Are you the sort of person who loves working with numbers and is extremely curious about the inner workings of financing a venture?  Then actuarial science is a career field that you must explore.

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What is it about?

Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions.   It has applications in the field of Life insurance, General insurance, Health insurance, Reinsurance, Valuation of Retirement Benefits viz. Gratuity, Pension,leave Encashment, etc. Asset valuation, Pricing of Securities and Derivatives, Risk Valuation, Risk Management and so on.

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What is Actuary?

  • Actuaries are experts in risk management. He is an is an expert who can determine the monetary value of unusual items, such as a concert pianist’s hands, the price property insurance for homes, given their location and the likelihood of a natural disaster, analyze statistical information about people above a certain age estimate deaths, disabilities, and retirement rates, advise movie studio owners about how much liability insurance they should purchase to cover dangerous sets etc.
  • Actuaries are an important part of the management team of the companies that employ them. Their work requires a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behaviour to design and manage programs that control risk.

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Why Actuary?

  • One can work in specialist areas of insurance, pensions, benefits, healthcare, investments and banking, or for any large organisation where risk management plays an important role, or for a consultancy advising on all sorts of different projects. There is flexibility to balance professional commitments with personal interests.
  • Actuaries are problem solvers, in tune with what’s happening in business through their interpretation of statistical data and knowledge of social and economic systems.
  • The unique skills of actuaries are behind many high-level strategic decisions made by large companies and governments, and can have a positive impact on legislation, businesses and individuals.
  • Actuaries combine good business sense with safeguarding the public’s financial interests, upholding the highest professional standards.
  • Once you’re qualified, actuarial skills can take you anywhere in the world.

What do you require to become an actuary?

Skills acquired by actuaries, especially the quantitative analysis of risk, are valued in the marketplace. As such, those who have the will to succeed can aspire to career advancement with an actuarial credential.

  • You can enter into the field of actuarial sciences straight after class XII or can join after finishing your graduation or post graduation in Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science, engineering or MBA( Finance).
  • You are eligible to join the program if you have at least 85% in Maths/ Statistics in class XII or have a 55% in graduation/post graduation in Maths, Stats and MBA Finance etc.
  • You have to the actuarial exams to get your credential.
  • The early exams stress the basic mathematical tools needed in actuarial work, primarily statistical analysis. The higher level exams become more specialized, focusing on the unique business and legal needs of the venues where actuaries are typically found. These can vary from governmental agencies, such as the Social Security Administration to insurance companies.

What kind of projects do actuaries work on?

  • Every area of business is subject to risks so an actuarial career offers many options.
  • A typical business problem might involve analysing future financial events, especially when elements are uncertain. But it could also involve understanding something like the weather: assessing when and where devastating storms may hit and their associated costs, for investments or insurance.
  • Actuaries may also be involved with the acceptance of proposals for new policies, with legal and taxation matters affecting life assurance, or with the investment of funds. Due to an actuary’s skill the opportunities open to them are endless, they can even be employed in the marketing and development of financial products.
  • They use their knowledge of business and economics, together with their understanding of probability theory, statistics and investment theory, to provide strategic, commercial and financial advice.
  • Actuarial trainees may begin work as trainee pension consultants or risk analysts while at the same time studying for professional exams. Senior actuaries can be found in consulting firms as partners, in large banks as chief risk officers or in board-level positions in insurance companies and other financial services organisations.

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Pay packet

  • Actuaries are well compensated.
  • At entry level one’s income could start anywhere from Rs. 4 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh per annum.
  • After gaining experience of five to six years and clearing a good number of the possible 15 papers, an actuary can earn Rs. 12 lakh to Rs. 18 lakh per annum.
  • Experienced fellows of IAI can earn anything from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh per annum.
  • The sky is the limit for an Actuary with 15 to 20 years of experience.

If you have what it takes to be an Actuary, hop on and start working towards a field that is highly rewarding in every way!

-Tanvi Shah

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Smita Singh

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