The SOA updates curriculum to fulfill insurers’ wants
There are two names that SOA offers, one at the associateship level and the other at the fellowship level. Within two years, the SOA has researched to understand what employers and regulators expect and how actuaries can best be prepared for the future.
Roy Goldman (pictured above), President of SOA, told Insurance Business that they made four key changes to the partnership. The first was adding an additional course in Data Science and Advanced Predictive Analytics. The second has been to include adaptive skills in the curriculum that will allow students to work with unstructured problems and build skills employers are looking for. The third was to introduce micro-credentials, and the final change was to create an affiliate membership program for candidates so the SOA can build relationships with them before they become associates.
“The career of an actuary is less well known, and by offering membership memberships, mentors and teachers can provide guidance on how to become an actuary and learn more about the reality of the job,” said Goldman.
The Affiliate Membership Program provides access to information on building an actuarial career, with a series of development videos and short courses on building résumés and work environment expectations to help candidates enter the field with confidence.
This wide range of technical and non-technical education enables policy makers to work with actuaries on a broader basis and to address the changing needs of the industry.
Greg Heidrich (pictured below), CEO of SOA, mentioned that new training on data science and analytics will be added to improve understanding of data quality, data cleansing, and database building.
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“We are doubling the scope of the data training from which the insurers benefit directly,” said Heidrich.
On the non-technical side, SOA offers learning through case studies, presentation skills and the practical application of statistical techniques. “The ability to adapt and the emotional quotient of these skills are all things that employers consider crucial at the beginning of a career,” explained Heidrich.
Micro-skills signal employers that a candidate has acquired skills early in their education, which helps insurers recruit and retain talent.
“Micro-credentials are a growing trend that we are seeing in vocational training,” added Heidrich. “We’re moving towards the use of micro credentials, digital badges, and short learning demonstrations. We believe that this trend will continue for many years to come and we are adapting our program to the expectations of the students. “
Heidrich also noted that this year the SOA developed specialized certificate programs such as predictive analytics and international accounting standards. In addition, two programs for the responsible handling of data and the assessment of environmental liability risks are in progress.
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Certificate programs last approximately five months or 300-400 hours. It takes an average of four years to become an associate. New talents value easy access to learning tools and established actuaries value further training; The SOA enables both demographics to get what they need for their careers.
“We hope to be able to create more earmarked certificates and micro-credentials in the future,” said Heidrich. “With all the work we’ve done to create these changes, there’s a lot more to come. We serve industries that are changing rapidly and we will continuously expand our curriculum and adapt it to the current environment. ”