What is an Actuary?
An actuarial science is a study of possibilities in Finance and Insurance with various techniques of mathematics and statistics.
As an Actuary, the person becomes an expert by doing research and analysis in insurance risks and premiums. An actuary has to measure the possibilities and represent the data in the statistical form and helps manage the financial impact of risk and uncertainty.
Actuarial Science involves many interconnected subjects like Mathematics, Probability Theory, Statistics, Finance, Economics, and Computer Science.
How Does an Actuary help the Business?
The actuaries work in Insurance companies, consulting firms, Government organisations, in employee benefits departments, Hospitals, Financial Institutions and Investment firms. They assess financial risk of the organisations by creating mathematical models of the financial data which helps in minimising the chances of monetary loss to the organisation.
The Actuaries are employed with finance, insurance and accounts department of any organisation to accumulate risk factor that may occur in near future like the sudden death of an employee, sickness, injury, disability as well as pension benefits, retirement, health policies, Medicare or Credits.
If we were to explain the overall profile of actuary in a single sentence, then we can say ‘an actuary calculates the financial impact of an uncertain future event.’
Career options in Actuarial Science –
- Entry level, Mid-level or Senior level Manager in Insurance Risk Departments
- Actuarial Analysts,
- Consultants for Insurance Firms,
- Risk Manager
Eligibility for Actuarial Science –
- Students who wish to make a career as an Actuary need to become a fellow member of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI).
- They will be required to pass in all 15 subjects in the Actuarial Science exam conducted by IAI.
Actuarial Science Course Content
The actuarial science course comprises three groups as mentioned below –
The first group covers the Core Technical (CT) series which involves the development of the theory of actuarial science and applications of mathematics and statistics.
Even though a major chunk of the course is based on theories, case studies but the examination is based on the practical application in nature on basis of real-life situations.
Group 1- topics:
- CT1 - Financial Mathematics
- CT2 - Finance and Financial Reporting
- CT3 - Probability and Mathematical Statistics
- CT4 – Models
- CT5 - General Insurance, Life and Health Contingencies
- CT6 - Statistical Methods
- CT7 - Business Economics
- CT8 - Financial Economics
The second group of actuarial science course comprises of Core Application (CA) and Specialist Technical (ST) series subjects.
Group 2- topics:
- CA1 - Actuarial Risk Management
- Specialist Technical Stage (ST)
- ST1 - Health and Care
- ST2 - Life Insurance
- ST4 - Pension and Other Employee Benefits
- ST5 - Finance and Investment A
- ST6 - Finance and Investment B
- ST7 - General Insurance - Reserving and Capital Modelling Specialist Technical
- ST8 - General Insurance - Pricing Specialist Technical
- ST9 - Enterprise Risk Management
The third group of Specialist Application (SA) series subjects is based on thorough understanding of principles and application of the knowledge thus gained. It includes a demonstration of skills, professionalism and judgment in an essentially practical situation.
Group 3- topics:
- Specialist Application Stage (SA)
- SA1 - Health and Care
- SA2 - Life Insurance
- SA3 - General Insurance
- SA4 - Pension and Other Employee Benefits
- SA5 – Finance
- SA6 - Investment
Actuarial employers recruit graduates and postgraduates who are eligible to take up actuarial examinations at the level of an actuarial trainee.
The career growth of an actuary is directly linked to their progress and performance in the examination, hence, the chances are very high that by the time you finish ST series, you would already be placed with an organisation at management level.
Conclusion: Actuarial Science is relatively a very new concept in India which is gaining a lot of popularity with the industry players as well as students who are seeking different career options. Hence, students have a great chance to explore this domain and become a successful actuary. However, students are strongly advised to verify the industrial trends of Actuarial Science and move ahead accordingly.