A move to non-traditional areas could help actuaries face tough times, writes Derek Cribb
It can't be ignored that the actuarial job market is going through a challenging time, particularly in the UK. Indeed, many members reading this will have been personally affected or know someone who has. But how is your professional body responding to this challenging environment?
During the past couple of years we have been responding to the realities presented by the employment market and sowing the seeds for change. We have built the profile of actuaries via our public affairs strategy so that employers across the financial sector and beyond, who may not have been aware of the benefits of the actuarial skillset, have a better understanding of the value actuaries can bring to their business.
We have done this by continuously engaging with businesses in traditional and non-traditional areas to understand their needs so that the quality of our qualifications, our regulatory oversight, along with the support we offer our members and our continuing professional development remain attractive and relevant to the market.
As Nick Salter explained in last month's issue, it is vital for actuaries to be recognised for the skills they have rather than the areas in which those skills are applied. His theme of 'diversity' is vital: branching out into different types of businesses will enable actuaries to remain relevant.
We look at the diversity of work that actuaries in countries such as Australia are engaged in and ask ourselves how can we learn from this. We can learn, but historically there has always been a factor that drives professionals out of their traditional low-risk/high-reward fields into new territories. Perhaps the UK market is witnessing the start of this 'push' imperative? By proactively promoting the actuarial skillset through activities and initiatives such as the risk management strategy and the creation of the Resource and Environment Board, the IFoA has been trying to get ahead of the curve so that it is a natural evolution for actuaries to work in non-traditional roles.
Ultimately, it is up to members to make the most of the opportunities that do exist: pioneering members who have already moved to non-traditional areas are forging the path for future actuaries to expand into wider fields. The IFoA will do all it can to publicise the unique talents of our members.
If you are interested in the future landscape of actuarial work and want to channel this interest by volunteering for your profession, please get in touch.
Email [email protected]