The financial crisis highlighted the importance of managing risk for businesses. Properly identifying and assigning an accurate probability to events, even extreme outliers, can mean the difference between surviving an economic
shock and bankruptcy.
Actuaries are business professionals who help companies manage risk, utilizing sophisticated math and statistical analysis. Actuaries must have an interest in, and aptitude for, mathematics since much of the work is math and statistics based.
Today, actuaries predominantly work in the insurance industry or for pension funds. But they can be found in some areas including private corporations, the government, labor unions, banks, colleges, rating bureaus and consulting.1Actuaries even assist corporations in determining employee benefits packages.
But make no mistake about it-actuary is a finance career. Purdue University describes it as a “business career with a mathematical basis”.2 They go on to note that actuaries are better represented by women and minority groups. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in finance.
Despite a misconception of being bookish, actuaries must be able to work well in teams and communicate their findings effectively to a variety of clients. Combining these softer skills with sharp analytics makes a successful actuary that is often well-compensated.
CareerCast.com placed ‘actuary’ in the top spot in their ‘10 Best Jobs of 2015’ list, citing mid-level income of $94,209.3If you are looking for a lucrative and recession-proof career, consider starting your journey to become an actuary today.