Thursday, April 5, 2012

You Pick, We Write: Actuary? o.O

Assalamualaikum, greetings earthlings:)

"Weh, Syaza, kau plan nak further apa dowh?"
"Actuarial Science."
"Apekebendanya tuuuu?"

Yes, that is normally the response I get from people for the past few weeks. So here I am, explaining to all of you, what Actuarial Science is. Hopefully, nobody will ask me again, and, hopefully, some of you who are interested in Actuarial Science would know more about this particular course. InsyaAllah, may the things that I write here would be helpful to everyone out there :)


Nature of the Course.

Yes, Actuarial Science is all about RISK. The direct meaning of Actuarial Science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries. [ source : Wikipedia ] So basically what actuaries do is everything that involves RISK. Actuaries use financial and statistical theories to solve real life business problems.

Tak faham? Okay, meh aku bagi penjelasan yang lebih mudah. Imagine I'm an actuary working in Company A. Company A nak buat investment in this one project. So my job is to calculate the pros and cons of investing in the project. By investing in it, would we gain more profit or would we loss? How much risk are there in the investment? If the project is a long-term project, how would the future economy affect the project's outcomes? I'll be the one giving advises to the company on whether or not we should invest in the project, or think of a better project that would give more profit.

Faham? Tak faham lagi? Hmmmm. Susah ni. Kalau still tak faham, sila komen. Nanti aku cuba jelaskan, okay?

Advantages and Disadvantages


  1. High salary. Yes, QUALIFIED ACTUARIES is high in demand from the companies, not only in Malaysia, but also in UK and the USA.
  2. If you have an actuarial degree, you can get exemptions from some papers if you wish to be a qualified actuary.
  3. Having an actuarial degree gives you an excellent grounding in other degrees such as Economics, Finance, Mathematics and Statistics. So you'd cover a wide range of subjects, giving you various jobs opportunities after graduating.
  1. To be a qualified actuary, you'll have to sit for an exam. Yes, an exam AFTER graduating. And no, it is NOT easy.
  2. You'll need to be extremely good in Mathematics and Additional Mathematics, a subject that most of us despise.
  3. You'll need a lot of patience, especially when tackling the problems.
Skills Needed / Minimum Requirements

Okay, truthfully, I have absolutely no idea what is the requirements if you wish to study Actuarial Science locally. But, for you guys, I've done a little bit of research, and this is what I got.

  1. You'll need to have a good understanding of Mathematics and Additional Mathematics in SPM level.
  2. A sense of curiosity to solve a problem. 
  3. A high level of tolerance
To do Actuarial Science locally, you'll need to do STPM / Matriculation / Foundation / Diploma. A pass in Mathematics is a MUST (obviously). For overseas studies, A-Levels or IB is needed, with an A in Mathematics ( this depends on the university you're applying to, though )

Job Prospects

Where do most actuaries work in Malaysia?
  • Life insurance companies. 
  • Consultancies providing advice in the fields of employee benefits, life insurance, and general insurance. 
  • Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is also a major actuarial employer 
  • Universities (such as UKM and UiTM) also employ actuarial staff in their actuarial departments.
Besides insurance firms, which other areas can actuaries venture into? The areas of work for actuaries are not limited to life insurance and consulting firms only. Instead, the horizon for this line of job is very wide. Below are some of the areas of work which actuaries do:
  • Life Assurance 
  • Actuarial Consultancy 
  • Investment and Financial Services 
  • General and Health Insurance 
  • Employee Benefit Industry (e.g. EPF) 
  • Government Sector (e.g. BNM) 
  • Colleges and Universities 
What are the career options available to actuaries? There are many career options available to people who have actuarial background or knowledge, such as:
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 
  • Chief Risk Officer (CRO) 
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 
  • Life Insurance Actuary 
  • General Insurance Actuary 
  • Asset/Investment Consultant 
  • Management Consultant 
What are the future prospects of actuarial profession in Malaysia?
  • Given the expected continuous growth in the insurance market, it is anticipated that the demand for actuaries in Malaysia will continue to grow in the next few decades. 
  • Future regulatory developments (e.g. requirement for certification of IBNR) and the increasing need for risk management are likely to result in significant increase in demand for actuarial services by general insurers.


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), University Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)

Degree transfer programs are offered by these various colleges: University College Sedaya International (UCSI), Help Institute, Inti College, Prime College, Curtin University.

If you are (like me!) considering on going overseas to a foreign university, taking up A-Levels / IB / the equivalent is a must. Mathematics is definitely a requirement for most universities, and Further Mathematics is an extra subject. Further Maths is not a requirement, but it'd help you to get a lower grade requirement for Maths, if you understand what I meant.

[ okay, just in case korang tak faham, benda ni macam ni. If kau buat A-Levels and ambil subject Mathematics with another three subjects not including Further Maths, maybe your requirements nak masuk universities is an A* in Mathematics. But if kau ambil Further Maths AND Mathematics, you might get an offer with only an A in Mathematics. So, yeah, lower grade requirement :) ]

Best universities for Actuarial Science? London School of Economics, City University, Herriot-Watt University, University of Kent, Southampton University, etc. More information here : Actuarial Society of Malaysia


Well, this depends on where you guys do the course. Cost varies for different universities and different countries. Scholarships are available, though, so don't worry. :)

Additional Information / Trivia

Something worth reading : Link 1

If you're considering Actuarial Science, I'm going to suggest another course for you : MORSE. But I will talk about that sometime soon, insyaAllah. One small paragraph can't summarise the whole course, so I'll do it in a new post.

So hopefully the things that I wrote here made some sense to all you confused people. Feel free to comment should you have any inquiries, and I'll be glad to answer them. Until then, see you guys soon, insyaAllah :) Good morning :) Assalamualaikum!

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2 Terbunuh:

homo sapien said... [Reply to comment]

just nk share apa yg aku dpt dri some of my friends...(their opinions basically..hope it is helpful..)

Seorang yang ingin menjadi seorang aktuari haruslah

Pelajar cemerlang yang sangat baik dalam matematik.
Seorang suka menyelidik dan senantiasa ingin tahu yang gemar mempelajari sesuatu dan suka menyelesaikan masalah rumit.
Seorang yang gemar permainan strategi seperti catur dan permainan komputer yang mencabar.
Seorang yang gemar menulis dan berkomunikasi dengan orang lain.
Minat dalam isu-isu sejarah, sosial, perundangan dan politik.
Seorang yang mempunyai motivasi diri dan mempunyai sifat kepimpinan.

jon said... [Reply to comment]

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