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April 16, 2022

Can the Actuarial Profession Survive?

Having been in the actuarial profession for nearly 2 decades, working in 5 different countries and teaching hundreds of actuarial students, there are a few things I’ve observed:

1. Qualifying as an actuary is great…BUT it is no longer the golden ticket to freedom and security.

To continue to succeed, we can not afford to stay still. To thrive or even just to survive, we must continually be improving, both professionally and personally. We must master the art of learning.

‘Learning to learn’ efficiently and effectively is a key skill in this ultra-competitive world. Not just for passing actuarial exams, but for lifelong upskilling.

2. Opportunities and choices are everywhere.

We are overloaded with information and distraction. Focus is the new currency.

We need to improve our ability to cut through the noise, make optimal decisions, work efficiently, avoid distraction and learn to ‘hack’ the system – all whilst staying healthy and sane!

Psychology (e.g. embedding a 'Growth Mindset,' technology, awareness, smart learning, leverage and a commitment to lifelong study are key tools in this battle.

3. Technology, InsurTech, big data, data science, blockchain, machine learning, AI, IoT, etc. All these things are changing the world, at an ever-increasing rate.

Actuaries should be keeping aware of, embracing and taking advantage of these opportunities.

4. We are all in the game of marketing and sales, whether we like it or not. To some extent, we need to be able to effectively sell our employer, our ideas and of course ourselves.

Actuaries are known for their introversion and hence this can often be a weak spot. But it can pay huge dividends if we overcome it.

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Mark Farrell FIA PhD

I'm a UK qualified Actuary and currently a Senior Lecturer of Actuarial Science at Queen's University Belfast. Prior to academic life, I spent 10 years working as a consulting actuary.

Mark Farrell

  1. Focus is really the new currency in this age. To progress we need to cut through the noise.
    Awesome article FIA Mark Farrell.

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