“Three men are sentenced to die by guillotine. The first man steps up, places his head in the hole, the executioner releases the knife and miraculously, the knife stops inches above the man’s neck. The king says, “Under the laws of our country if the guillotine fails to do its job, you are declared free.” So, the first man gets up, relieved, and the second man takes his place. Again, the knife stops inches away from the man’s neck. The king again says, “Under the laws of our country, if the guillotine fails to do its job, you are declared free.” Thus, the second man also gets freed. The third man, who is an actuary, puts his head in the guillotine hole, looks up and says,” I think I see what the problem is…..”
In a nutshell, if you are someone who loves to find logic in things, likes solving problems and is good at mathematics, ACTUARIAL SCIENCE is a good career option for you.
It is a very challenging career involving a great deal of mathematics and statistics. The main job of an actuary is to assess risk in whatever industry or organisation he/she is involved with.
• Pension funds
• Investment banks
• Life insurance companies
• Actuarial consultancies
• Management consultancies
The various roles and responsibilities of actuaries are as follows-
• Evaluating complex risks and assessing the potential financial consequences of those risks.
• Analysing statistical data.
• Preparing presentations and reports.
• Advising clients, managers and stakeholders.
• Keeping up with the financial developments taking place all over the world.
• Computer modelling of statistics to determine potential risks.
• Conducting valuation of assets and liabilities.
• Make and analyse investment and pension plans.
Courses and exams
To become an actuary, you can follow any of the following ways.
1. Commerce/ Science (with maths) —> Actuarial common entrance test (ACET) —> Certificate in actuarial technique —> Diploma in actuarial technique —> Apprenticeship
2. Commerce/ Science —> B.Sc (Actuarial sciences)
3. Commerce/Science —> B.Sc ( Mathematics, statistics, economics, computer sciences) —> M.Sc/M.B.A( Actuarial sciences)
Some of the institutes offering courses in actuarial sciences are given below-
• Institute of Actuaries of India
• University of Mumbai
• NMIMS University
• University of Madras
• Institute of insurance and risk management
• It is an extremely high paying job.
• It has job security as an added benefit.
• You can easily get opportunities abroad or travel for work.
• It is a growing sector and has high demand.
• You will be dealing with highly respected professionals which leads to a better network.
• You can advance through a company very quickly. The more exams you clear, the bigger your paycheck is.
• It is an office job. Does not require travelling a lot.
• It is a very challenging course. One of the most difficult ones there is.
• As your rank in the company grows, so does your responsibility, and so do the working hours.
• There is no place for someone who is not good at mathematics.
Salary and growth perspective
The average salary of an actuary in India is around 8 l.p.a, which is more than good if you look at other professions. This is also because there are very few fully qualified actuaries in India and are always in high demand. Even outside India, you can find fantastic opportunities to grow.
• Proficiency in calculus, statistics and probability.
• Very good problem-solving skills.
• Good business acumen.
• Strong computer skills.
• Ability to keep stress at bay.