From education to employment

Leading UK universities amongst over 1,000 organisations worldwide to join forces with UiPath to further develop workplace automation skills

Mhairi Fraser

A number of leading UK universities, including the University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) via its Department for Continuous Learning, have signed up to a groundbreaking Academic Alliance programme from UiPath (@UiPath), a leadingenterprise automation software company, in order to meet increased demand for workplace automation skills.

The programme now includes more than 1,000 higher education institutions and workforce development organisations globally, and each of these are responding to the increased demand for automation skills by bringing specially designed robotic process automation (RPA) curricula and free UiPath software to the next generation of workers.

In addition to the University of Oxford – Department of Continuous Learning, Alliance members within the UK and Ireland include Kingston University, Loughborough University, BPP University, City University of London, NUI Galway, Technical University Dublin and the School of Automation, among others.

UiPath Academic Alliance institutions – comprised of universities, colleges, government bodies, professional workforce organisations, and not-for-profits – have educated more than 245,000 students and professionals on automation in 63 countries through the programme in its first two years. To date, the Alliance has influenced more than 30,000 of these individuals in gaining employment, according to a UiPath survey of more than 200 Academic Alliance members.

Organisations are embracing an automation-first strategy—meaning any process that can be automated, should be automated. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 78% of organisations are already implementing RPA, while a further 16% are planning to introduce the technology within the next three years.

Consequently, today’s technical and business professionals must have the skills and expertise to identify processes that should be automated via RPA, and the ability to rapidly deploy the technology.

“The impacts of AI and automation on the future of work are a business-critical area that I also research. As RPA is one of the most likely automation technologies new graduates will encounter, I was keen to include it in my teaching. To have the opportunity to use teaching content from UiPath as an industry leader in RPA was ideal. The students have been highly receptive to the UiPath RPA content and recognise its importance in their future careers,” said Crispin Coombs, Professor of Information Systems at Loughborough University School of Business and Economics.

Marc Cooper, CEO at the School of Automation, said:

“As demand for automation skills grows, we are committed to supporting the creation of a strong and diverse ecosystem of talent by addressing the shortage of automation skills. We do so by fast-tracking young people in the UK and Ireland into sustainable future employment in the growing automation sector. Joining the UiPath Academic Alliance programme has enabled us to share a training automation curriculum that’s fit for today’s employers and support hundreds of young people towards a career in tech and beyond.”

The UiPath Academic Alliance is a global RPA knowledge ecosystem helping to shape the future of work. Institutions that join the Alliance are provided free courses, free UiPath software for students and educators, and the ability to network with the highly active community of global RPA professionals and users.

“We envision a world in which humanity is unburdened of repetitive tasks and freed to embrace more creative, strategic, and fulfilling work,” said Tom Clancy, Senior Vice President of Learning at UiPath. “The future of work is already here, and demand for RPA skills creates an incredible opportunity for students and professionals everywhere to develop their talents in automation through education and become valuable employees and decision-makers.”

RPA market revenue is on target to meet an estimate of $2.9 billion (£2.1 billion) in 2021, according to a recent report by Forrester Research, Inc. In addition, the total available market for automation solutions is estimated at $65 billion (£47.4 billion), highlighting how early most organisations are in their automation journeys and the need for skilled workers to support long-term, wide-ranging enterprise automation initiatives.

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