What new skills have you developed recently? Our professional development arguably begins only after qualifying as an actuary – not because the exams aren’t useful (I for one couldn’t do my job without having learnt the required minimum), but because making a career that is right for us requires us to negotiate our own particular challenges and learn skills that have not yet made it into the standard syllabus.
This could be anything from applying a new technique from academia to our line of work, to developing writing and presentation skills to make more of an impact where it matters.
With that in mind, this month we focus on careers and professional development. In the cover article, Bradley Shearer and Jane Barrett suggest that it is good practice to do a career check at regular intervals to ensure you are on the right track for you – learning the right skills and developing those experiences (p36). Sarah Rawson reflects on her experiences as a female actuary in senior leadership (p38), and I interview incoming IFoA president Louise Pryor about her varied roles and the importance of continuing to develop and learn for a sustainable career in our profession. Geoff Trickey writes about social capital and how we can maintain it while working from home, which brings its own challenges.
One particular area in which actuaries with the required skills can make a difference is the application of data science to their field, and Ed Plowman writes about some of the new developments in insurtech. Zhixin Lim, meanwhile, introduces us to decentralised financial technologies. This month’s In-depth contribution is from the Data Science Working Party, looking at supervised learning techniques for claim frequency modelling. For those of a philosophical bent, I recommend Joel Walmsley’s article about the history of artificial intelligence, and what this means for the relationship between humans and the artificial intelligence systems we have created.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Dan Georgescu, Editor