Training for RA: Introduction

Regular talkRA readers will remember Michael Lazarou for his previous guest blogs about the essential ingredients for RA, and the relationship between RA and risk management. Michael’s posts stimulated plenty of comments in response, and his passion for learning suggest Michael will develop into a future thought leader. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Michael has joined the talkRA team, with the intention to write a series of articles about his experiences with RA training. Michael will review courses from a wide range of suppliers, as available to people all around the globe, then give his recommendations. I believe this series of articles will, over time, build into a must-have resource for anyone who wants to manage their own education, in order to shape their career. So let us begin at the beginning, with Michael explaining what motivates him to learn, and the courses he is currently undertaking…

As graduates receive their degrees on well kept lawns in universities across the world we all know that it merely signifies a milestone and the end of formal education. In our work and in our lives, every day, we learn. We learn merely by interacting with each other. In addition, we live in the information age, constantly bombarded by information both useful and utterly useless.

I recall when the internet first arrived in our offices and living rooms, an uncle of mine asked me: “So why do you need the internet, what’s it for?”. To which I responded with another question: “Why do you need TV?” Since then the internet has evolved and the content has become richer. It can be a distraction or time killer but it is also a valuable resource; if TV is entertainment and keeping up with the news, the internet is so much more and the limit has not been reached. In order to put some order to the chaos of information overload and in order to continue learning – which is usually stuck somewhere between the everyday routine of work and home – I decided to organize my online time.

This was actually sparked by my employer who purchased licenses for cVidya online training courses: RA associate, Fraud management and RA advanced. I modified my daily routine in order to get all three done as fast as possible. The courses offer a very good overview of RA and fraud – offering a formalized framework and enough detail. You do need to have some initial background (so 1-2 years RA experience will help you to get more out of the courses I believe). After completing these courses I became motivated to research and find more material. Obviously the scope of RA and the skills required is, or can get, quite large.

That is why I asked Eric to suggest some training areas or specific courses. He responded by listing some potential areas of study for RA and proposed that I write about the process of finding and taking courses. This series of posts is aimed at sharing the experience, while at the same time for me it is additional motivation to go out there to continue with the process.

So far I have identified the sources and registered for some non-work related stuff (at least not directly related).

These include:

  • edX
  • coursera
  • My company has an online e-learning portal offering a wide range of courses (technology, management, strategy etc)
  • There is a variety of courses available on iTunes U.

At the moment I am registered for:

There is a very interesting course on coursera: Introduction to data science
– which although I’d like to take, have postponed for the time being.

My ultimate goal is to learn as much as possible to improve my knowledge and performance. At the same time I will share my views on the courses as well as key points from the learnings if possible.

Wish me luck and stay tuned….

Michael Lazarou
Michael Lazarou
Michael Lazarou manages revenue assurance and fraud at Epic, a Cypriot telco, having joined their RA function in March 2011. His background includes a double major in Computer Science and Economics, as well as an MBA. Before being lured into the exciting world of telecoms he worked as a software developer.

Michael is interested to gain a better understanding of different aspects of RA and data analysis. He shares his insights on training courses he participates in with Commsrisk. Michael's accumulated experience of online training also led him to volunteer for the role of Coordinator of the RAG Learning online education platform.