Pursuing a career in Actuarial Science

If you have a logical mind, a love of numbers and an interest in the scientific method, pursuing a career in actuarial science is a great way to put your interests and natural talents to work. Actuaries work in all kinds of settings, from government agencies and research firms to insurance companies and educational facilities. These professionals fulfill a vital role in society, helping insurance companies set realistic rates, making sure government programs remain solvent and even helping to set public policy.

Best of all, actuaries earn an above average salary and are expected to enjoy better than normal job growth over the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for an actuary is more than $93,000 a year, far above the average salary for American workers.

The market for actuaries with the right training is also expected to be strong. That same report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows that the field is slated to grow by a strong 26% a year. That above-average earning power, combined with a strong job outlook, makes a career in actuarial science an excellent choice for those with the right aptitude and abilities.

How to become an Actuarial Scientist?

If you plan to pursue a career in actuarial science, you will need a strong aptitude for math and a good understanding of the scientific method. If you are currently in high school, it is a good idea to ask your teachers and guidance counselors which classes will best prepare you for this type of career. You will definitely want to take as many advanced math courses as you can while in high school, including algebra, trigonometry and calculus.

After you graduate from high school you will need to pursue a bachelor's degree in a field that will prepare you for your future career. Many actuaries hold degrees in mathematics, and that is a good place to start. Again, it is a good idea to talk to your counselors and professors. They can help you choose the best classes and get the proper training for life as an actuary.

Once you graduate, you should find a strong market for actuaries. The market is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future, in part due to the expansion of the health insurance market and in part due to a number of other factors. No matter what those factors are, they point to a strong job market for actuaries and related professionals.

What do they do?

Actuaries perform a vital function in the business world and the public sector. Whether they work for a government agency like Medicare or Social Security or a private institution like an investment bank or an insurance company, it is the actuary's job to assess the financial cost associated with uncertainty and risk.

Both public agencies and private firms deal with risk and uncertainly all the time, and they need to make current decisions based on an unknown future. That is where the job of the actuary comes in. Using a combination of statistics, mathematics and cutting-edge financial theory, the actuary analyzes the risks associated with a specific event. That in turn allows the management team at the company or government agency to make an intelligent and informed decision.

Some Universities offering a degree in Actuarial Science

In USA -  UCLA, Boston University, University of Georgia, University of Iowa, For a more exhaustive list and to get an idea of cost involved http://colleges.startclass.com/d/o/Actuarial-Science

In UK – University of Dundee, University of London, University of Southampton , For a exhaustive list  https://www.hotcoursesabroad.com/study/training-degrees/uk/actuarial-science-courses/loc/210/cgory/al.51-4/sin/ct/programs.html

In India - The Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) regulates the education & training of actuaries in India. When a student becomes a member of IAI by clearing the ACET exam [Read: All about "Actuarial Common Entrance Test" (ACET)], it is understood that he possesses the skills required to become a successful actuary.

Following are the eligibility criteria to become an actuary:

  • 10+2(H.S.C) or equivalent 
  • Graduate or Post Graduate in Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science, Engineering, MBA (Finance) and other similar qualifications.
  • Fully qualified members of professional bodies such as:
    • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India 
    • The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India
    • Certified Institute of Financial Analysts of India
    • Fellow of Insurance Institute of India
  • Highly proficient in mathematics & statistics

After clearing ACET, you can apply online (www.actuariesindia.org/Admission_login.aspx) to become a student member of IAI.

While actuaries work in many different fields of endeavor, the insurance industry simply could not exist without the analysis they provide. The insurance industry is all about controlling risk, and without their actuaries they simply could not function. But whether you work for an insurance company or not, you can expect a bright future when you become an actuary.

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