wanted to do something different, thanks to his uncle.

George explained: “My uncle actually came to me one day as he found information on the course and asked if I would be interested in attending an open day. I went along and heard Marc (SOA’s CEO) and one of the developers talk and they spoke about working from home and that you didn’t have to be tech savvy. I honestly really went along to the open day to please my uncle - but after 15 minutes of hearing them talk – I thought, ’Why should I be working in a pub for the next five years when I could be doing this?’ I am so happy I went along.”

While he had done an IT course previously, George knew nothing about RPA coming into it and he admits it first looked like rocket science and he was intimidated by the software.

He added: “Our trainer Sophie broke it down into smaller processes and I really enjoy it now. I can see how useful RPA is for businesses for menial tasks instead of humans and spreadsheets, you could have a robot doing it for you, and more accurately.”

Both George and Liam agree that SOA has given them the stepping stone not only in a career in RPA, but also in terms of office experience,email etiquette and professional skills before getting into a real working environment.

George concluded: “The more I hear about RPA, the more it sounds like a growing career and industry, especially here in Ireland where there aren’t many people doing it. I really enjoy the development side and can see myself doing it for a long time.”

Are you interested in finding out more about SOA’s apprenticeships and traineeships to see if it could be the right move for you? Get in touch today.

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