All industries have their common misconceptions, but none more so than finance. For many people, the concept of working in finance immediately brings to mind an image of The Wolf of Wall Street, with shady investment bankers screaming down the phone while their lackeys run around doing all the legwork. In reality, however, finance incorporates as wide a range of careers as any other trade, with each profession bringing their own distinct talents to the industry. Financial corporations therefore need to hire employees from a broad base of skill sets and backgrounds by necessity, even requiring those who might not immediately appear to lend the relevant experience.
As defined by Charles Young, a Consulting Actuary at Hymans Robertson: ‘Actuaries analyse past and present data to solve real business problems. A lot of actuaries’ work is about risk management: assessing how likely an event may be and the costs associated with it. Actuaries predict and measure emerging risks and then help to reduce them, putting financial safeguards in place.’
Areas of work
There are many areas in which you can work as an actuary including: consultancy, investment, insurance and pensions. If you are unsure which is best suited to you, check out our Areas of Work articles which explore the traditional and emerging areas in which actuaries operate. In your application, you may need to show employers what attracted you to work in that particular business area, so it is worth doing your research!
Skills needed to become an actuary