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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Reality behind an Actuarial ‘Science’ Course… | Moneylife - Personal finance - Career

"Giri (my better half) always chides me for attempting to show things in poor light. But I cannot help it, can I? Even as I plan my annual trip to the US in February, I thought I must share certain happenings that will definitely be in the interest of the larger public" continues Moneylife

Photo: Moneylife
I know that Moneylife stands in the forefront when it comes to issues such as these, as part of its exemplary efforts in setting a new journalistic trend.
My nephew, who is based in Mumbai, was keen on his son pursuing a course in actuarial science. He sought my help, since he, somehow, believed that a seasoned academician like me will be of great help to him. I had already forewarned him about my activist instincts. Despite being a senior citizen, I have still managed to maintain my contacts in academia. It always helps. Thanks to social media networks, I have managed to stay connected.
As I began talking to one person after another, the real truth behind an actuarial science course started coming to light. It was, indeed, a shocker for me! Anyway, readers must have heard/ read about how an actuary is a most sought after person in the insurance industry and how actuaries draw huge sums of money as salaries and bonuses. Actuaries are responsible for using statistical methods to compute the amount of insurance premium. This is the main function of an actuary, though they have other roles like risk modelling, etc.
When I contacted Satish Nair (not his real name) through one of my acquaintances, he dropped a bombshell. Since pursuing an actuarial science course from India was next to impossible (I will come to it later), his daughter pursued a two-year actuarial science course from UK wiping out half of Satish’s  retirement funds. When she returned to India, hoping to land a plum job, there were no takers. After waiting for close to six months and twiddling her thumbs at home, Satish’s daughter managed to get a job in an insurance call centre (of all places) in Pune. Satish was fuming so much that if a kettle of cold water had been kept before of him, it would have heated up in no time.
So where is the problem? Why is doing an actuarial science course in India not such an exciting proposition? There are very few educational institutions that impart an actuarial science course in India. Of these, 50% offer courses that are not recognised by the industry. Gullible students get attracted to all the marketing nonsense being dished out by these institutions and end up wasting money, time and effort. Some of them end up ruining their career too.
Actually, there is a coterie that exists in an unofficial form. In one of the well-known institutes in India’s business capital that offers an actuarial science course, an outstanding student will take at least seven years to get a degree in actuarial science after his graduation—provided, he doesn’t lose interest halfway through the course.  
Source: Moneylife

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