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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., 26/01/2021
End date
E.g., 26/01/2021

Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    Drawing from his most recent book “The New Long Life” and his longevity research Andrew J Scott will outline how longer lives and new technologies will fundamentally reshape how we structure our lives and transform the economy. As well as looking at the agenda this will set governments and corporates he will focus on the implications for you and how you prepare your future career.

  • India Town Hall

    28 January 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual India Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Member Mahidhara Davangere and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann. 

  • Spaces available

    What are the options for the world economy looking ahead?

    In this Thought Leadership Lecture, Economist, Vicky Pryce, will be discussing world economic trends, including the differences in geographical performance and how output is recovering and where.

  • Spaces available

    Trust and Leadership for Actuaries

    Led by Dr. Jim Baxter, University of Leeds, this webinar introduces some key ideas in the ethics of trust, with a particular focus on those in, or on the path to, leadership roles. Dr Baxter is joined by a panel of experienced leaders who will give their personal perspectives on how they understand the value of trust and how they seek to promote and inspire trust, drawing on their experiences of leadership. The panel includes:

  • Health and Care Hot Topics webinar

    Online webinar
    10 February 2021

    Spaces available

    In this webinar, we have two presentations showing the latest research on the implications for life and health insurers of two key issues: genomics and pandemic risk.

    Dr Peter Joshi and Paul Timmers will share their research on how well-established underwriting processes can allow for genomics in predicting expected mortality and morbidity. They will then discuss the potential for stratified screening and personalised medicine to improve health and reduce claim costs.

  • Spaces available

    As the world’s attention begins to turn to COP26 later this year in Glasgow, Sarah Gordon (Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute) will share her vision for how the financial services industry can deliver for people and the planet, as well as how to encourage more investment with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual MENAP Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.