Actuaries apply financial and statistical theories to solve business problems. The traditional areas in which actuaries operate are: consultancy, investment, life and general insurance and pensions but actuaries can be found in areas such as climate change, genetics and energy supply.

Despite the profession welcoming graduates from any degree discipline, in reality employers tend to recruit graduates from numerate degree disciplines with at least a 2.1 and excellent A levels. Graduates from a non-numerate degree discipline would need a minimum grade B in Mathematics at A Level or grade A at Higher Grade in Scotland or equivalent.

To qualify as an actuary you must pass the relevant exams, complete relevant modules to a satisfactory level and relevant work based skills through a work based learning log. Qualification can take three to seven years and the exams are very challenging. If your course has included a module on actuarial science you could be exempt from some of the IFoA exams CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, and CB2 but that will depend on the scope, standard of your module and your performance.

In addition to numerical skills, employers look for the ability to communicate complex technical information to a variety of clients. Interpersonal skills are particularly valued in consultancy firms, as are problem-solving and creative skills.