President's Message

Skills Check: Assessing What You Have and What You Need

Whether you are a CAS candidate sitting for exams or a credentialed CAS member, there is a certain presumption of skills underlying your actuarial role or designation.

So, what are these presumptive skills and are they accurate? lists the following abilities that actuaries bring to their work:

  • Specialized math knowledge
  • Keen analytical, project management and problem-solving skills
  • Good business sense
  • Solid communication skills (oral and written)
  • Strong computer skills

While this generalization is entirely accurate, does it represent the full picture of the skills that you bring to your current role? Are these the skills you need to elevate yourself to other levels of the organization or into different roles? And what are you doing to promote these skills?

Skills assessments

In Basic Education, we are conducting a comprehensive job task analysis to create an upcoming syllabus. This syllabus will educate future actuaries on the skills they need to be successful and to handle all the expected tasks required of them. Upon passing these future exams, actuaries should easily be able to talk about and demonstrate the skills they’ve learned — in short, to promote themselves and the profession.

In Professional Education, work is underway studying competency-based education. Data would be gathered from conducting a simple survey that explores skillsets wanted or needed for career advancement. The CAS would then take this knowledge to develop individualized programs for members that combine webinars, articles, monographs and seminars to help them develop the skills identified in the survey.

Our greatest asset

The CAS firmly believes that property-casualty actuaries should be sought after not only for their skills but their immense capacity to acquire new ones. Acknowledging our skills and remaining adaptable are essential for the continued growth of our members and our organization. We cannot presume that stakeholders know what an FCAS can do — we must boldly underscore that our skills can be used in both actuarial and nonactuarial roles within and outside of the P&C space.

We ask you to promote yourself beyond your current role. Showcase the value that actuaries can bring to all facets of the P&C industry.

Beyond job titles and credentials

A lot of importance has been put onto an actuary’s credential or their job title (e.g., senior actuarial analyst). So much can hinge on your designation and title. The skills that CAS members bring to the table, however, are more important than the credential or title alone. As part of our new three-year plan, the CAS will be focused on helping our candidates and members articulate their skills and demonstrate them in new and meaningful ways.

Promoting our skills as actuaries is crucial. It would be regrettable if employers and other stakeholders — just because they don’t know what actuaries can do — were to seek nonactuaries for special projects or solving nonactuarial problems. The people who hire us need to know the full picture of what the true skills sets of actuaries are.

Reinventing understanding

The world is changing fast. To keep up, P&C actuaries at all stages of their careers must be nimble. The CAS aims to provide a vital service that allows our members to continue to be the objective problem-solvers that our industry relies on for P&C and risk management issues.

As the CAS promotes our members’ unique skill set, we also need your help: We ask you to promote yourself beyond your current role. Showcase the value that actuaries can bring to all facets of the P&C industry.

Please join us on our journey of reinventing the understanding of the P&C actuary.