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Data Science Working Party - Education and Lifelong Learning

The objective of the Education and Lifelong Learning Work Stream is to provide guidance on developing data science knowledge and hands-on skills to apply in the workplace – whether members are new to the field or looking to advance their existing techniques.

Key Tasks

  • Reviewing recommended training courses and materials
  • Developing training paths for online learning
  • Co-ordinating written articles detailing experiences of continued learning in the Data Science field

Volunteer Roles

  • Taking courses to assess suitability of individual courses and training paths across a range of levels of expertise
  • Contributing to drafting articles about their own learning experiences –courses and applications in the workplace

Recommended Courses

We have reviewed a number of online Data Science courses available, which have been set out below. These include reviews from IFoA members that have taken these courses, and will hopefully help you in choosing the suitable courses for your learning path. We will be adding to this list in due course.

Stanford University’s ‘Machine Learning’ Coursera course, taught by Andrew Ng

Level: Beginner
Language: MATLAB or Octave
Cost: Free to audit (USD$80 to obtain certificate)

Outline: This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, datamining, and statistical pattern recognition. Topics include: (i) Supervised learning (parametric/non-parametric algorithms, support vector machines, kernels, neural networks). (ii) Unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning). (iii) Best practices in machine learning (bias/variance theory; innovation process in machine learning and AI). The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications.


Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Language: Python or R
Cost: Free introductory courses (full access requires $29/month subscription fee)

Outline: DataCamp is an online platform for learning data science techniques, with interactive R, Python, Sheets, SQL and shell courses. There is a huge range of subjects catered for, using a variety of programming languages and software types.  The platform is operated by individuals developing their own courses (some are employees of DataCamp, some are not) and then having these reviewed by DataCamp to ensure these courses meet the necessary standards.

Open Machine Learning Course by OpenDataScience

Level: Beginner
Language: Python
Cost: Free

Outline: is an open Machine Learning course by OpenDataScience. The course is designed to perfectly balance theory and practice. You can take part in several Kaggle in-class competitions held during the course. The next (and final) session launches on 2 September 2019.

Work Stream Leads

  • Ankush Agarwal
  • David Tudor-Griffith

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the Education and Lifelong Learning Work Stream please contact the Professional Communities Team

Filter or search events

Start date
E.g., 04/07/2022
End date
E.g., 04/07/2022

Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    The Actuaries’ Carbon Collaboration (ACC) is a group of actuaries and other professionals working towards a coherent understanding of the issues around greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by considering them in an actuarial context.

    Emissions into and absorption from the atmosphere can be modelled in the same way that we model variable cash flows, including the impacts of uncertain quantities and timing. The ACC’s work investigates both the insights that this analogy provides and its limitations.

  • Spaces available

    This talk presents the work of the Data and Modelling workstream of the IFoA Mental Health Working Party. We explore data and modelling considerations in the risk assessment and underwriting of mental health conditions. We will also consider how newer risk factors and improved data availability might open up opportunities for additional underwriting and product designs.

  • Pensions Dashboards

    12 July 2022

    Spaces available

    As the industry prepares for Pensions Dashboards, we have lined up a specialist panel who is at the heart of the ongoing work in this area. Hear the latest developments, future proposals and have the opportunity to put forward your questions to our speakers.

  • Spaces available

    Crisis management, the process by which an organization deals with a disruptive, sudden and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders, has become a key concern in the light of the Pandemic and Geopolitical risks.

  • Spaces available

    Artificial Intelligence is heralded as a game-changer to the ways industries use data, with the insurance industry especially looking to embrace these new technologies. This brings many questions – not least around data privacy, ethics, potential biases and so on – with regulators increasingly interested in developments.

    Moreover, whilst the stunning progress of specific technologies such as Watson and Alphazero made headlines some years ago, current commercial applications of AI remain far from mature.

  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.

  • Spaces available

    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.