Survey shows that most senior executives want even non-technical employees to have automation and AI skills.

A recent study from UiPath showed that senior executives are increasingly requiring employees to have automation and artificial intelligence (AI) skills.

UIPath, an enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company, engaged Forrester Consulting to interview more than 500 C-level executives and senior managers at large organizations.

They found that 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.

Importantly, the executives insisted on these skills even for positions that did not require interaction with automation or AI on the job.

Study: automation and AI now required at all levels and areas of the enterprise

UiPath’s survey sought to understand how important it is to enterprise executives that their employees have automation and AI skills. The survey was conducted in October 2020.

The study found that 94% of individuals in non-technical roles already interact with automation and AI technologies in some capacity.

69% of surveyed executives believe it’s important that they have experience with and/or knowledge of automation and AI tools. This is true even in a non-technical role.

Employees with automation and AI skills will increase their career posture, according to the survey. 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.

AI and automation to become standard required for all new careers

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. Now 82% agree that the pandemic and work-from-home mandates have increased the need for employees and candidates to have working knowledge of AI and automation.

Tom Clancy, SVP, UiPath Learning, said employees are demanding training in these areas. “Employers need to provide their employees with training initiatives so they can best leverage technology like automation,” he said. This will ensure they’re more productive and satisfied in their careers, which will in turn boost the business, he added.