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Actuarial careers

Actuaries analyse and manage the risks of financial contracts. The actuary's work is based on the application of mathematical, statistical, economic and financial analysis to a wide range of practical problems in long-term financial planning and management. There are excellent prospects for interesting, challenging, satisfying and well-paid careers.

Actuaries act as financial advisers to a variety of commercial organisations such as life, general (non-life) and health insurance companies, superannuation funds, banks and stockbrokers as well as governments. In the general and health insurance field actuaries use their statistical and analytical training to assess risks and to advise on financial control.

The actuary's work requires a sound theoretical training, but of more importance is the ability to exercise proper professional judgment in dealing with the many practical problems encountered. The ability to express conclusions in clear and concise language is essential.

To be recognised as an Actuary under Australian legislation, Fellowship of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (or of certain overseas bodies) is required and accreditation requirements must be met.

At the present time there are about 1,000 actuaries in active employment in Australia, of whom more than 30% are graduates of the Macquarie Actuarial Program.

The Australian Government Australian Careers website quotes Career prospects for Actuaries as very good. Short-term employment growth over the past 2 years to Feb. 2006 has been very strong (27.3% per year) while future employment for Actuaries to 2010-11 is expected to slightly grow. Employment in this small occupation rose strongly in the past five years, and rose very strongly in the past ten years. However, as with other small occupations employment estimates can fluctuate.

Visit the Macquarie University Career Development Office for useful career planning and job application information, resume advice, interview strategies, information on assessment centres and psychometric/aptitude tests, and schedules of workshops provided by the University and large employers.

Of great importance to second last year and final year students is the graduate recruitment section which outlines graduate recruitment programs, the graduate recruitment process, what employers seek and how to market yourself.

Contact the Career Development Office staff for more information or advice.