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The Evolution of Actuarial Science: New In-demand Skills for the Modern Actuary

Posted on May 2023

Evolution of Actuarial Science

In the dynamic world of today, industries are continually evolving to keep pace with emerging trends and technologies. One profession that has experienced notable change over the years is actuarial science. The Society of Actuaries (SOA), the premier professional organization for actuaries in North America, has been at the forefront of this evolution, regularly updating its curriculum and certification requirements to reflect the shifting needs of employers and the insurance industry.

Embracing Data Science and Predictive Analytics

One of the most significant updates to the SOA's curriculum in recent years has been the introduction of a course on data science and predictive analytics. This is a testament to the growing relevance of these disciplines in the actuarial profession.

Data science encompasses a broad array of techniques for extracting insights from data, including machine learning, statistical analysis, and data visualization. Predictive analytics, a subset of data science, involves using these techniques to make predictions about future events based on historical data.

For actuaries, these skills are increasingly valuable. The insurance industry is awash in data, from customer demographics and policy details to claims history and risk factors. By applying data science and predictive analytics techniques, actuaries can glean more profound insights from this data, enabling more accurate risk assessments and pricing models. They can also help insurance companies identify trends and patterns that can inform strategic decision-making.

The Importance of Adaptability

In addition to technical skills, the SOA has also recognized the importance of adaptability in the modern actuary's skill set. As the insurance industry evolves, actuaries must be able to quickly learn and apply new techniques, adapt to changes in regulatory environments, and navigate the complexities of global markets. This is particularly important in today's rapidly changing technological landscape, where advancements like artificial intelligence and blockchain are continually reshaping the industry.

To foster adaptability, the SOA's curriculum emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking, and continuous learning. It encourages actuaries to stay abreast of industry trends and advancements and to be open to new ideas and approaches.

Micro-Credentials: A New Path to Professional Development

Another innovative addition to the SOA's offerings is the introduction of micro-credentials. Unlike traditional certifications, which can take years to earn, micro-credentials are smaller, more focused qualifications that demonstrate proficiency in a specific area.

For actuaries, these micro-credentials offer a flexible way to enhance their skills and knowledge. They can pursue micro-credentials in areas like data science, predictive analytics, or business strategy, adding to their professional toolkit without committing to a full certification program.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial in today's fast-paced business environment, where the ability to quickly acquire and apply new skills can be a significant competitive advantage.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

These changes to the SOA's curriculum reflect not only the evolving needs of the insurance industry but also the shifting expectations of top talent. Today's actuaries are looking for opportunities to grow and develop their skills, and they are attracted to employers that can provide these opportunities, as Taylor Carrasco, Executive Director here at Selby Jennings, explains:

“To attract and retain these high-performing individuals, employers must offer compelling value propositions. This includes not only competitive compensation packages but also strong benefits, professional development opportunities, and a culture that values innovation and continuous learning.”

Taylor also believes due to the evolution of the SOA's curriculum, professionals must adapt to stay relevant in a changing world:

“By embracing new skills like data science and predictive analytics, fostering adaptability, and offering flexible learning pathways like micro-credentials, the SOA is ensuring that actuaries are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the modern insurance industry.”

​To better understand the evolving landscape of the insurance industry download our latest report here. This comprehensive guide provides deeper insights into the trends that are reshaping the industry, from the rise of data science to the increasing importance of adaptability.

If your looking for career progression take a look at our live career opportunities or submit your resume to become discoverable to our Insurance & Actuarial Talent Consultants here at Selby Jennings. This report is an excellent resource for understanding the skills and competencies that employers are seeking. It can help guide you in aligning your professional development efforts with these trends, making you more attractive to potential employers.

If you are looking for talent request a call back today. This report offers valuable insights into the changing landscape and how you also retain top actuarial talent. It provides practical tips and strategies for navigating the challenges of the modern insurance industry and creating a compelling value proposition for prospective employees.

Actuarial Science

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