Becoming an Actuary

An Actuary is a business executive who uses mathematical skills to define, analyse and solve complex business and social problems. He is a professional, belonging to a professional organisation, which sets high standards of skill, conduct and integrity of all its members.

To become an actuary you need to be a competent mathematician with good oral and written communication skills and an interest in the commercial and business sectors of the economy. You will need to pass or be exempted from the exams set by a professional body of actuaries.

The minimum enrolment qualifications for most professional bodies are at least a B in mathematics at A Level and in English at O Level. Most successful students have a first or second class degree in mathematics. Some may have studied actuarial science at University.

Studies are done through correspondence courses, generally while working. The courses are demanding and the average qualifying time is 7 years (outstanding students may qualify in about 3 years). Exams are written locally but the qualification is internationally recognised.

Universities with specialist actuarial courses are:

Zimbabwe National University of Science and Technology
   
South Africa University of Cape Town
  Pretoria University
  Rand Afrikaans University
  University of Stellenbosch
  University of the Witwatersrand

Further details on becoming an actuary can be found on the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries web sites.


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Last modified: Wednesday 6 July 2011
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