Last Updated on 20/04/2020 by Tom Evans
I have worked for the DoD OACT since graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 2003. My duties consist of assisting the Deputy Chief Actuary in OACT’s work, including actuarial valuations and cost analyses related to DoD’s military retirement system, retiree health benefits system, and education benefits programs.
Even from early in my career, I expected the actuarial profession to lead to something bigger than the more traditional practice areas of insurance, health care, and pensions. I had visions of being a Chief (Something) Officer and was looking for a practical way to traverse that path.
The CERA qualification was introduced midway through my examination travels. The robust curriculum and holistic management of risk was an intriguing avenue to pursue. Through CERA, I saw my career aspirations materializing and career path illuminating.
The CERA qualification has helped my career immensely.I have moved into non-traditional actuarial areas of practice, and even into non-actuarial areas of practice. The senior level personnel in my organisation value my ability to balance the quantitative with the qualitative in order to make rational, unbiased decisions regardless of topic. In many cases I am no longer relegated to the “back room” with the rest of the “traditional” actuaries.
Taking on the additional study was well worth the career benefit. The qualification/credential has differentiated me from my peers and co-workers. Additionally, my career path has traveled through uncharted territory for someone with a traditional actuarial background.
Contrary to popular belief, ERM is not just “rainbows and unicorns.” ERM requires sophisticated skills honed over the course of many years of education and experience. Evaluating, assessing, and managing risk holistically will help ease many of the issues facing the world today, and tomorrow.
Risk is all around us: It is a threat, it is an opportunity, it is a strength, it is a weakness. The ability to adequately manage the potential risks will help you in both your professional and personal life. That is, understanding rational Bayesian thinking will ultimately lead to arriving at more robust decisions, which is the true benefit for society as a whole.