Obtaining an actuarial position

What will employers look for?

Most employers are looking for graduates with at least a 2.1 degree (an average 65%) and excellent A-levels or equivalent:

  • Maths A-level (or equivalent) at grade B or higher (equivalent to a high school maths at 65% or above)
  • A degree at 2:1 or higher, in any numerate discipline (other disciplines may be considered)
  • Many employers also look for candidates who have a basic knowledge about the qualification route applicable to them.

What skills do I need in the lead up to getting a job?

Aside from the technical knowledge that you will have learned in your degree, it will also be useful to build up the business skills that actuaries need. These are skills such as good communication, leadership, team working, organisational skills, motivation and good problem solving skills.

Obviously you may not have experience of all of these things, but integrity, willingness to learn and enthusiasm for the work will set you apart at interview stage and get you the placement.

You can gain these skills through gaining work experience, joining a society or club at university.

Why do I want to get on a graduate scheme?

Your employer is likely to:

  • fund your membership and exam fees
  • allow you study days
  • enable you to earn whilst studying
  • provide you with on the job experience around elements of the exam material which will help you work towards your IFoA qualification.

It will also give you the opportunity to complete the work experience requirement for the qualification you are working towards.

Some students go straight into a trainee position from university.  Others may choose to study for a post-graduate qualification first (although post-graduate qualifications are not required for a trainee role), or take a gap year. 

Where can I find work?

In the UK you can look at the Directory of Actuarial Employers.

In China and South East Asia you can look for available actuarial jobs in the Actuary Jobs Asia.

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