Tuesday 1 January 2013

Career as an Actuary - Newspaper Publication by Farzad Minoo Damania on Parsi Times

Hi Friends,

Check out my article on Parsi Times Newspaper dated 22nd December 2012, on Career as an Actuary.

Article Title: Career as an Actuary
Article Date: 22nd December, 2012
Article on: Parsi Times Newspaper
Article Author: Farzad Minoo Damania

You can read the entire transcript of my article below:

The career that I am going to discuss today is not a very sought after career by students in India. The purpose for writing today’s article is to spread awareness for this career among our youth.

I am sure you or your family members have bought insurance cover in the past such as car insurance, life insurance, health insurance, home insurance, pension etc. As a policy holder you are required to pay fixed amount as instalment or premium. Have you ever thought who decides the amount that you have to pay as premium amount? Well, this is what an actuary does. If you enjoy subjects such as mathematics, statistics, financial modelling, accounting, financial analysis and probability theory; then you can consider a career in actuarial sciences.

What will be your day-to-day activities at work?
As an actuary, you will design insurance and pension plans for the insurance company. You will determine the premium rates for various insurance products, and also create new attractive and innovative plans for improving the business of the insurance company.  Analyzing statistical data of events such as accidents, mortality, sickness, natural disasters, unemployment and retirement; and thus formulating probability tables to forecast risk and liability will be your role. You will have to collaborate with insurance underwriters, claims experts, accountants, and senior management officials, and help them develop new plans of business, or assist them in improving the existing business model.  As an actuary, your motto will be to analyze the financial cost of risk and uncertainty, and advice businesses and clients on developing policies that minimize the cost of that risk or uncertainty.  Thus, you will wear multiple hats – that of a statistician, an economist and a financier, implementing techniques of probability, statistical modelling, law, data analysis, marketing, and management.

Do you have these qualities?
It goes without saying, that to be a successful actuary, you should possess strong aptitude for mathematics and statistics. Also, you should be adept at concepts of finance, accounting, economics, management, and law. Your job will involve lot of number crunching and statistical analysis. Thus, you should possess the ability to work on your own, and also be a good team player when situation demands. Other skills necessary are good communication skills, business acumen, rational and thinking, proficient decision making and inquisitive attitude. You should be able to deal with challenging tasks and situations at workplace. Most of your statistical analysis and compilation will be done using database software and computer modelling software. Thus, you should possess strong computer skills.

What you need to study?
To qualify as an Actuary, you need to join the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) as a student member, for which you have to pass the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET) which is held twice a year. The criterion to attend ACET is that you must have passed 12th exam with English as one of the subjects. After enrolling as a student member, you have to take 15 subjects for the actuarial examinations. These subjects are grouped into 100 Series (CT - Core Technical Stage), 200 Series (CA - Core Application Stage), 300 Series (ST - Specialist Technical Stage) and 400 Series (SA - Specialist Application Stage). Remember, this is a very specialized course, and you need to be very dedicated and persistent in pursuing the course successfully.  You will get the Certificate in Actuarial Techniques (CAT) on passing all the CT subjects. After passing all the CT and CA subjects, you becomes eligible to be admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute, and hence, you can use ‘AIAI’ against your name.  On clearing all CT, CA, ST and SA Subjects, and upon satisfying the other criteria specified by IAI, you become eligible to be admitted as a Fellow Member of the Institute, and hence, you can use ‘FIAI’ against your name. To learn more about this course, visit the IAI website at http://actuariesindia.org. It is also advisable to pursue your graduation along with the IAI course. Many universities offer graduate and post graduate courses in actuarial sciences, mathematics or statistics. However, just completing these degree courses will not make you eligible to practise as an actuary. These university courses are only for providing conceptual clarity. You have to pass the examinations as prescribed by the IAI, in order to practise as an actuary. 

What are your Job Avenues?
There is a great demand for actuaries globally. As an actuary, you will find various career opportunities in the life insurance sector. With globalization and liberalization policies in place, your services are also required in non-life insurance companies, consulting firms, investment banks, broking houses, and  asset management firms. You can also work as an independent consultant, set up your own consultancy firm, and advice clients on matters such as pension, leave encashment, gratuity, and other employment benefits.  

How much will you earn?
As a fresher, your salary can range from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh per annum. After gaining 4 – 5 yrs experience and passing a good number of the 15 subjects, you can earn in range of Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh per annum. After being a fellow member of the Institute of Actuaries of India, you can earn between Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh per annum.

For all your career queries, reach out to me on farzad.damania@gmail.com or 9833971773
Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Farzad Minoo Damania
Career Counsellor & Corporate Trainer
Career Nurturer
Email: farzad.damania@gmail.com  
Mob: 9833971773

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