Actuarial Science is a relatively new course in Kenya and it’s one every bright student is inspired to pursue. I remember in 2014 when we first heard of the program, I was in college pursuing a soft course. The Actuarial class of that time were so proud you could think they were already in heaven. More often than not most of them could be hear saying,” mimi nikimaliza shule my starting salary will be 1 million”. At that time Alexander Forbes was the point of reference and nearly all aspiring actuaries were pointing out at employees of the company who were earning seven figure salaries.
In 2008 I completed college and got a job immediately. I thought that those who pursued Actuarial Science were also doing well. However, I got a shock of my lifetime when one of the actuarial students at our time invaded my inbox in Facebook and begged me to assist him get a job. This was a man who was exceedingly bragging that money and job opportunities will flood his way like the El-Nino.I listened to him, nodded several times and promised to help him, but deep down I knew life has humbled him.
It’s also important to note that to qualify as an Actuary you need to sit professional exams that are offered by Institute and Faculty of Actuaries UK or Society of Actuaries US. An Actuarial Science graduate is not Actuary. It is usually a journey that requires dedication, diligence and resources to pursue the professional exams. Now, after completing the course, you will not automatically secure employment, you have to fight out with the rest of Actuaries for the limited job opportunities. One problem is that there are few companies employing Actuaries, even if you are qualified you’ll still have to wait for someone to resign, die or move to another company so as to fill the void. The bitter part is after spending nearly two decades in school you end up being desperate.
The fact of the matter is, nobody will give you a salary of Ksh1 million without prove of your work. Even if you pursue the best course, earn several certifications, you will end up as a junior employee in a company and rise as you prove your worth. Statistics show that qualified actuaries earn between Ksh 150,000 to Ksh 400,000 per month, which is even less than what MCAs earn. Then you wonder, where is the Ksh1 million salary Actuarial students were bragging about.
Statistics show that 3 out of 5 Actuarial graduates in Kenya are jobless and desperate, those who are jobless are earning salaries equivalent to those pocketed by Customer Service executives
For me, there is no need of burning a lot of calories in school and I end up earning less than a junior accountant…Actuarial Science is useless, one can’t even employ himself.