Keeping the #1 Rated Profession At the Top (of Young Minds)

Tonya ManningNo matter how you arrived at your career decision, as an actuary, you are a member of an esteemed profession, which has recently named the best job of 2013. While we are a “small” profession in size, about 73,000 globally, relative to doctors and attorneys, we are entrusted to serve our employers, our clients and the public on some of the most pressing, important business issues of the day. I believe that we have a unique responsibility to ensure our profession’s continued growth by helping to raise awareness of the profession as a vibrant, challenging and rewarding career option for bright young students.

Today, more than ever before, talented students and early professionals are being introduced to math-related careers, like engineering, at a younger age.  Members of the actuarial profession also must do our part to inform these young minds how actuaries use math to help businesses, organizations, individuals—and even society—solve complex problems. As an SOA member, if you agree with me, I invite you to consider three different ways to share your enthusiasm and passion.

  • First, read everything you can on the acronym, STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education. As an actuary, you have firsthand knowledge of how a strong educational curriculum is needed to maintain the growth and pace of discovery and advancement in the mathematics and science industry, now and into the future. A supplement to the May 8 issue of The Washington Post on STEM Education highlights STEM careers and includes an article titled “Actuaries in Action: Why it’s rated the number one profession”.
  • Second, consider becoming a mentor to a young person.  Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors whose advice and guidance I appreciate to this day. The Actuarial Foundation (U.S.) has an active mentoring program that is always in need of volunteers and welcomes actuaries to participate in classroom activities in your local areas. Similarly, The Actuarial Foundation of Canada is working to inspire the next generation by delivering educational resources and activities tailored to students and educators.
  • I would be remiss not to mention that I’m particularly proud of the volunteer and staff efforts to refresh the Be An Actuary website which has been recently redesigned to appeal to a wide audience seeking information on “being an actuary.” The website also features a speakers’ presentation toolkit developed specifically to share with high school students. That Washington Post supplement also prominently features an ad for the Be An Actuary website.


As actuaries, we see opportunities, we communicate and we develop and implement strategies.  I hope you will join me in working to inspire and encourage the next generation of bright young minds to pursue a career in the actuarial profession.

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One response to "Keeping the #1 Rated Profession At the Top (of Young Minds)"

  • Sandy says:

    Usage-based insurance is evolving quickly and is starting to become a requirement world-wide to be competitive in the auto/motor insurance market. Not all the market will probably be using it (due to concerns with big brother ) but enough will for it to be part of the product mix for most auto insurers.

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