I am trying to get in the actuary field and studying for exams right now. Got done with dinner with the deputy Chief Corporate Actuary /VP of a company that has revenues in excess of $15-20 Billion and he had a lot of insightful comments about the field
Actuaries deal with risk management or uncertainty in business. Insruace companies need to know what to price their product so that their claims won't exceed revenue for instance. Actuaries deal with finding out how many claims to expect for instance.
They can also work for giant financial institutions doing risk analysis of assets. Heard about a guy who works for banks judging the quality of home loans on their balance sheet.
The guy I had dinner with said that according to the SOA (Society of Acturies) that the average person who completes their exams and becomes a fellow does so in about 7 years. They are currently trying to expedite that process by offer more exam testing windows and such.
He said the only thing you need to get into the field is to pass exams. If you pass the exams you are competent in the field even if your degree is in apparel merchandising.
Getting a masters degree in actuarial sciences is kind of a waste of time he made it sound like unless you have a hard time studying on your own. People who pass the exams and fast are dedicated workers who can self motivate/study. Especially since you do this either while in school or while working a full time job.
Most companies give study days. Mercer Consulting for example gives about 3-4 "study" days per exam hour (3 hour exam = 9-12 days).
This post was edited on 3/25 at 9:43 pm