M Karunanidhi, President of the Institute of actuaries of India (IAI), discusses the course structure at the institute and the current and future state of the actuarial profession
How does Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) fair alongside other actuary associations around the world?
The Institute’s actuarial qualification standards more than meets the minimum requirements to become an actuary outlined by the International Actuarial Association and well on par with a number of overseas actuarial professional bodies. The Indian actuarial qualifications are broadly recognized as being equivalent to that of UK and Australia.
What are the ideal personality requirements for one who wants to become an actuary?
Sound analytical bent of mind and good communication skills
What tips can you provide for someone who is planning on attempting the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET)?
The exam is sort of self evaluation to check if you possess the basic skill set to be able to pursue a career as an actuary. There is good quality study material and guidance available upon registration.
How has the profession of actuaries changed in the last 10 or 20 years?
The risk landscape has changed and become increasingly complex. The profession has greater recognition of the importance of interdiscipline interaction and the need to communicate the complex stuff in simple language. The profession has embraced more holistic risk management principles and that is paving application of actuarial skills in areas other than the traditional core insurance and pension disciplines.
How does the course at IAI help students with the possible changes in the profession?
The IAI curriculum is aligned to that of the UK actuarial profession. There is regular review of examination pattern and content. Specific work-shop based examinations on modelling, documentation and communication are some of the recent changes.
What job opportunities can be expected for someone who becomes an actuary today?
The average time span to full qualification is well over five years. Typically, students get employed as they progress through their exams in insurance companies, actuarial consulting firms and off-shored actuarial units. The actuarial skills travel well. So, opportunities exist both locally and internationally. Gaining practical work experience is as important as completing the exams.
Volume 2 Issue 10