Should you choose Actuarial Science as your major

I received an email from a reader about a week ago and here's the question :

"I am confused whether I am suitable to further my study in actuarial science after my secondary school.This is mainly because there are many people in my country is now taking up this course as an actuary can earn more. So, I scare that when I graduate 3 or 4 years later there are already too many actuary and I may find difficult in finding a job. I would be very happy if you could share your opinion with me."

Part 1--- Supply and Demand of Actuarial graduates

Three years ago, when I first studied actuarial science at Drake, some of my friends who've been studying for awhile told me that it's very hard to get a job or internship, especially if you are an international students. Some of them told me about the good times of looking for job before 2001 and how bad the economy was at 2003...

Three years later, most of my friends (yes, we are mostly international) got multiple internship and full-time job offers. The actuarial job market is just like a roller coaster---there are times when the companies want to hire more people and there are times the companies are cutting back.

As an optimist myself, I would say there are always actuarial positions open. Just another food for thought---the babyboomers start to turn 60 years old this year and they represent a large percentage of the workforce. So when the baby boomers retire, I believe the insurance companies or consulting firms might need to hire people to do the work.

Part 2----Don't major in actuarial science just because you want to have a job after college.

Perhaps your parents or your teachers are telling you to" follow your passion". Though not everyone has a passion of actuarial science since they were in elementary school, it is necessary for you to be interested by the essence of actuarial science---which are numbers. If you like math (or at least you don't hate it), and you don't mind studying for exams for a few years after college, chossing actuarial science as your major can be a good idea.

Before I decided to major in actuarial science, I was thinking of majoring either mathematics/ statistics or finance. Later on I heard of actuarial science is sort of a combination of business and math. Plus Drake offered me a scholarship at that time, so I took the chance and see what this path may lead...

I hope what I share is helpful and feel free to drop me a note if you have any other questions.


Fantonim said...

Great post! However, I think it is not necessary to major in act. sci to be an actuary. My excuse for studying economics and stats is that I would make a more broad minded actuary!