{Infographic} I’m an Actuary. How Can I Become a Data Scientist?

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  1. Data Scientists are having all the fun!
  2. All the talk now is about data scientists.
  3. Feel like you are missing out?
  4. Leverage your success in the actuarial field by adding data science skills to your portfolio.  It will boost your overall occupational outlook.  Start in a data-rich environment like P&C or Health and dedicate yourself to learning on the job.  Many firms have analytics groups made up of actuaries and non-actuaries with predictive modeling skills.  A perfect place to learn from your associates.
  5. Take on Big Data Projects.

  6. Pick a topic to research that you are passionate or curious about.
  7. Articulate your hypothesis before you start.
  8. Do the work yourself.  Explore, clean and graph the data.  Get your hands dirty, code!  Be a detective.
  9. Come up with new questions and unexpected directions.  It is this curiosity that best defines a data scientist
  10. Communicate the results in a simple, clean and compelling way.
  11. Learn on Your Own Time

  12. Start with SAS or R (preferably R), Python and SQL skills or you won’t get past GO as a data scientist.
  13. Gain some Hadoop experience.  Don’t have any? – Go here:  www.thisismetis.com/data-science-bootcamps
  14. Master your environment.  Earn an MS in Statistics, Math or similar technical, advanced degree.  www.mastersindatascience.org/schools/23-great-schools-with-masters-programs-in-data-science.
  15. Contact the SOA and learn about their Predictive Analytics Initiative:  www.soa.org/predictive-analytics/default.
  16. Remain in the industry.

  17. Continue working in the insurance industry while you are accomplishing all of this.  The credibility of your Actuarial credential and applied experience will help you sell the innovations you will come up with through your new data science skills.
  18. Want to know more?  Contact Rory Hauser, Actuarial Recruiting Practice Lead at Smith Hanley Associates, at rhauser@smithhanley.com or 203-319-4305.
  19. www.smithhanley.com


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