ACTUARIAL SCIENCE – RIGHT CAREER FOR YOU ?
Are you wondering about pursuing actuarial science as a career? Still confused whether it’s right choice for you or not?
Let me help you in providing a better insight on the same.
It is a subject matter which deals with risk and uncertainties. In simple terms, it deals with assessing the financial impact of an uncertain event in insurance and financial industries. Actuaries use Mathematics and Statistics in order to create models by analyzing past data and then predict future to quantify (and reduce) risk.
Traditional areas where Actuaries are required to work are Life Insurance, General Insurance and Pension & Retirement Benefits. Besides this, there are large number of KPO’s and consultancies which are also recruiting actuarial candidates. But, it does not mean that the demand is limited to these sectors only. There are non-traditional areas of actuarial work as well, such as:
- Enterprise Risk Management, where actuaries provide tools, techniques and perspective to manage operational risks at an enterprise or corporate level
- Investments and Fund Management, where actuaries focus on asset risks for asset managers but also contribute in areas such as hedging strategy, derivatives structuring and structured finance
- Banking and Financial Services, where actuaries help banks and financial services companies with product portfolio, capital management and risk analysis
- Entrepreneurial Actuaries, which represents a wide range of opportunities for actuaries who desire to set up and run their own business (but for that, one needs to be a qualified actuary)
But currently, in India, not traditional areas are still at their developing stage and not many candidates are being recruited in those domain.
What Skills you are required to have?
- Interest in mathematics – In order to start up the course, a candidate is required to learn about basic Calculus, Statistics and Probability. So, if you did not have Mathematics as a subject in school, it is advisable not to pursue it
- Programming Skills – As an actuary, you will be required to do coding on regular basis on different computer software’s. Although, it is not expected from you to know about various software packages at initial stage, but you should have an interest in learning them
- Communication Skills – An individual is expected to have good communication skills for this career because we have to communicate with professionals of different department and explain them technical concept in layman’s term. So, it would be desirable that a candidate should be proficient at expressing themselves
- Dedication – There will be times when you have to work for 8-10 hours a day and then still have to take out 2 hours a day for studying. Ask yourself, are you ready to struggle that much?
- Handling Failure – It is not an easy course and candidates are required to re-appear for an exam multiple times before achieving success. If you face a hard time in accepting failure and overcoming it, then it is an area you have to work upon.
If you think that you have above skills, then BINGO.. You are good to go. When I first found out about the career, I knew almost instantly that I wanted to do this! I wanted a good paying, math-related career that would keep me challenged and busy. It was the dream career. I can honestly say that I didn’t have much of an idea of what actuarial science was at the time, or what actuaries actually did. But I knew it had math, and that’s all that really mattered. So, I attempted ACET (from IAI) which I was able to clear in first attempt without any guidance and that’s where my journey begins.
CURRENT MARKET SCENARIO IN INDIA
It is still one of the developing career in India. Considering the current demand supply scenarios, as a fresher you have to struggle a lot in order to secure your first job. If you are expecting a high pay from your first internship/job opportunity, then DON’T. Start with an internship (either paid or unpaid).
But, as you develop with this career and clear more papers with your job, you can definitely grow in this field both, in terms of package and reputation. If you succeed in clearing all actuarial papers and become a Fellow of any actuarial institute, then you can also start with your own consultancy (or firm) and increase opportunities.
TOP COMPANIES THAT HIRES CANDIDATES IN INDIA
There are few consultancies in India which do bulk hiring of fresher’s every year such as AON, Mercer, WNS, Willis Towers Watson. Besides them, there are other life/general insurance companies which hire fresher candidates for internship and then provide them permanent opportunity if they work good in that time period such as MetLife, Milliman, Prudential Plc, etc.
If a candidate is willing to work for government organization, then Public limited companies also issue official notification for them on their official website (though they are not hiring on annual basis).
TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTUARIAL
Travelling for an actuary depends upon the company and the team they are working. If you are working for a multi-national company (MNC) which requires you to deal with clients on a frequent basis, then you may get an opportunity to travel abroad. But generally, most actuarial candidates do not travel.
If you are planning to pursue this career, I hope this article answers all your questions. ALL THE BEST.!