It is easier to become a professor in Actuarial Science than become an actuary – Dr. F. Onyango.
One day as I did what I know best – which is to mind my own business – I was punished by being the proud person to overhear two grown, educated men talk like it was a crime to be intelligent. Sample this:
MAN A: District X produces the creme de la creme students in the country. It has produced over 6,000 actuarialists (sic).
MAN B: They are called Actuarial Engineers or Scientists!
I had to interject to save myself from all this non sense.
ME: They are called actuaries and I highly doubt…
Just before I had spat out my two sense, I was cut short by…
MAN B: Sasa wewe kijana unafikiri sisi tulizaliwa jana?*
I immediately got an urge to die a natural death or if not to atleast puke to save myself from any more
B.S from these two guys. The questions that will always linger in my mind are: Why were stones wasted on Stephen (the first martyr) when we have worthy contenders for the price of Stoning? Why could not the killers of Tupac spare him and kill guys who are worthy to die for their chupidness? Since those two men could not listen to me as I had been born yesterday, I will atleast speak to you because, like me, you were born yesterday as the proud son/daughter of Mr and Mrs. Intelligence!
Here are a few facts about Actuarial Science:
1. Advice to kids in high school who want to be actuaries: If at one time in your life you hated mathematics (even for just one lesson), do yourself a favour and look for another career. The commandments that you need to follow to become anything near an actuary are just three: Love Mathematics as you love yourself. Love Calculus as above and Love Probability as above. If you still feel that with your small hate for mathematics, you can still cope, then go ahead. It is anyone’s duty to warn any kid of the consequences of a sharp blade. It is more fun to watch the
spoilt little brat kid (if he is not your own) cry after the blade has cut him though.
2. In order to be an actuary, you have to pass some
very difficult exams. Ask anyone who has attempted them and they will tell you how easy it is to fail when you have read, crammed and mastered everything concerning a particular paper. If you have not done the above three, you will UNDOUBTEDLY FAIL! Having a first class in Actuarial Science does not make you an actuary!
3. Numbers: Based on 1 and 2 above, it is highly unlikely that a certain district in the country can produce 6,000 actuaries. Infact, the number of students who have graduated with an Actuarial degree in East and Central Africa is less than 6,000. (these are no where near being called actuaries). More puzzling is the fact that there are less than 35,000 actuaries in the world!
I hope there are others in other planets. Compare that with the over 300,000 teachers in Kenya alone. There are less than 15 actuaries in Kenya. (the actual figure is 11 but I have decided to add 4 incase 1 or 2 qualify in the next few years). Of these, only one did not study abroad. In summary, after completing your Actuarial degree, you have a 1 in 1000 chance of being an actuary. The probability of death is about 9 in 1000. which means you are more likely to die than to qualify as an actuary!
Also read Actuarial Science in Kenya by Lucy Muthoni.
Disclaimer: Once in a while I think about semi-serious stuff. This was one of those whiles.
*Young man, do you think we were born yesterday?