EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
BECOMING A CATASTROPHE (CAT) MODELLING ANALYST
Are your students fascinated by natural forces on Earth? Do they ever wonder how humans can live along with risky events such as thunderstorms or earthquakes? If they are creative and like taking on challenging problems, let them know about a possible career as a catastrophe (CAT) modelling analyst! CAT modelling analysts may be meteorologists, hydro engineers or even geologists who use their knowledge to predict financial losses due to natural disasters. In other words, they keep an eye on hazards around the world to help insurance companies avoid future damages. Curious to know more about this fascinating job? Meet Marta Caprio, a catastrophe modelling analyst!
Find out the key skills to become a catastrophe (CAT) modelling analyst.
Scientists working as CAT modelling analysts need to have a strong quantitative background in natural science (meteorologists, hydro engineers, geophysicists, geologists, etc.). “The idea is to use your scientific knowledge to validate a model that starting from the natural hazard worldwide assess the financial losses due to all type of natural disasters”.
Technical skills related to IT knowledge and computer science are necessary to become a catastrophe modelling analysts, as it means to work with numbers and complicated data sets. For example, tools such as Excel are commonly used. Furthermore, strong programming knowledge is also demanded to manipulate large amounts of data.
Skills such as communications are very useful when working with different colleagues. “I find this job quite interesting as you have to meet several different typologies of people with very different background, so the main skills besides IT knowledge and natural science, is to be able to properly communicate with them all and to feel at ease”.
Giving recommendation to insurance companies requires business management skills. “People involved in the pricing or the subscriptions of new contracts could contact me to have my opinion on how to use the third party model, or in how to modify it in case of very special cases”.
Having a problem-solving ability is essential to become a catastrophe modelling analyst, as you will need to identify potential risks in nature and anticipate them. Consequently, insurance companies look for creative people to find both problems and solutions.
One challenging aspect related to this job is “the need of learning fast quite complicate things and nevertheless to be able to have a clear and solid vision about them”. When working in an environment of risk, adaptability becomes an important skill to have.
Meet Marta Caprio, a Catastrophe (CAT) Modelling Analyst
Marta Caprio is a catastrophe modelling analyst currently working in Axis Capital Holding. She has a master’s degree in physics with a specialisation in geophysics from the University of Naples Federico II (IT). Besides, she holds a PhD in natural science at the department of earth science at the ETH Zurich (CH). During her PhD, Marta was looking for a career in this field but she did not follow a straight path. Before reviewing catastrophe models, she worked as a data analyst in a company investigation of female fertility. Now, she believes that every step along her path has been worthwhile and has helped her land her dream job. “Even things that seem to be out of what you want to do, at the end they come back with utilities”.
In this ninth episode of our STE(A)M IT STEM Careers Podcast, Jessica Niewint Gori from INDIRE (Istituto Nazionale di Documentazione, Innovazione e Ricerca Educativa) spoke with Marta Caprio, a catastrophe modelling analyst!
Eager to learn more about the world surrounding her, Marta Caprio told us which educational experiences made her pursue a career as a CAT modelling analyst and what this job means. In addition, she shared her advice to students, which is inspired by the way she understands science: asking questions to gain knowledge. “Never stop being curious. Find what is interesting and the nice aspects in whatever you do. For teachers: try to make every topic interesting: with experiments, discussions, real-life examples: let the kids be eager to know more, and not just do the homework”. Listen to the podcast and find out more!
CC BY 4.0: all the materials and content presented on this STEM Job profile have been provided by STE(A)M IT, a project funded by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme project STE(A)M IT (Grant agreement 612845-EPP-1-2019-1- BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD), coordinated by European Schoolnet (EUN).