Closely linked to the insurance industry, actuaries measure the risk and probabilities of the likelihood of events happening in the future, and if there any potential financial costs.
What is it?
Closely linked to the insurance industry, actuaries measure the risk and probabilities of the likelihood of events happening in the future, and if there any potential financial costs. Actuaries use business and economic knowledge to provide strategic and financial advice for companies – looking at pension scheme liabilities in order to price commercial insurance for example. They use statistical data to calculate risk and will work with acquisitions and mergers.
What skills and qualifications will I need?
A passion and understanding of maths; analytical, problem solving and evaluation skills will be high on the priority list, together with good communication skills to be able to explain your findings and plans to others. You don’t necessarily need a maths degree, but an understanding of numbers is essential and a numerate degree will be an advantage.
What else do I need to know?
Actuaries work in different areas – pensions, insurance (life, healthcare and general), corporate finance, banking and investment management – as employees and sometimes as independent consultants.
Salaries are good – you will have the potential to work anywhere in the world for a banking or insurance company for example. Jobs are available all over the country, but the higher salaries will be found in London.
You will be able to study for Actuarial exams to qualify as an Actuary while you are working - you can then become a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).
Apply early for an internship – it’ll give you a good idea of what’s involved on a daily basis and will help when you are looking for a job, clearly demonstrating that you have an interest and experience in the industry.
Volunteer and keep your interests broad – skills learned through helping others will be transferable to the workplace and give you a different view.
Where can I get more information?
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is here – with information about training, qualifications and the industry. https://www.actuaries.org.uk/become-actuary/how-become-actuary
Be An Actuary has lots of useful information here http://www.beanactuary.org/what/