The State of the RPA Developer Report 2021 by UiPath highlights the rapid growth of robotic process automation careers and reveals how robotic process automation (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—signaling that RPA developers are engaged in their work despite business disruptions over the past year. Eighty-seven percent also believe RPA will have a positive impact on society.
The State of the RPA Developer Report 2021 surveyed more than 1,000 RPA developers from around the world in April 2021. Other key findings include:
- RPA is 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. Industry hiring remains hot as 77% expect their organization 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. 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.
- While developers want to stay in the field, many are looking for new jobs or are open to new opportunities. Eighty percent 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%).
- Like many others, RPA professionals shifted how they worked this year. Eighty-five percent 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%).
“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,” said Tom Clancy, Senior Vice President, UiPath Learning. “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.”