As actuaries, you embrace change, from addressing new demands, risks, and opportunities to emerging technologies and tools. We know you are constantly expanding your skills and education to evolve with the world around you. We’re looking to the future of the profession and how best we can help advance actuaries as leaders.
As part of the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) Long-Term Growth Strategy, Strategies for Success, we invite you to embrace the future of the SOA as we announce empowering changes to the Associate of Society of Actuaries (ASA) education pathway, providing opportunities for recognizing candidates’ achievements, and offering Affiliate membership with benefits that open the door to our candidates’ futures.
Pathway Changes – Embrace the future, today
We are making changes to the ASA curriculum to meet employer and market demand for actuarial training, in particular the need for increased data analytics coverage and new “soft skills” training in adaptability and change, (AQ or Adaptability Quotient), and emotional intelligence, (EQ or Emotional Intelligence Quotient.)
These changes do not increase travel time to ASA and keep the rigor you know and expect of the SOA exams. This was a primary directive in the design of these vital changes to the pathway.
Below is a brief list of the ASA curriculum changes.
- Exam P and FM will require less preparation (more accessible and elimination of outdated content)
- Exam IFM will be eliminated (shift in ASA pathway towards data analytics and certain key concepts will be tested elsewhere in the pathway)
- Exams LTAM and STAM will be replaced with new exams:
- Fundamentals of Actuarial Mathematics (FAM)
- Choice of either Advanced Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics (ALTAM) or Advanced Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics (ASTAM)
- Introduction of a new course- Introduction of Advanced Topics in Predictive Analytics (ATPA) (increasing our already strong data analytics coverage)
- Two new e-Learning modules (offering an increasing emphasis on AQ/EQ topics) with a shorter, streamlined FAP course
- VEE requirements, Exam SRM, Exam PA, and APC seminar remain unchanged
Do a deeper dive into the details including a side-by-side comparison between current and future ASA pathway, transition rules, and timelines for candidate decision-making and read our FAQ. We will be hosting webcasts (there is a registration link at close of email) so we can present these changes to you and answer more of your questions.
Recognition Choices – Tailor your education goals and gain recognition of your knowledge and skills
Beginning in January 2022, pre-ASA candidates will also be able to begin work to earn new micro-credentials that recognize and demonstrate to employers their knowledge and skills gained along the pathway to ASA. These “milestone markers” will remain with candidates if they decide to leave the ASA pathway and are also applicable for those choosing to enter the pathway to only earn one or more micro-credential. All elements required to earn these micro-credentials are part of the ASA pathway (no extra steps!) and count in full toward earning the ASA and FSA designations.
These micro-credentials group together pathway components that represent distinct knowledge and skills to demonstrate the level of achievement candidates earn to employers, co-workers and their professional network. Are those AQ/EQ and data science skills driving changes to the ASA curriculum? Yes, those will be incorporated into requirements for each micro-credential allowing candidates the ability to demonstrate and build on those skills for their resume and jobs.
These micro-credentials do not make candidates qualified or “signing” actuaries; that work is reserved for those who earn the ASA and FSA designations. However, they do provide critical marks of candidates’ progress through the system and signal to employers the knowledge they’ve gained. We will conduct an outreach program to employers to build awareness and support for the micro-credentials over the coming months.
Affiliate Community – Become an Affiliate Member and access benefits and resources to support your career journey
Whether candidates and students are just beginning to consider an actuarial career, early in their pathway, or are coming close to their ASA, they are a part of the SOA and the actuarial family and we are building a new community for them. Affiliate membership is a new belonging, a foot in the door, and a way for them to connect with their community of other aspiring actuaries. Affiliate membership will provide exclusive access to mentorship, networking, learning, and events to support them in their journey to becoming ASAs and FSAs.
Doors start opening October 2021 for the first Affiliate membership intended for students and those who support them - teachers, professors, career counselors, and non-actuaries who work with students and candidates. Another door opens in January 2022 for an additional, optional Affiliate “professional tier” membership designed for candidates on their pathway to ASA. As Professional Affiliate members, candidates will be able to join most volunteer committees and have access to long-term career and leadership development, peer-based community building and tailored opportunities based on their unique background. More details will be provided on these programs as we approach these launch dates. If you know students, candidates, and others interested in these new ways to affiliate with the SOA, encourage them to sign up for more information.
Your Questions/Your Feedback
With change comes questions and we are looking forward to presenting these changes, providing answers and listening to your feedback. Please join us for one the following webcasts for members. If you are unable to join, we will be recording and publishing a video on the member homepage on soa.org. You can send your questions in advance to email@example.com.
Member Webcast 1
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
11:00 a.m – 12:15 p.m. (CT)
Member Webcast 2
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. (CT)
Roy Goldman, Ph.D., FSA, MAAA, CERA
President, Society of Actuaries
Chief Executive Officer, Society of Actuaries
Comparison of ASA pathways: