A good fit for mathematical lawyers. Actuaries identify and solve business and financial problems through the use of probability and financial theory, and statistical techniques. They are business analysts, consultants and risk managers, dissecting past and present information in order to apply a strategy for the future.
Actuaries traditionally work in finance, investment banking, asset management, investment and risk management, retail and corporate banking, general insurance, life insurance, pensions and social security and healthcare. Their work can obviously exert a strong degree of influence over the strategic policy of financial services companies, global enterprises and governments, leading to higher business management, especially in fields such as life assurance companies and pension funds.
There is a strong mathematical and statistical requirement on the analytical front, but also requisite is an understanding of, and an ability to apply results to, social, economic and legislative contexts. Good communication skills are required.
The upsides include stimulation, a work life balance, the kudos of a well-respected profession, and potential salaries in what is a well paid field. The downside is that it takes exams and 3 to 6 years to achieve qualification, although this is on-the-job training with distance learning, and can be shortened by existing qualifications.
The Institute of Actuaries (England and Wales) and the Faculty of Actuaries (Scotland) are the two chartered professional bodies for UK actuaries. They share a website, "The Actuarial Profession - making financial sense of the future", with an informative careers section (see below). The website links to lists of employers, and 'The Actuary' magazine and its website (www.the-actuary.org.uk) both carry vacancies for all levels within the profession from students upwards.
Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of posting, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as professional or legal advice.