Why become an Actuary?

Actuary is a zero unemployment profession. Demand simply outstrips supply making actuaries one of the highest paid professionals in the world. If you like to have excellent job security, professional status, highly competitive salaries, and job satisfactions, you should consider a career in actuarial science.  Actuary profession is ranked as one of the top 6 highest paid jobs in America according to a 2010 study published by job search website CareerCast.

What is an Actuary?

An actuary is an insurance and business professional who apply his knowledge of mathematics– particularly of probability, statistics and risk theory – to real-life financial problems which are fraught with uncertainties.

Actuarist are needed by insurance companies to work on all of their insurance products includeing life and property insurance. In general, actuaries are experts in helping the insurance company in assessing and mitigating risk.They work on calculating how much the insurance policy value, how much the premium. They work on estimating the amount of future claims by analyzing past data or experience to assign probabilities to an event such as death, sickness, disability, loss of property or even loss of business profits of policy holders. They analyse the likelihood  of financial risks and impact of future adverse events and help design ways to reduce the cost of undesirable events such as disease outbreak, terrorist attacks or natural disasters such as earthquake and tsunami. By understanding these estimates, they advice insurance companies on the reserves to be set up to meet future claims, and also recommend the amount of profits to shareholders after taking into account the obligation to policyholders.

A Career in Actuarial Science

In aspect of career outlook, actuarial science is very promising throughout the world. There have been a lot of opportunities opened for students pursuing actuarial science. Most actuaries will end up working in the traditional life insurance industry. However, based on trends worldwide and the rapid growth of the Malaysian financial industry, it is expected that more and more actuaries will ventured into the non-traditional line of work. Below is an overview of the industries where actuaries can be found:

  • Actuarial Consultancy
  • Life, General and Health Insurance
  • Education and Research
  • Funds Management
  • Investment and Corporate Finance
  • Merchant Banks
  • Pension and Employee Benefits
  • Asset liability Management Companies
  • Government and Social Security

Actuarial Science University Degree

Actuarial Science is a three year degree course. A student of Actuarial Science study starts with mathematical and economic techniques, which makes the base of actuarial science. Typically, a degree in actuarial science will include subjects such as:

  • economics
  • probability and statistics
  • mathematics and calculus
  • accounting
  • corporate finance
  • risk finance and reinsurance
  • corporate risk management
  • actuarial methods

Prerequisites Attributes and Skills of a Successful Actuarists

To be a qualified actuary is not easy. You will need the following traits to complete your degree in actuarial science and become a succesful actuary:

  • High degree of aptitude for Mathematics and Statistics (Don’t even think about being an actuary if you don’t have a knack for numbers)
  • Keen analytical skills
  • Good in Project management
  • Problem solving skills
  • Solid communication skills
  • Strong computer knowledge (especially statistical analysis programs)
  • Ability of lateral thinking
  • Creativity
  • Ability to work with others

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