It’s been touted in recent years as the world’s most sought-after job – there’s never been a better time to become an actuary. Not only is this profession in-demand and lucrative, but it’ll only grow over time as we encounter complicated global problems, from pandemics to diplomatic crises. But what exactly are actuaries, and what does being employed as one entail?
We’re crunching the numbers on actuarial science so you can discover what it’s all about, learn more about Bond’s Actuarial Science programs and determine whether this is the right path for you.
What is actuarial science?
Throughout our lives, we all encounter risks. Simply put, a risk is just an action where the outcome is not certain, and so, a number of possibilities arise, whether they’re good or bad. Actuaries deal specifically in the unpredictable life moments that can lead to financial risk, such as death, illness or injury, accidents, natural disasters and theft. They use high-level problem solving and decision-making skills to measure the probability of these events occurring within certain time frames.
Most actuaries work with businesses as their primary clients, uncovering how much money needs to be set aside to mitigate the effects of these risks should they occur. The knowledge actuaries have in predicting possible outcomes can help a business plan out their operations, stay on the right foot financially and have a better comprehension of where to allocate their monetary resources.
What do actuaries do day to day, and where do they work?
There’s no one typical ‘day in the life’ of an actuary, but there are tasks that most people in this profession will undertake, in alignment with their industry of choice. A big chunk of your time as an actuary will likely be spent performing analyses, running reports, meeting with clients to assess their needs, and writing and reviewing financial plans. However, depending on your skillset, industry and position, you could encounter any number of additional tasks or projects.
So, if you become an actuary, where will you be spending your time between the (rough) hours of nine and five? Actuaries call a number of companies and institutions home, but some of the most common places they work are insurance companies, financial firms, banks, government departments and healthcare services.
What skills make for a good actuary?
Actuarial science is definitely one for the number-crunchers – but maths isn’t the only skill (or the most important one, for that matter) that you’ll need. Students will also develop a broad set of skills and traits throughout their actuarial science studies, including:
- Problem solving
- Informed decision-making
- Analytical thinking
- Communication in the business setting
- Stakeholder management
- Information technology proficiency
- Financial literacy
If you feel drawn to actuarial science, we don’t blame you – it’s a pretty attractive gig if you’re into numbers, enjoy problem solving and want to pursue something busy, engaging and diverse. So, if you’re looking to kickstart a glittering career as an actuary with some study, Bond is the place to do it. As the only university in Queensland offering programs accredited by the Actuaries Institute, you’ve got your pick of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, all of which are accelerated to get you out into the workforce, practicing actuarial science ahead of your peers.
Don’t take our word for it – we asked a few of our students why they chose to study Actuarial Science at Bond.
“What I enjoy in the program is the intersection of different fields including finance, maths, statistics and IT,” Actuarial Science student Mark Johnman says, highlighting the diverse skill sets students develop throughout their degrees. “Companies these days need people to analyse data and explain to them how it can benefit or affect their business.”
“The Actuarial Science program gives you the technical understanding as well as the business context in order to explain that in a way people can understand,” he says.
Shaun McKay is studying the Bachelor of Actuarial Science (CRICOS 083205M), and notes that both the program and the overall University community helped him to determine that Bond was the right fit.
“Deciding to study at Bond was such an easy decision,” Shaun says. “Not only is it the only university in Queensland that offers an accredited Bachelor of Actuarial Science, but it is also one of the top Australian tertiary institutions for student experience and quality of education.”
“The opportunity to study here really aligned with my educational aspirations. I am passionate about the immense value of the skills I have learned at Bond. In future, I hope to practice some form of actuarial analytics at a firm with a level of community engagement comparable to Bond.”
If you’re considering training up to become an actuary, but aren’t yet sure that it’s the right path for you, there are a few ways to learn more.
If you’re in high school or are just commencing tertiary studies for the first time, Personal Open Day is the place to be. Visit us on campus between Friday, 10 September and Saturday, 2 October to meet current students, head off on a personalised tour with your Regional Manager and even have a private consultation with an actuarial science expert, exploring everything that Bond has to offer and digging deep into what interests you.
For those looking to pursue postgraduate studies with the Master of Actuarial Science (CRICOS 108628M) or Master of Actuarial Practice (CRICOS 108630F), a Postgraduate Test Drive will help you make that all-important decision. Chat with academics, ask your Personal Regional Manager anything, and see our campus and facilities up close – whether that’s in person or virtually.
You can also connect with a student or chat to our Office of Future Students at a time that suits you, wherever in the world you’re currently located.