I am now having a career conflict. I am still not firmed with my decision. It has always been one of my dreams to be a successful actuary. But after some reading and probing the websites posted in the internet pertaining to being an actuary, I am conflicted to whether I should go with it or try to opt to something else. There are just so many remarks about being an actuary and some of them are changing my mindset of what actuary is. Am I up for it?
Graduated from a university doesn't mean you are a qualified actuary instead you are merely a graduate from that field and are required to undergo several rigorous professional exams and passing them are one of the prerequisites of a qualified actuary in any of the companies present. Other than that, you have to have experiences being an actuary before being hired to work in a company but I felt it a bit of a weird qualification of an actuary because you have to work to gain experience even for a beginner and if they don't accept beginners well I guess actuary are not work-oriented.
Those professionals exams are not as something that you can pass only by one examination but you have to do it for several times before you can succeed. Many have failed before passing them. Most of them find it irritating but due to the fact that this was their choice of a job, there is nothing more that they can do. This is what they expressed in most of the post I read. Sounded a bit uncertain, I did some check and balance and I am still torn between two. I will not proceed to the next step in my life without a clue of what I should be. It will be risking every thing for nothing.
Let us look at the pros and cons of being an actuary.
1. Actuaries are paid well, and can earn money as much as those occupants who have worked up to 10 or 15 years for their first-pay.
2. The working environment of an actuary is well-organised and perfect for those who are seeking a job whose work is in an office.
3. The job is firmed and it provides you concrete job where you don't have to worry of shouldering the responsibilities of needing money to support your family.
4. Wide range of job opportunities.
5. It meets to my requirement of having a job simply because it is math-oriented.
6. Involves risk management and most of all you can work at a bank.
7. High chance of going overseas furthering studies at a renown universities.
Those were the advantages. And now the disadvantages.
1. Professional Exams, - Very hard, time consuming, quite costing because you need to pay for the exams-most of them have to retake the exams for several times before passing them. Just imagine how much they need to pay.
2. Yes, they are math oriented but most of the hard papers are all writings and you need to be good at it before passing. If not, the only thing you can see is a failure to this job.
3. The course of learning is extremely hard and I read one of the posts stating that the percentage of students who stopped hall-ways are quite high. (I don't want to do that!)
4. Most of them are reading subjects and you have to memorize them. (I'm okay about memorising but if it only involves the subjects I love-Biology, and Sciences. I don't mind memorising these at all.) Most of the things which are required to be memorised are finances, insurance and history which I hated the most.
5. Unless you passed all of the exams, the job opportunities are way limited.
6. In Malaysia, not many of the actuaries present which proves to show how tough it is to pass the exams.
Looking above make me listless to its tough requirements. I really hope that I can make my mind before it is too late. I need to look for many more resources and ask many of my friends about this job. If it is going to be something I am pleased to be working for, and dedicated my life to for eternity. I can't make the wrong decision or else I am never going to succeed at what I am doing.