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Press Release

The Society of Actuaries Announces ASA Curriculum Changes, Micro-Credentials and Affiliate Membership

Issued by Society of Actuaries

July 12, 2021

SCHAUMBURG, IL.  - As the Society of Actuaries (SOA), it is our job to advance aspiring actuaries and actuaries as leaders. Now is the time our organization moves to the next phase of our Long-Term Growth Strategy together – Strategies for Success. We invite you to meet the future of the SOA as we announce empowering changes to the Associate of Society of Actuaries (ASA) education pathway, opportunities for recognition of your achievements, and an Affiliate membership with benefits that open the door to aspiring actuaries’ future.

Pathway Changes – Embracing 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  • Exam P and FM will require less preparation (more accessible and elimination of outdated content)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 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 side-by-side comparison between current and future ASA pathway, transition rules, and timelines for candidate decision-making and read our FAQ. We have invited candidates and members to webcasts so we can present these changes and answer questions.

Recognition Choices – Tailored education goals and earned recognition of 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 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. AQ/EQ and data science skills are driving changes to the ASA curriculum and 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 be conducting an outreach program to employers to build awareness and support for the micro-credentials over the coming months.

To explore the micro-credentials, see the groupings and requirements and answers to your questions, go to the transition rules and FAQ.

Affiliate Community – As an Affiliate member, candidates can access benefits and resources to support their 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 Affiliate membership “professional tier” designed for and offered to candidates on their pathway to ASA. As a professional affiliate member, 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.

Please send your questions and/or feedback to membercomms@soa.org.

About the Society of Actuaries

With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world’s largest actuarial professional organization with more than 32,000 actuaries as members. Through research and education, the SOA's mission is to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal challenges. The SOA's vision is for actuaries to be the leading professionals in the measurement and management of risk. www.soa.org.

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