This is simply the case with Actuarial Science- one of the toughest courses in the world but at the same time a very intriguing subject that arouses curiosity. If you are planning to take up Actuarial Science or have already started with it you might have a lot of confusion in your mind regarding this profession.
“Everything is much simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.”
~ Joahann Wolfgang von Goethe
I am sure some of these questions like ‘Do I regret pursuing a career in Actuarial Science?’, ‘Shall I continue with the career in Actuarial Science?’, ‘ Is it worth to take up this difficult course?’, ‘Can I do this course?’ and so on crossed your minds at least once.
First of all, I would like to address the question of who can take Actuarial Science. Those who are very passionate to solve mathematical problems, work with statistics and data, understand economics and do not want to do a monotonous job or a something which is very common should take Actuarial Science.
Actuarial Science opens a world of knowledge for you. But it is not at all easy. You have to win a lot of tough challenges to become an actuary and those challenges confuse your mind whether to pursue this career or not
Let’s have a look at some challenges
This can be turned easy while pursuing Actuarial Science:
Actuarial Science comprises of many exams and the exams are very difficult to pass. You have to clear a lot of papers to become a qualified actuary.
- But with sheer determination and hard work you can clear exams in the first attempt itself. You will get a job if you clear 3-4 exams. Some companies even hire candidates who have cleared one paper. (Companies hiring actuarial freshers)
The Actuarial exams and the annual membership fee is very expensive if you are appearing from IFoA but it is much cheaper if you are appearing from IAI. Apart from these expenses, you will have to pay extra for coaching and books. (IAI or IFOA?)
- The good thing is your salary will be a good return for these investments in your exams. Actuarial Science is one of the highly paid professions in the world.
- Most of the Actuarial employers sponsor your exams.
You have to keep on studying for a long time. Being an Actuary means being a student for the entire duration of your career. You have to put aside a specified number of hours for studying even after getting a job.
- It is a fact that learning never stops. So it is actually a privilege for Actuaries that they can keep on learning and be updated to the changes.
The most disappointing thing for Actuarial aspirants nowadays is the thin job market. The situation is worse in the case of India. You are going to face a very stiff competition in the entry-level Actuarial job. There is a huge supply and demand mismatch for Actuarial freshers.
- A hopeful thing is that in the future the Actuarial job market is going to expand rapidly because of the growth of insurance and financial markets and India is going to witness a spurt in the demand for actuaries.
- Apart from the traditional roles, actuaries will be required to play major roles as consultants, investment advisors, data analysts, etc. Because of the wide variety of topics covered in Actuarial Science, the Actuaries are well-versed in different areas. (Scope of actuarial science)
- Actuarial profession is a highly rated profession (Myths about actuarial science). Therefore it requires those who are really passionate to work in the field. So keep on studying and improve yourself to be a perfect match for the job opportunity. No matter how the actuarial job opportunities are, be confident enough to grab the position, make yourself better and stand out from the crowd.
Requires a lot of time for studying for the exams. Those who are working find it very difficult.
- Many actuarial companies give many incentives to their employees like time to study and leaves for actuarial exam preparation.
Although it is been told that actuaries get very high salary there are other professions which pay you similar salary and those professions are not as difficult to study as well as time-consuming as Actuarial Science. So there arises a confusion whether Actuarial Science is worth studying or not.
- More than salary it should be your passion which should act as a driving force to take up an Actuarial profession. You should not choose this career from the salary perspective. One must only take Actuarial Science if you really love being an actuary.
As an aspiring actuary, you should start thinking like an actuary and take a risk in life as in the profession. You can locate risks in everything but you can always eliminate/reduce the effect of those. Actuarial Science is not a profession but a commitment.
Always remember- no risk no gain. Thank you!