Actuarial graduates are being headhunted in the midst of a recession

Actuarial students are graduating straight into jobs, even amid soaring unemployment, confirming actuarial science as one of the hottest post-pandemic degrees.

Traditionally, actuaries worked in industries such as insurance and superannuation, predicting claims or calculating investment returns. But the masses of data now being collected by almost every business―and the opportunity to interpret and monetise this data―means that actuaries are branching out across a broad spectrum of industries.

The Federal Government’s Job Outlook website predicts strong growth for the profession and with senior actuaries able to earn more than $300,000 a year, it’s a great profession to be joining.

Bond University is one of eight universities offering programs in actuarial science and is the only university to offer these programs in Queensland.

Bond student Nikki Wallis will graduate with a Bachelor of Actuarial Science early next year and already has a job lined up with multinational professional services company EY.

“I completed a summer vacation program at EY and a week later received a phone call offering me a graduate position for next year,” Ms Wallis said.

“I’m going to be working in the data and analytics team.”

Another Bond student, Callum Roberts, is completing a Bachelor of Actuarial Science with Honours.

“I have had several employers get in contact with me, all since COVID-19 started,” Mr Roberts said.

“I ended up accepting a role at Auto & General, initially part-time as a pricing intern while I finish my Honours and then moving to full-time work next year as a pricing analyst.”

Ms Wallis followed her brother into the profession and both she and Mr Roberts said they enjoyed mathematics at high school.

“I didn’t want to go down the traditional route of studying engineering, mathematics or economics and that’s why I pursued actuarial science,” Mr Roberts said.

“There are plenty of graduate jobs that ask specifically for actuarial students because employers know they possess a great level of financial understanding and have strong analytical skills.”

Ms Wallis said she went into her degree thinking it was a niche qualification but two years later she felt equipped for multiple roles and industries. 

“It’s a well-rounded degree that prepares you for fields such as data analytics, finance and banking,” she said.

“If you are someone who has a passion for maths, coding or business but wants a challenge, actuarial science is for you. It sets you up for so many possibilities.”

Both know fellow students who were also headhunted before graduating.

Associate Professor of Statistics at the Bond Business School, Adrian Gepp, said recent graduates were working at Queensland Treasury, Telstra, Queensland Health, RACQ, Westpac and data insights company Quantium, among others.

“We see students―undergraduates, honours and masters―being picked up for internships, part-time work or other work experience with top-tier companies,” Dr Gepp said. “This has led to offers of full-time work ahead of their graduation.”

Director of the Career Development Centre at Bond University, Kirsty Mitchell, said graduates still needed to perform well academically. They should also have a track record of work experience such as that required by Beyond Bond, the university’s compulsory professional development program.

“The jobs growth is very clear in technology, data and health, and with a pandemic, students will preferably be able to integrate all three.” Ms Mitchell said.

“There is so much demand across a broad range of sectors that (actuarial science graduates) have lots of opportunities.”

For more information about joining this exciting profession, head to the Actuaries Institute’s website.

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