One of the most common questions asked by students is whether Actuarial Science is marketable in Kenya.Well, the course is marketable for graduates who have pursued Actuarial professional courses from SOA or the Institute of Actuaries.
Actuarial Science was introduced in Kenya less than 10 years ago, initially it was viewed as the best course to rival Medicine, Engineering, Law and Architecture but it’s popularity has faded over time and it’s now considered an average course. There was a time all top students in Kenya enrolled for Actuarial Science but later when it was confirmed that the pasture is not green afterall, most students started ignoring the program.
Actuarial Science graduates work at Insurance companies, banks, audit firms, government institutions, research firms or any other financial institution where research and risk management is given a priority. Though opportunities for graduates are available, the downside of this career is that the jobs are few. Currently, the economy generates less than 20 opportunities per year while our universities churn out more than 300 graduates annually. To make matters worse, each of the employer’s demand that graduates must possess actuarial professional courses, which is an uphill task for most graduates.
To stand a chance of securing a job with actuarial degree, one must pursue Actuarial professional papers, which take up to 10 years to complete. In addition, you must be highly innovative. The idea of professional papers is one that most students are scared of. Actuarial professional papers are tough, it’s estimated that 80% of the people who enroll for the course drop out after failing one or two papers.
What we have noted is that most employers don’t even understand what an Actuary does, those who know don’t have opportunities for qualified ones. It makes difficult for the community to create job opportunities for graduates who don’t show what they will offer in the first place.
Actuarial Science is ideal for extremely bright students who can withstand the professional papers. The students must stand out in college, score first class, enroll for masters program in UK Universities, then pursue the professional courses. This way it will be easy for them to secure employment.
Currently, more than half of actuarial graduates are jobless, majority of those in employment do not pursue what they studied in school. This means that if you pursue Actuarial Science in college, there are high chances that you will not get a job in Kenya.
Instead of going for Actuarial Science, enroll for Statistics, Architecture, Software Engineering, Medicine or Law.