Demistifying the Actuarial Sciences

What is Actuarial Science?

Actuarial Science is about using mathematical skills to analyse and assess risk. Some of the areas addressed by Actuarial Science include: Insurance, Pensions, Health Care, Banking and investments. Actuarial Science is one of the most rewarding professions in the world.

Who should study Actuarial science?

If you are in love those investments guys you see in the movies, or if you love the idea of providing financial solutions then this is a possible career choice for you. The bottom line however is you should be someone who likes or loves Math and logic.

How long will it take me?

According to their site, on average it takes between 3 to 6 years for people to qualify. You can however take comfort that each exam will bring you recognition and along the way you will also earn a diploma before completing the exams. The diploma should see you able to secure a job somewhere.

What do I need to become an Actuary?

The Institute of Actuaries in U.K recommends that one should do Mathematics at A-level or Degree level for the broadest career options, (see Link). It is possible to do Actuarial Science straight from A’ Level, however according to their site, “employers prefer candidates with numerate degrees such as actuarial science, maths, stats, economics, engineering, chemistry or physics,” (see link ). You may also first study for a degree in Actuarial Science at a University. Locally it seems to be only NUST that is offering this programme. In South Africa there are universities such as the University of Cape Town. Whichever University you chose, after completing the degree you will be exempted from some of the exams and you will still have to write the rest before qualifying. Before choosing an actuarial degree program, be sure to check for the number of exemptions you will qualify for after doing the degree. Some may find it better to do another degree and write all the exams for Actuarial Science. For example suppose you wanted to focus on developing financial software, you might study Software Engineering for your degree and also make time to write your actuarial exams. Don’t limit yourself, be imaginative.

Where do I study for Actuarial Science in Zimbabwe?

The Institute of Actuaries is located in the UK; you will therefore buy study modules online and may write the exams at a designated Actuarial Exam Center in Zim. To register and find an exam center, visit the Institute’s Site. As pointed out above you may also start out by getting the degree from say NUST.

How much will it cost me?

As usual fees for Professional Exams are cheaper than those for Academic Programmes. You will find the exam costs on this  link.

Can I get any Exemptions?

They do offer exemptions so check the site.

Who will employ me?

By studying Actuarial Science you will be opening up avenues for an International Career. Locally organisations such as Afre Corporation and Old Mutual employ Actuaries. Banks and Social Security firms are also likely candidates for employment.