Who's an Actuary?
An actuary is a professional who assesses and manages the risk of financial investments, insurance policies and other ventures involving risk. Considering the probability of the venture and financial theory involved, actuaries assess the financial risks and its impact. Actuaries are mainly employed in insurance companies, banks and investment firms. The job of an actuary involves studying future events, especially those concerned with insurance and pension-related schemes. Actuaries work with facts, figures and people to solve problems of the business. Curious to know more about this career? Read below to know more.
Are you passionate about acturial science? Want to pursue it as a future career option? Explore a day in the life of a Actuary – Mr. Akash Rughani and Mr. Vignesh Mehta
What will you do?
Most actuaries are employed in the insurance sector. You will help companies develop different types of insurance policies by forecasting the likelihood of certain events and the impact of such events on the finances of the company.
Example: You will help a company draw up insurance policies against its assets to secure them for the future.
Helping companies and individuals make decisions.
You will give companies or individuals a clear view of the financial outcome of different events and accordingly help them make decisions.
Example: In life insurance, the amounts don’t just have to be beneficial for the company. They also have to be fair to the insured parties.
Partnering with government agencies.
You will partner with government agencies to create various public policies.
Example: Expecting mothers below the poverty line, in India, are given INR 6,000 to manage their expenses. An actuary will help the government arrive at this number.
Advising organisations and individuals in financial planning.
You will help companies make high value and risky investment decisions.
Example: If your company is planning to buy another company, you must consider the risk, growth and other factors to decide whether the purchase would be beneficial.
Suggesting solutions to reduce the negative effect of events.
You must provide individuals and companies with solutions to their finances that help them avoid any losses or high risks.
Example: A customer gets a car insurance from your company. You must calculate the premium amount the customer pays, and consider the possibility that the customer might have a car accident in the future whose cost the company will bear. The premium amount should be such that even if the company has to pay, it won’t make a loss.
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Where will you work?
Most actuaries work in an office set up. You will work on guiding the company's financial decisions and investment opportunities.
You could work with an insurance company, where you would help them draw up schemes and plans that will keep in mind various factors and outcomes to ensure the company doesn't face losses.
You can start up your own consultancy, or work as a consultant for different clients. You would provide them with advice on risk management and investments. You could either set up an office or work from home.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
Analytical and Data Skills
You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.build this skill
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Attention to Detail
Working with eggs and embryos is a very tedious task. Every little detail matters when you are observing them. If you are good at giving attention to detail, then your job at the laboratory will be made much easier.build this skill
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
Patients will be coming to you with different issues with fertility. You must be able to assess their problem, analyse the reason and work on coming up with a solution.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
If you study actuarial sciences in India, you would get a better understanding of the financial products in the Indian market. There is a good demand for actuaries in every field as with the use of technology, every business today is looking to expand and make their business profitable. Many gold jewellery schemes offered by premium jewellery brands are curated by actuaries who help the company maintain a fine balance between risk and revenue. In India, many brokerage firms, insurance companies, financial products and startups are mushrooming which make it easy for you to land a job in the country. You can opt for a master’s or diploma degree from universities such as Christ, Amity School or Actuary Institute of India. It would cost you between INR 1,50,000 – INR 5,00,000 depending on the course and university you opt for. While a graduate degree is enough to land you a job in India, you can further enhance your knowledge in the field by opting for masters or diploma. Such courses can also be done online and you don’t have to take a break from working to pursue them.
Studying actuary abroad will help you broaden your perspective and expose you to a completely new culture and people that will help you strengthen your thinking process. You can learn about various tools, financial products, etc., used there that will help you deepen your pool of knowledge.
A course abroad will cost you anywhere between INR 5,00,000 – INR 20,00,000 lakh depending on the university you opt to study from. You can opt to do graduation, a diploma, or a masters course. Top colleges to study abroad to play are the University of Regina, Laurentian University, University of Otago, etc. If you don’t plan to move abroad, then you can pursue an online certification course from universities abroad.
How much would you get paid?
The exact number will depend on where you’re working, your education, skill-set and internship experience. But we can give you a general idea.
What are your career options?
Popularly known as a risk manager, risk analysts help businesses identify the financial risks involved in the existing as well as future projects. You will mainly work for financial institutions such as banks and investment firms. The risks identified may be operational, compliance or financial in nature. You will need a good business sense and the ability to solve complex numerical data.
Investment analysts conduct research; create financial models, reports stocks, bonds and other investment securities. You will provide information and recommendations to funding managers about various investment schemes and their benefits. You will primarily interpret complicated financial information, make informed recommendations, and write financial research summaries.
An underwriter is an individual working with an insurance company who determines the insurance coverage that will be provided to policyholders. This is done by assessing the risk undertaken by the company for insuring the policyholder. You will carry out risk assessments, prepare insurance policies, collect and analyse statistical data. You need good analytical skills, decision-making skills and a good eye for detail.
An insurance actuarial analyst possesses good statistical skills and knowledge to design and price insurance policies. You will calculate the cost of the policy and determine its premium for policyholders. You also need to give the policyholders a brief idea of how much returns they can expect during the time of claim. You must be well-versed with calculations, statistics, probability and analytical skills to look at the factors that influence the outcome of several uncertainties.
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