Building A Career In Actuarial Sciences

Posted By: Shatavisha Chakravorty

Nothing in life is free from risks. In fact, such is the uncertainty of life that none of us can be absolutely certain we'll see the next morning's sunrise. As uncertain as death is, the same can be said with respect to natural occurrences like floods and earthquakes. However, it is sad to note that uncertain things like this do affect our personal and professional lives. Needless to say, all of these have an impact on our finances as well.

Now, as human beings, it is our natural tendency to love to be in charge of things. We do not like it if all that we have saved up after years of hard work suddenly goes haywire because of unforeseen circumstances. To avoid such a thing from happening, what we do is analyse the risks and uncertainties involved.

Career In Actuarial Sciences

That is where the job role of an actuary comes into the picture. These people compile mathematical and statistical data and apply the same to various financial theories in order to access the financial risk that is associated with potential events. It is the advice that is given out by them which enables businesses to come up with policies to minimise the cost of risk for their clients.

As this is an emerging field of study, there is an immense scope for setting up a successful career in this field. This article tells you that all you need to know about pursuing a career in actuarial sciences.

· Skills Required

Actuaries need to have a very good understanding of mathematics in order to pursue a successful career here. Only a person who is good at numbers can become a good actuary. You must have good problem-solving skills and must be able to tackle problems pertaining to calculus, statistics and probability.

Basic computer literacy with knowledge of databases, spreadsheets and other advanced statistical tools is an absolute must if you want to pursue a successful career in this field. If you have a knowledge of programming languages, the same will work in your favour when you try to establish a successful career in this field.

· Educational Background

In order to become an actuary, you need to have a bachelor's degree. Your honours papers may be mathematics, statistics or economics. There are some universities that offer actuarial sciences course at the undergraduate level. Students from such courses are encouraged to become actuaries.

It is necessary that you have studied papers like advanced calculus and linear algebra during your undergraduate days. Following your graduation, you may choose to directly join a finance organisation as an intern or an employee. Most firms make its actuaries go through an extensive training program (lasting months) in order to enhance their skill set.

· Training

Because of the high competition that exists in this field, it is a good idea to have an internship experience before applying for a job. In most firms, actuaries start off by working with senior mentors in the initial days of their career. In this process, they advance from simple things like compiling data and then graduating to more complex things like conducting research and writing reports.

As a part of your training experience, you may have to spend some time in other departments of the organisation (like underwriting, product development, marketing, etc.) in order to accelerate your learning curve.

· Job Prospects

Jobs in this sector may either be government or private based. The finance and insurance sector is the major employer in this regard. A number of scientific, technical and professional services also require the services of actuaries in order to chalk out the risk involved in various natural and scientific phenomenon.

These days it is seen that the management of a number of enterprises and companies are now looking for actuaries in order to stabilise their prospects. However, as compared to the number of jobs available in this field, there are a greater number of candidates available. In order to survive the competition and get the job of your dreams, you have to really prove your worth by working to the best of your abilities.

· Salary

This is one of the highest paying professions that have come up in the recent years. The starting salary of an actuary in India is close to Rs 4 lakhs. In this field, the amount of money that you take home will depend on your experience. As this is a new and upcoming profession, it is difficult to find people with more than 20 years of experience here.

The average salary for an actuary in India is Rs 7.6 lakhs. In the world of an actuary, people working with investment organisations are seen to take home higher monetary compensation as compared to their counterparts in other fields.

· Nature Of The Job

This is a field where most of the work is mental with very little (or no) physical activity involved. Just like most other career options in the world of finance, this does not involve any work in the evenings. The actuaries in most well-established organisations work as a team with each member specialising in a particular aspect.

Once an employee joins an organisation, depending on the project that they are working on, they are allotted work in one of the hundred domains of financial risk assessment and management.

· Career Advancements

There is an immense scope of career advancement in this field. If you have a knowledge of risk management, with time you can grow from being a mere actuary to the chief risk officer of the chief financial officer in the organisation of your dreams. This is one field where you have to keep studying and keep yourself updated even after you have got a job.

Over the years if you have obtained the required fellowship and are proficient in what you do, you may be asked to supervise the work of other actuaries. With due experience, you may also choose to open your own consultancy firm.

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