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  • Writer's pictureSOA

Develop Technical Skills

In the third in our series of blog posts, we are exploring the work we do at the School of Automation (SOA) to achieve the four key pillars set out in our vision statement:

“To broaden the opportunities for people to release their creativity and develop the technical skills to transform the world around them

1. Broadening Opportunities

2. Release Creativity

3. Develop Technical Skills

4. Transform the World around them

Why develop technical skills in Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Here at SOA, we couldn’t be more passionate about creating the best career pathways for our developers in one of the most exciting and progressive fields.

The reasons? Firstly, the market shows no sign of slowing; according to Gartner, robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest-growing software market segment among the more than 80 major segments that it tracks.

In its report, Gartner also predicts that 90% of large organisations across the globe will have adopted RPA in some form by 2022.

Secondly, we pride ourselves on working with some of the leading partners in the automation field including UiPath, who work with SOA to offer some of the best training in RPA.

Gillian Martin from Dublin signed up for the foundation training course and hasn’t looked back.

She said: “When I heard about the foundation training course in RPA, I felt it would be a good learning opportunity, as I recognised it as a big growth area for business.

“In the 12 weeks, I gained a lot of practical hands-on experience in working with the automation software. The course content also covered soft skills, which I feel will be very beneficial in the workplace. I have obtained 13 diplomas and built-up enough knowledge to move onto a 1-year Traineeship. I would recommend this course to anyone looking for an opportunity to start a career in RPA.”

The UK Government has said it is committed to ‘levelling up’ across the country, and investing in local communities – the investment will include improving everyday life as well as generating employment opportunities, all while supporting local economic growth. As SOA’s vision statement says, we want to ‘broaden opportunities for people’ and in turn equip them with the right training to achieve the jobs they desire.

How SOA is bridging the gap…

SOA is committed to training people who might have never had a chance to do so before and for those with little or no experience in this field. The courses are opening up the opportunities for those looking for a viable career change and also enabling younger people to get ready for their future jobs.

Our team can be there every step of the way to ensure they are developing their personal and professional skills as they go along. And of course, at the end of the training, they will secure themselves with a recognised RPA accreditation to take forward.

In recent years, there’s been a skills gap of those getting into the industry, so those with this digital technology background and qualifications, will be perfectly placed to fill the highly skilled and higher paid roles as they move forward.

At SOA, we put a huge emphasis on futureproofing the careers of our developers – while RPA may be evolving, we know that a solid background and accreditation will put them in good stead to keep moving forward and develop their career in this fast-moving space.

When it comes to nurturing the technical skills of our apprentices, it really is at the heart of the work the whole team do at SOA. Here are just a couple more reasons why…

Valuable skillset

Whether apprentices or trainees are at the beginning of their career or making a change later down the line to learn something new, garnering skills in the world of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is invaluable.

It is a fantastic entry point - the skills learned in this space will be needed across all industry sectors as automation becomes more common place - any business could benefit from developers who have built up their skillset during their time with SOA.

Again, Gartner analysed over 125 million job descriptions posted between 2015 and 2019 to size the demand for technology skills and found the demand for data and technology skills had increased by 32% within IT and 97% in business areas outside of IT.


“I have really enjoyed the apprenticeship journey so far. A big part of that is getting to not only learn about automation but getting to work on live projects with clients. I have learned so much by just speaking to clients and finding out how to interact with them, to handle changes and adjustments requested by them etc. I don't think I could have got this opportunity anywhere else“ Alpha Arakaza

At SOA, the emphasis with the training programmes is not just about learning about RPA but also gaining the crucial on-the-job experience during the 18-month placement programmes. When it comes to experience, there is no fast track in getting it – it takes time and working through the challenges (and successes!).

Automation technology, problem solving and software is always changing, so the more experience, the greater base it provides to be used in a future career. It’s also vital to work alongside real colleagues/ clients outside of the training environment, as this is truly the best way to learn about how RPA works in real life business context.

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