Among the abundant career choices present today in the world Actuarial Science is
one of the most sought after as the demand for it exceeds supply. This job involves
mathematical and statistical methods to calculate risks in insurance and finance
industries. Actuaries help in making an individual or firm a well thought over decision
related to the financial outcomes analyzing the possible future events.
Actuaries have a major say in deciding as to how much amount of money should be
paid by a policy holder as premium, sum of pension amounts to be given and also
returns by any company. They estimate insurance risks and premiums. In brief the
job of an actuary is to calculate the financial impact of any future event
The Actuarial Science Profession
Actuarial vocation was officially established in 1848, with the establishment of
Institute of Actuaries, London. In India, the Actuarial Society of India (ASI),is
the only professional body of Actuaries. This was formed in 1944 and was included
in the members of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) in 1979. This is
the umbrella organization to all actuarial bodies across the world. To become a
fellow, one has to enroll in the institute and then pass all the examinations of
the institute and fulfill other timely criteria.
Actuarial Science Eligibility Criteria
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To be eligible to pursue Actuarial Science as a career the student has to have a
10+2 certificate with a minimum of 85% marks in Mathematics/ Statistics. A post
graduate student with a minimum 55% aggregate or more in statistics, Mathematics,
Econometrics, Physics and Computer Science can apply for the course. MCA, CA, CFA,
ICWA, MBA (Finance) and Engineers are also eligible for the course.
Subjects in Actuarial Science
There are overall 15 papers. The course work of ASI is distributed into four stages:
Core Technical, Core Application, Specialist Technical and Specialist Application
Stage. Subjects include Probability and Mathematical, Finance and Financial Reporting,
Financial Mathematics, Statistics, Life and Health Contingencies, General Insurance,
Statistical Methods, Financial Economics, Business Economics, Health and Care, Pension,
Life Insurance, Enterprise Risk Managementand other employee benefits.
There is no certain duration of the course. If pursued with dedication, the course
can be completed in 3-4 years. The exams are conducted biannually. In India, the
exams are conducted in May/June and Oct/Nov.
Career Opportunities in Actuarial Science
This course is globally recognized with conjoint exemptions with a lot of other
international actuarial institutes. The work of an actuary involves a lot of number
crunching. It is an absolutely delightful career for those who derive satisfaction
from intellectual challenge. This career provides a high amount of job satisfaction
along with a very good paycheck. As actuaries decides the business activities, their
career paths lead to upper management and executive positions.
Earlier actuaries were found mainly in the life-insurance sector. But now with the
opening up of the economy they are required by health insurance, general insurance,
pensions and employee benefits,reinsurance companies, investment consultancies,
risk management, banks, stock exchanges, private and government agencies. This is
one of the major financial fields where demand exceeds supply which highly increases
career opportunities in this field.