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offer CSPs, private higher education providers may offer full-fee
places in this field.
Providers of business education are continuously expanding
courses and providing increased opportunities for students to
develop skills in their field of specialisation. This may include
work placements, international language and study tours, and
final-year capstone units that bring together the skills and
knowledge gained during the program.
Li — Bachelor of commerce majoring in actuarial studies
Why did you choose to study
business and management?
I’ve always liked a challenge and wanted
to work in a corporate environment.
Actuarial studies is arguably the most
challenging major within a bachelor of
commerce. The actuarial profession is
also very highly respected and
specialised, with high remuneration, and it’s often ranked
among the top careers in the world. These factors all
appealed to me.
What was the best thing about your course?
At school and university we often learn things that we never
use outside the classroom. I was pleasantly surprised when I
started work and discovered the things I learnt in my actuarial
classes can actually be applied in real-life situations. Another
good thing was that my course allowed students to take
breadth subjects outside of their degree. I took French,
business law and political studies, which allowed me to
broaden the focus of my degree. In addition, an actuarial
qualification, once obtained, is globally recognised and gives
you the opportunity to work all over the world.
What was the worst thing about your course?
The course is very challenging due to the large amount of
maths content, which can be quite frustrating when you see
your non-actuarial commerce friends obtaining high
distinctions in relatively easier subjects while you struggle for
a distinction or credit! To become an actuary, you also need to
obtain marks above a certain threshold in a number of
subjects and continue studying after graduation for a number
of years through the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. Some
of the exams you sit have pass rates of around 30 per cent
and are usually done while in full-time employment.
Have you found work in your field?
I obtained an internship with a firm in Melbourne after my
second year of university and started work with them as a
graduate upon completion of my degree. I worked in an
actuarial consulting role that allowed me to travel interstate
and even overseas. I have since joined a Swiss insurance
company in Sydney. In a few years I am hoping to participate
in a global rotation program offered by my company and work
What advice would you give to students considering
studying business and management?
Many students who initially study actuarial studies change
majors after one or two years, usually because they decide
they don’t like the course or due to difficulties passing exams.
I would advise any potential student to take the time to
seriously consider their strengths, weaknesses and interests
before embarking on the degree. They should speak to
lecturers and past and current students about their
experiences. But if a student does decide that it’s the right
choice, I encourage them to take it up and persist. Being an
actuary is a rewarding career that will allow them to work in a
variety of industries and disciplines, including banking,
insurance, investment, superannuation, data analytics and
What’s on offer and who’s there
over 25 yrs
For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 587
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