How Do Actuaries Preserve Their Market Value?

In the 1990s, we wondered how actuaries would preserve their market value when competing with product managers. In the 2000s, some wondered if CFAs would encroach upon our territory. Others viewed the SOA general insurance track as a danger. Today, data scientists are our newest “threat.”

There are two fundamental facts to keep in mind. First, we live in the most data-driven environment the world has ever known. New data sources and monitoring devices with insurance applications seem to pop up daily, whether we want them or not — kind of like the dandelions in my yard. The demand for the skills we are developing in CAS members has never been higher, and we are not fully meeting it. Predictive analytics jobs all over North America remain unfilled and the high demand brings lucrative compensation to those capable of meeting it.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, we are in an actively competitive market to provide these technical, strategic services. Gone are the days when actuaries were virtually a protected class of employee. (“Oh, nobody else can do the mystical stuff the actuaries do.”) If we don’t meet the demand to provide data-driven solutions to our customers, there is an increasingly long list of alternatives now available to them. This means that CAS members need to be proficient not only in the technical aspects of our work, but also in their business applications. There has never been greater demand for actuaries who are able to not only translate the technical details, but also be part of the team developing and implementing the business solutions.

So how do we actuaries preserve our market value in this ever-changing, data-driven world? In short, we earn it. We earn it the same way actuaries always have: by demonstrating our risk analysis skills, by thinking critically in applying models and analytics and by effectively communicating our data-driven, value-added insights to our customers.

This blog post is culled from In My Opinion – How Do Actuaries Preserve Their Market Value?, printed in the September/October 2016 Issue of the Actuarial Review


Challenges to the Casualty Actuarial Profession 2016

IoT is not the same as lol (Internet of things, laugh out loud). The open internet, cloud computing, and the vast freedoms enhanced with mobile technology are already here. These present new risks for the actuarial community to become engaged. Cyber risk is not the nascent concept assumed years ago. It is here today and … Read more »

Every Year is an Election Year at the CAS!

The United States presidential election is upon us. As an actuary, I find statistics interesting and recently read that voter turnout rates for U.S. presidential elections has been between 50-60 percent over the past decade. In comparison, here at the CAS, only around one-third of all eligible voters cast a ballot when CAS election season … Read more »

The Staff Actuary’s Blog: 2016 Actuarial Research Conference

In the category of U.S. Cities, the answers are: Birthplace of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, and musician Prince. Headquarters of retailer Target, Inc. Location for WJM-TV and Mary Tyler Moore. Site of the 51st annual Actuarial Research Conference. For all of these, the appropriate game-show response would be:  “What is Minneapolis-St. … Read more »