The Benefits of an Actuarial Science Degree in the Future
I’ve spent the last two years working as an actuarial consultant, and it’s been an amazing experience that I would never trade. Still, there are other reasons why you might want to pursue an actuarial science degree, even if you aren’t sure you want to become an actuary yourself! If you want to know more about the benefits of an actuary science degree in the future, read on!
Early career opportunities
For now, most actuaries work for insurance companies. This trend is expected to continue until 2022 when insurers will experience a shortage of actuaries. As a result, many employers will hire from colleges and universities as well as from other companies. In addition, good jobs are expected for those who have passed exams at the associate or fellowship level.
A career as an actuary can be both challenging and rewarding with excellent potential for growth and flexibility across industries. It’s no wonder that students today are drawn to programs that offer training in these areas. Here’s why: After completing courses in mathematics, statistics, and finance (found in all actuarial science degree programs), students are ready to start their first job while continuing their education. The vast majority of entry-level positions require only a bachelor’s degree, although some employers prefer candidates with master’s degrees—particularly if they want someone who has passed one or more exams at either the associates or fellows level.
Good job security
A degree in actuarial science provides a stable career option, especially if you choose to go into healthcare. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for statisticians and actuaries to grow by 18% through 2022, which is much faster than average. That’s partly because so many other workers are retiring, meaning there will be more jobs opening up. But it’s also because demand is increasing as companies become increasingly dependent on data and are willing to pay more to qualified experts. In fact, some experts predict that actuary salaries could increase by 15% or more over the next decade. This makes an actuarial science degree even more valuable than ever before.
According to Glassdoor, U.S. actuaries earn around $93,000 per year on average; that’s nearly twice as much as those with a bachelor’s degree only ($51,200). A University of Pennsylvania analysis found that in 2014, university-trained actuaries earned 40% more than their peers who had not been trained at a school with an accredited actuarial science program. That bump grows to 50% after 10 years out of school.
By comparison, other professions have smaller salary bumps over time: Lawyers see just a 12% increase over 20 years, and doctors get just 6%. Even MBAs don’t fare as well: An MBA holder earns just 25% more after 10 years than someone without one. The data suggests that if you want a high-paying job with long-term growth potential, consider becoming an actuary.
In any given industry, job satisfaction rates can vary wildly depending on who you ask. Often, it depends on whether or not someone is actively looking for a new job or if they are content with where they are at and don’t feel like their company is dragging them down. But recent reports about job satisfaction show that employees in every industry, including actuarial science, have been slowly but surely losing their happiness as time goes on.
While people still love what they do, they aren’t happy with how much stress comes along with doing those jobs. This could be due to increased competition and pressure from management to perform better than ever before. It might also be because many companies focus more on quarterly earnings than on providing opportunities for growth and advancement within their organizations. For example, many insurance companies have begun outsourcing their IT needs overseas rather than training up local talent. As a result, many IT professionals find themselves out of work or forced to take lower-paying positions in other industries just to make ends meet.
A strong work ethic and confidence
According to a PwC study, more than half of employers (54%) plan to increase hiring for actuaries over the next two years. Two-thirds (66%) said that it’s very important or absolutely essential for new recruits to have a strong work ethic and confidence. While there are some things you can learn from school, building your strengths as an employee starts with developing a strong work ethic and confidence.
In addition to hard skills like math and statistics, these soft skills will set you apart from other job candidates. It will also help you stand out at work once you get hired. You should also take every opportunity to develop these qualities outside of work by joining clubs or volunteering on projects where you can apply them.
In addition to helping land a job, volunteer experience is great for your resume—and could even lead to full-time employment after graduation! After all, many employers seek out people who have a history of working well within teams. If you don’t already know someone who works in finance or insurance, look into local associations such as Rotary International, Kiwanis International, Lions Club International, and Chamber of Commerce to find opportunities to build your network.
Strong networking opportunities
Mastering actuarial science is expected to yield strong networking opportunities, as well as impressive salary potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that graduates with a master’s degree are among those professionals who make upwards of $95,000 annually.
And many industries are crying out for these qualified professionals: by 2022, it’s projected that there will be more than 20 percent more jobs than qualified workers. This field also has a promising outlook; between 2014 and 2024, employment is expected to grow at an average rate of 17 percent per year. That’s much faster than other fields like healthcare or construction. If you study hard and have a solid plan for after graduation, you could have no trouble finding work in your chosen field.
Today’s businesses need individuals with specific skill sets to solve complex problems related to their company’s growth—and that includes actuaries. If you want to be part of something bigger than yourself, consider studying how companies can protect themselves from financial risks. After all, protecting assets is something everyone can get behind!