Written by Kevin Pledge:
There has been a lot of debate around the proposed Canadian University Accreditation Process, usually referred to as UAP. Former SOA President Brad Smith wrote a scathing Actuary article against it and it became one of the hot topics debated in the SOA Board elections.
Before I go any further I will say that I am in favor of UAP in principle, many of the points raised against it are valid, but really serve as a list of things to watch for. I believe that simplifying the exam process will attract the best candidates and I do not see value in effectively writing the same exam twice.
Having said that, I would not recommend any potential student not to take this path, but it is an individual choice that only they can make. I have two main reasons for this:
Firstly, I enjoyed the flexibility at my university to choose the courses I wanted to study. I enjoy learning, so the thought of graduating and then have an employer pay for to continue learning seemed too good to be true. I also wanted to keep my options open.
Secondly as an employer, I look for actuaries with interesting backgrounds. Sure passing the actuarial exams is required for an actuary, but that is just the price of entry, what distinguished a great employee from a good employee is their breadth of knowledge and what else they can bring to the job.
UAP will offer choice, but for most people it will not be the right choice. I hope the choice will remain, and students and employers will see the value in a broader education, rather than just the shortest path to qualification.