What is an actuary?
Risks are difficult to estimate but can have major financial consequences. Actuaries are experts in risk management. They use their mathematical skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events. This information is useful to many industries, including pensions, insurance, banking, investments and healthcare, where a single decision can have a major financial impact.
Most actuaries in the Netherlands are member of Koninklijk Actuarieel Genootschap (AG). It is a global profession with internationally-recognised qualifications. An actuarial career can be one of the most diverse, exciting and rewarding in the world.
What does an actuary do?
In whatever area an actuary is occupied, his principal technique is to use financial and statistical techniques to solve real business problems, particularly those involving risk management. So in essence an actuary is a strategic and creative problem solver with a deep understanding of financial systems.
Actuaries are also able to communicate fundamental actuarial ideas and arguments to others outside the profession in a way that takes account of the needs of the audience. They also have sufficient knowledge of the broad commercial and financial environment to understand the immediate implications of their work for their client or employer, and will work to the highest professional and ethical standards.
Where do actuaries work?
Of the close to 1100 actuaries AG, 37% work in insurance, 47% in pensions, 6% in consultancy, 4% work in finance and investment and 4% work in the public sector and education, as well as other newer areas such as the health sector.
The actuary has the best job
For the sixth year in a row (2015) Dutch magazine Elsevier has chosen the profession of actuary as best job in the Netherlands. The Dutch survey Studie en Werk 2015 of Elsevier and SEO Economic Research, shows that the actuarial profession scores best for a top level job/career for starters (higher professional education (HBO) and university education (WO)). With a rating of 8.1 the profession ranks first in the top 12 of best jobs in 2013 in the Netherlands before credit analyst and dentist.
The survey yearly ranks 12 jobs that provide an optimal mix of six characteristics of a good job: income, employment outlook, attractive benefits, a function on graduation level, overall satisfaction and a work week that is appropriate to the desired number of hours. The survey examined how graduates of higher professional education and academics perform compared to recent graduates with a similar training in the same sector.