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A no risk option

Actuarial science is a popular choice of students planning to study abroad. Here’s a low down on what different countries have to offer to Indian students24 May 2017 | 12:47 AM

If interest in a particular field is the most important factor while choosing a course then what is the second most important thing that a student considers while choosing a study course? The answer is: career prospects which can fetch a hefty package.

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Natasha Chopra

If interest in a particular field is the most important factor while choosing a course then what is the second most important thing that a student considers while choosing a study course? The answer is: career prospects which can fetch a hefty package. This is where actuarial science comes into relevance as it is not only the backbone of commerce, but is also among the few fields where the demand exceeds talent supply. This gap in the trained talent supply only increases the stability of  job.  

Obtaining an actuarial science degree opens doors to a world of opportunities in different industries and employment choice. 

Actuarial science professionals are also one of the highest paid in India and in other countries like the US, the UK and New Zealand. The annual average salary for an actuarial professional in India goes up to Rs 66 lakh, while that in international market goes up to $97,070. It also enjoys a high entry-level salary starting from Rs 4-5 lakh (per annum), increasing with experience. Furthermore, demand for professionals is going to increase abroad too the rise as the Bureau of Labour Statistics US has predicted the growth of the employment of Actuaries to 18 per cent by 2022. 

A challenging job

What is attractive about this field is its challenging and problem-solving nature for a positive impact. Actuaries analyse financial impacts of uncertain events in future. They help businesses and clients develop, test and administer policies that minimise the cost of any risk involved and maximise profitability. They also compile statistical data and other information for further analysis. 

Actuarial science

This is a discipline where advanced mathematical and statistical modelling software/techniques are applied to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries; to forecast cost and probability of an event. Mathematics, statistics, economics, finance and, sometimes, computer programming are the subjects interrelated to actuarial science. 

A degree abroad

The top countries to study actuarial science are the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, China and France. Students should also take note that to be an actuarial professional, apart from having a degree in the subject they can also have a degree in mathematics, statistics, or some other analytical field. Therefore, while opting for an institution broaden your search and begin with subject ranking in accounting & finance or mathematics from global ranking platforms like QS World University Rankings or THE World University Rankings. 

The cost factor

The fee structure break-up for actuarial science courses will entirely depend on the chosen university and the country. However, in order to have a brief idea of the fee structure, knowing the average cost of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses in a particular country will help. 

Additionally, the course duration will also depend on the level of study and the country. Apart from full-time degree programmes, actuarial science courses can also be taken up as a full time/ part time diploma. Actuarial science is a globally recognised course and anyone with a knack for mathematics and statistics can take up this course. Considered as the backbone of insurance companies, these professionals are being sought-after at a global level for non-traditional areas like risk management and infrastructure management among many others. 

— The writer is Managing Director & Co-founder, The Chopras 


Students should keep tab of the intake session for the particular country and/or institute. 

  • The US- Fall intake- September; Spring intake- January
  • The UK- Main intake- September/ October; Minor intake- January/ February
  • Australia-Main intake- February; Minor intake- July
  • Canada- Main intake- September; Minor intake- January
  • Hong Kong- Fall intake- September; Spring intake- February
  • Singapore- Main intake- September (deadline- June); Minor intake- January
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