Sunday, August 07, 2005

The New E&E System

I want to go on record as opposing the new Education & Examination system. So when the SOA announces that their system is an utter failure and needs to be replaced again in 3-5 years, I can give them a big collective "Told you so!"


My original objection to VEE was that it would weed career changers out of the profession before they even start. I had a math degree, but I had never taken 6 courses (Macro Econ, Micro Econ, Intro Finance, Corp Finance, Time Series, Regression). If I had had to go back to school to take courses to get credit for this stuff, I would have never entered the career. I know many who feel the same way.

It now seems that they have solved this problem, but introduced a different one. One of the options for getting VEE credit is through NEAS coursework. However, here's one student's opinion on a NEAS course: I just sat for VEE Regression and Time Series through NEAS, and thought the finals were an insult to the actuarial profession. I appreciate that it's the easiest path to completing the VEE requirements but at the same time if we are just looking for the "easiest" method, then why bother? If material is important enough for us to know it, put it back in the test. If it's not important enough, then leave it out of the mix completely and give me a "recommended reading" list.

At least one board member has already acknowledged that, "PD was just one failed element of the 2000 restructuring. It was well-intentioned but turned out to be something of a joke in practice." And now it looks like they are making the same mistake with VEE. I can see the assessment now ... "VEE was just one failed element of the 2005 restructuring. It was well-intentioned but turned out to be something of a joke in practice."


In the first place, replacing Exams 5 + 6 with eight modules doesn't seem like a fair trade at this point, especially with two large exams (instead of just one) to come after the modules.

More ominously, board members are already warning us that the modules were more work than anyone anticipated, and it will be a challenge to have everything in place in time. So, we are probably going to be treated to a half-baked system that will be tweaked, prodded, improved and otherwise messed with for a couple of years.

At the end of a couple of years of tinkering, they will leave us with a system that is as much a joke as PD turned out to be and VEE is already proving itself to be.

1 comment:

jgfellow said...

I majored in Psychology and took the first actuarial exam on a dare (I would have gotten credit for 0 VEEs). I am also sorry to see career changers directed away from the profession. It will only make us more insular than we already are...