Would I Succeed in the Actuarial Field?
Because actuaries are highly paid and robust growth of actuarial jobs is expected throughout the next decade, this an attractive field to consider. Success, however, requires an exceptional work ethic and specialized skills. Answer these questions to see how yours compare:
|Do you love math?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in business-related subjects?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working with computers?||Yes or No|
|Are you proficient at research?||Yes or No|
|Are you good at solving problems?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working as part of a team?||Yes or No|
|Do you have leadership skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in legal and governmental issues?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable taking exams?||Yes or No|
Why Are These Questions Pertinent?
Do you love math?
Because an actuary's work relies heavily on quantitative skills and ability to analyze numbers, you will need to excel in mathematics, including statistics, calculus, and probability.
Are you interested in business-related subjects?
Actuaries apply statistical information to predict risks in business. To do so, they need a solid understanding of finance, accounting, and economics.
Do you have strong communication skills?
Actuaries must be able to communicate their findings in a way that is understandable to managers and others outside the actuarial field. They need to be skilled at making oral presentations and composing written reports.
Do you enjoy working with computers?
Actuaries use computers to conduct much of their work. In this field, you will need mastery of computer programming, along with statistical modeling and analysis software.
Are you proficient at research?
For each project, actuaries must conduct research to discover the factors that may create uncertainty and contribute to financial risks.
Are you good at solving problems?
An actuary's main responsibility is considering possible financial risks, analyzing what their impact would be, and developing ways to mitigate negative outcomes for an organization. To succeed in this career, you should think analytically and thrive at problem solving.
Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
While actuaries may conduct their analysis independently, their work requires them to collaborate and interact with a variety of other professionals, including computer programmers, managers and accountants.
Do you have leadership skills?
Actuaries, especially as they advance in their career, may be required to oversee projects and lead teams. To fulfill these responsibilities, you will need project management and leadership traits such as strong decision making and interpersonal skills.
Are you interested in legal and governmental issues?
To predict possible risks for a business, actuaries often must understand and consider the impact of possible new legislation and government actions.
Are you comfortable taking exams?
Upon completing a college degree, actuaries must take and pass multiple exams to advance in their careers. It may take a decade or more to complete all of these tests.
Analyze Your Next Steps
If you answered yes to a majority of these questions, you may want to pursue an actuarial career. You will need at least a bachelor's degree in actuarial science or a related major, such as math or economics. The average salary of an actuary in 2015 was $110,090, and job opportunities for qualified actuarial professionals is expected to grow by 18%, much faster than most other professions, through 2024.