Home Bots & Business 70% of Senior Executives want non-technical employees to have automation and AI skills

70% of Senior Executives want non-technical employees to have automation and AI skills

by Marco van der Hoeven

C-level executives and senior managers at large organizations are increasingly requiring employees to have, and seeking new candidates who have, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) skills. When choosing between two similarly qualified job candidates, 73% of surveyed executives said they would pick the candidate with more experience with automation and AI tools, even if the role does not require those abilities.

This is the result of a survey by UiPath with more than 500 C-level executives. Companies around the world are turning to automation to boost business productivity and employee satisfaction – in fact, companies are increasingly using automation to address new business and market pressures stemming from the pandemic. Supporting this trend, 70% of the executives that UiPath surveyed cite that their organizations already invest in automation or AI tools, with 18% of those organizations using it across all departments.

As automation and AI tools become more prevalent in enterprise settings, UiPath’s survey, conducted in October 2020, sought to understand how important it is to enterprise executives that their employees – even those in non-technical roles – have automation and AI skills. The study found that:

  • Automation and AI skills are becoming increasingly critical for all employees, regardless of job focus. Most surveyed executives (70%) believe it is important for employees in non-technical roles to have a working knowledge of automation and AI tools. The survey found that 94% of individuals in non-technical roles at respondents’ organizations already interact with automation and AI technologies in some capacity. When executives are looking to hire a new candidate, even in a non-technical role, 69% of surveyed executives believe it’s important that they have experience with and/or knowledge of automation and AI tools – and 73% would choose someone with automation skills between two similarly qualified candidates.
  • Employees with automation and AI skills will increase their career posture. Forty-four percent of surveyed executives believe automation and AI skills can increase employees’ responsibilities; 64% cite that these skills can increase employees’ pay; and 67% say it can give employees more opportunities for career advancement within their organization.
  • Automation and AI will be a necessity for jobs in the future, according to 83% of surveyed executives. The pandemic has only propelled this necessity, with 82% agreeing that the pandemic and work-from-home mandates have increased the need for employees and candidates to have working knowledge of AI and automation.

Automation and AI education must be prioritized so that employees can acquire the skills they need to be successful in the workplace. The skills that surveyed executives now demand complements a previous UiPath study of 4,500 global office workers, which uncovered that 91% surveyed workers believe their employers should be more willing to invest in digital and technology training skills for their employees to be successful in the future of work.

“We’re hearing loud and clear that executives want all employees to have automation and AI skills, and that employees, in turn, demand training to be successful with these emerging technologies. As we continue to work in automation-led work environments, it is absolutely crucial for all employees to have access to automation and AI education. Employers need to provide their employees with training initiatives so they can best leverage technology like automation so they’re more productive and satisfied in their careers and to boost the business,” said Tom Clancy, SVP, UiPath Learning.

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