Wanted: Actuary with Predictive Modeling Experience

Actuary with Predictive Modeling Experience SurveyDoes your actuarial training make you attractive to employers looking for someone to join their predictive analytics team? Why would they hire you over, say, a PhD in statistics?

This was an important question for me personally, as I was looking to break into the world of predictive analytics. And yes! Success! I’m 6 months into a new job in this field.

The experience taught me this: Predictive analytics is a team sport, and there’s room for a lot of different types of people. Our team has actuaries, statisticians, those with a management background, IT, programmers…. and the list goes on. I teach them about insurance. They teach me about text mining. It is very different from my decade working in actuarial consulting, where we were all actuaries.

But still, the question for the CAS is: are we training actuaries with the very particular set of skills they need to make them indispensable for predictive analytics in insurance?

This is what we’ll be talking about in the last general session at the upcoming Ratemaking and Product Management (RPM) Seminar called “The Actuary in a Predictive Modeling World.” The Seminar is scheduled for March 9-11 in Dallas.

But what do you think? What skills do actuaries need? Tell us by completing this quick, 5 minute survey and we’ll have some fun with the results in Dallas:


To spur your thinking, here’s my answer to the first question in the survey:

“1. Name the top 5 characteristics of a good predictive modeler”

  • Communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • A strong head for business: the point of predictive analytics is not predictive analytics. We are either trying to make more money or lose less.
  • At least high-level quant skills of many types of analysis like GLMs, machine learning, text mining
  • A deep understanding of the particular line of business

These are my thoughts, but you’ll have your own – please complete the survey and share them with us!



About Jessica Leong

Jessica Leong, FCAS, is Immediate Past Chair of the CAS Board of Directors.

One Response to Wanted: Actuary with Predictive Modeling Experience

  1. avatar Pat Teufel says:

    Jessica: Thanks so much for this post! As I think about the opportunities that actuaries are likely to have going forward, we’ll certainly need a different (and expanded) set of skills. Communication skills and business acumen have always been factors in what makes an actuary successful, but as we move to more diverse teams who are addressing complex problems, these skills will be much more important. Unfortunately, I will not be in Dallas to attend your session or hear the results of the survey. But the survey results would be quite useful to me as the CAS representative to the IAA Education Committee. We are currently working on a new syllabus that will address the vision outlined in the Actuary of the Future Task Force Report. Would you mind sharing?

Comments are closed.