An actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms (Trowbridge 1989, p. 7). The name of the corresponding profession is actuarial science.
Actuaries mathematically evaluate the probability of events and quantify the contingent outcomes in order to minimize the impacts of financial losses associated with uncertain undesirable events. Since many events, such as death, cannot be avoided, it is helpful to take measures to minimize their financial impact when they occur. These risks can affect both sides of the balance sheet, and require asset management, liability management, and valuation skills. Analytical skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behavior and the vagaries of information systems are required to design and manage programs that control risk (BeAnActuary 2005a).
The profession has consistently ranked as one of the most desirable in various studies over the years. In 2006, a study by U.S. News & World Report included actuaries among the 25 Best Professions that it expects will be in great demand in the future (Nemko 2006). A study published by job search website CareerCast ranked actuary relative to other jobs in the United States as number 1 in 2010 (Needleman 2010), number 2 in 2012 (Thomas 2012), and number 1 in 2013 (Weber 2013). The study used five key criteria to rank jobs: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, and stress