Degree in Actuarial Vs Degree in Economics

Every student in his life encounters that situation where he has to take those decisions which would decide his future lifetime, where he has to channelize all his energies, capitalize all his strengths and put in all the efforts to achieve the set goals. But what if those decisions are made hastily, without a proper analysis as to what fits in better and what suits one’s interests. By the way, did you realize what decisions am I talking about?

Today we all stand at the crossroads- the dilemma of choosing a right career.

Though human progress and advancement has opened doors for innumerable opportunities but it would be tedious if I jot down all the career choices that we currently have.

Being an Actuarial Science student let me take this opportunity to share with you all what it means to have a degree in Actuarial Science and is it better than majoring in Economics?

Firstly for a non-professional, Actuarial Science is simply the study of risks. It’s the need to predict, assess and control risks and uncertainties at the heart of the economy. An actuary identifies the possibility of a bad event or a catastrophe and takes all the necessary steps to either reduce it’s the possibility of occurrence or will focus on minimizing the losses if in case such event occurs.

To be a fellow actuary, one has to clear 15 papers. The examination is held twice a year which I’m sure everyone is well versed with. But there is also another route to it. To prepare for an actuarial career, one can even do his under graduation in Actuarial Science. There are some renowned universities that offer such courses namely Columbia University(US), Florida State University, Pennsylvania State University(US), Christ University(Bangalore) etc. After graduation one gets an exemption from a few papers. There are students who do their major in Actuarial Science.

While majoring in Actuarial Science or math in college will benefit someone wanting to be an actuary, you are not required to major in these fields to be an actuary. It is the ability to pass the actuarial exams that determine if one is eligible to enter the profession. It is generally recommended to clear a few papers and enter into the working world so that you get a practical exposure of the theoretically learned concepts and simultaneously give your papers. Though knowledge in any form is never harmful it makes more sense to work rather than pursuing a post-graduate degree that consumes 2 years.

Conventionally, actuaries used to work in the Insurance sector specifically life and non-life. But as can be seen from the diagram actuarial scope has increased. Now actuaries have entered into fields like Banking, Cyber Insurance, Rating agencies etc.

On the other hand, Economics is simply the study of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. An economist conducts research, collect and analyse data, monitor trends and develop forecasts related to inflation, interest rates, employment etc.

The basic qualification a person needs in order to become an economist is a graduate degree in the allied field. There are many colleges in India itself that offer under graduation and post-graduation programmes in economics. If you’re interested in majoring in economics, you’ll be studying (unsurprisingly) economic theory in all its various forms. Microeconomics, macroeconomics, currency systems, international economics, and more will all be slotted into your course of study.  Common career paths for economic graduate include:

Both the degrees have their pros and cons and nobody can judge which one is better. In India, both the fields are emerging at a high pace and have an endless scope. At last, I would like to say it’s all upon one’s interest and understanding. If interested in any one of them, then only pursue that as a career else just don’t because it won’t be worth forcing yourself to do a task you ain’t interested in doing.

Choose wisely.

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