The Best University in Malaysia for Actuarial Science will prepare you well for the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Exams

The Education Pathway to Become a Professional Actuaries in Malaysia through the Best Private Universities and Society of Actuaries (SOA) Exams

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The pathway to become a professional actuary in Malaysia can be long. To study Actuarial Science in Malaysia, students should choose a university that best equips them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in actuaries.

 

One must pass professional examinations and various on-the-job assessments, in addition to obtaining a degree. There are not many universities in Malaysia that offer the degree in Actuarial Science. Outstanding private universities in Malaysia for Actuarial Science or Actuarial Maths degree with exemptions from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) are Asia Pacific UniversityUCSI University and  Taylor’s University.

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The Best Private Universities in Malaysia with Actuarial Science Degree Programmes and Exemptions from SOA Papers

I was confused what to study & which university. My cousin introduced me to EduSpiral who helped me to make the right choice. Ye Lun, Actuarial Science at Asia Pacific University

I was confused what to study & which university. My cousin introduced me to EduSpiral who helped me to make the right choice.
Ye Lun, Actuarial Science at Asia Pacific University

Students can consider studying the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science at UCSI University or obtain a Staffordshire University, UK degree locally in Malaysia at Asia Pacific University graduating with the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Studies.

Students will receive a dual award University of the West of England, UK degree at Taylor’s University for the BSc. (Hons) Actuarial Studies. Taylor’s University offers a 3-year and a 4-year Actuarial Studies degree programme.

The 1-year internship is offered in the third year of the 4-year programme, students have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and gain industry exposure that will help them excel in their final year of studies.

The Education Pathway to Become a Professional Actuary in Malaysia

EduSpiral took us around to tour the campus and talk to the Head of Actuarial Science Department to help us make a better decision. Edward Loh (L) Partial Scholarship and Chee Wei (R) Full Scholarship for Actuarial Science at UCSI University

EduSpiral took us around to tour the campus and talk to the Head of Actuarial Science Department to help us make a better decision. Edward Loh (L) Partial Scholarship and Chee Wei (R) Full Scholarship for Actuarial Science at UCSI University

The path to becoming an actuary involves going through a well-structured education plan. This involves university-level education and post-university examinations, as well as other requirements. 

Students after SPM, can go for the Foundation and then degree programs in Actuarial Science with exemptions from the professional papers. Upon completing the degree, students can then begin to take the professional exams.

How long does it normally take to become an Actuary in Malaysia?

A normal bachelor degree takes 3 years (+1 year if you consider an Honours degree in Australia). Thereafter, writing the professional exams through the Institute (London) or Faculty (Scotland) of Actuaries or Society of Actuaries (US) or Institute of Actuaries of Australia takes an average of 3-7 years (working and studying) after the degree.

Actuarial Science/Math Degree (3-4 years) + Professional Papers (3-7 years taken part time as you work)

Am I suited to Study Actuarial Science?

Not all people are suited to study actuarial science as it is a very challenging course and requires a long time to become

After I finished my SPM, I felt confused about my further study. Because of Eduspiral, I am able to pursue my studies at Asia Pacific University. Eduspiral, was so patient to answer all my questions and even brought me to visit the university when I went to KL alone. Jeremy Lee, APU scholarship student

After I finished my SPM, I felt confused about my further study. Because of Eduspiral, I am able to pursue my studies at Asia Pacific University. Eduspiral, was so patient to answer all my questions and even brought me to visit the university when I went to KL alone. Jeremy Lee, APU scholarship student

a professional actuaries. Students after SPM or UEC with As in Maths and Add Maths can consider a career in actuary.

Actuarial Science is a very comprehensive course in the way that it covers Mathematics, Finance, Economics, Accounting, Business Models, Computer Programming and Risk Management. As such, a high aptitude in Mathematics is highly required.

Degree students will also learn Calculus, Statistics, Probability, and Financial Mathematics. With this fundamental Mathematical knowledge graduates will be able to solve complex actuarial problems.

Being an actuary also requires you to master several computer programming languages such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, and most importantly, Prophet – an actuarial software designed to crunch a large database. If you do not enjoy learning programming languages or writing codes, actuarial science would not be the career for you.

Actuaries are professionals who like to solve complex problems. There are many factors impacting an actuarial solution that even one assumption is inaccurate, it would affect the whole solution and result.

Consequently, actuaries employ the actuarial control cycle – a problem-solving approach that applies equally well to the most

Group Discussion Rooms at Asia Pacific University for a conducive study environment

Group Discussion Rooms at Asia Pacific University for a conducive study environment

broad and the focused actuarial problems. It is a model of actuarial practice in a wide range of fields and provides common grounding for all candidates.

Through the control cycle, all actuarial work is categorized into three main functions:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Design the solution
  3. Monitor the results

Because of their ability to analyse and solve complex problems, actuaries command a very high salary. In fact, it is one of the highest paid professions.

Qualifying to become a professional Actuary in Malaysia

Chong Kim Sin, a UCSI Actuarial Science student has completed 5 Society of Actuaries (SOA) Professional Papers before entering into the 3rd Year of his degree studies.

Chong Kim Sin, a UCSI Actuarial Science student has completed 5 Society of Actuaries (SOA) Professional Papers before entering into the 3rd Year of his degree studies.

No specific degree is mandatory, but like most good jobs, graduating from university will give one a certain edge and credibility. Most practising actuaries today have a degree in mathematics, actuarial science, statistics or computer science. Similar to accountants, graduates must also pass professional exams, before they become recognised as an actuary.

In Malaysia, to be recognised as an actuary, one will have to be a registered member with the Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM).

What kind of support do local and foreign companies provide?

Most, if not all local and foreign companies support their actuarial students by having actuarial development programs with the following incentives:

  • Study and exam leave
  • Full/partial reimbursement on costs of study material
  • Salary increment and/or bonus upon passing of exams

Which actuarial professional bodies are recognized in Malaysia?

Malaysian insurance regulator, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) recognize Fellows of the following organizations as qualified actuaries:

Currently, the ASM does not conduct any of its own exams, but aspiring actuaries in Malaysia can choose to take the exams conducted by one of the above professional bodies.

What are the passing rates like for the Actuarial Science Professional Papers?

Passing rates are generally low compared with other professions.
For the Institute, Society or Faculty professional exams, passing rates as low as 15% – 25% per subject are not uncommon. 

What about exams and qualifications for Actuary?

Students at Asia Pacific University are awarded a degree from Staffordshire University, UK and APU

Students at Asia Pacific University are awarded a degree from Staffordshire University, UK and APU

  • The ASM does not conduct its own exams but actuarial students in Malaysia have a choice of taking any of the USA, U.K. or Australian exams from the above professional bodies.
  • The current structure for the respective exam series is briefly described below:
    • Society of Actuaries (U.S.)
      • 5 Preliminary Exams
      • Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) – 3 subjects
      • Fundamental Actuarial Practices (FAP) – 8 modules + 2 assessments
      • Associateship Professionalism Course
      • FSA Module – 2 Modules
      • FSA Exams – 2 Exams
      • Strategic Business Management Module
      • Fellowship Admissions Course

Society of Actuaries (SOA) – USA

Taylors University is strategically located at Subang Jaya, Selangor in a safe self-sustaining 27-acre campus

Taylors University is strategically located at Subang Jaya, Selangor in a safe self-sustaining 27-acre campus

The journey to become a qualified actuary as outlined by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) – one of the most prominent professional organisation for actuaries in the world – is divided into four stages.

  • The first is the Validated by Educational Experience (VEE) stage where students who receive grades of 70% and above for subjects in economics, corporate finance and applied statistics – will receive credit for these professional papers.
  • The second stage involves five preliminary exams that candidates must pass before proceeding to the penultimate stage, namely, the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practices course and the Associateship Professionalism Course (APC). This will qualify them as an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA).
  • The final hurdle would be to qualify as a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA).

Route to Becoming an Actuary throught the Society of Actuaries professional exams – SOA

1. Preliminary Education Component

Consists of five papers:

  • Exam P Probability (same as CAS Exam 1)
  • Exam FM Financial Mathematics (same as CAS Exam 2)
  • Exam MLC Actuarial Models – Life Contingencies Segment
  • Exam MFE Actuarial Models – Financial Economics Segment
(Completion of MLC and MFE will entitle candidate credit for CAS Exam 3)
  • Exam C Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models (same as CAS Exam 4)

2. Validation by Educational Experience (VEE)

Taylor's University Lakeside Campus encompasses a modern, functional design with state-of-the-art facilities together with lush greenery and its trademark 5.5 acre lake

Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus encompasses a modern, functional design with state-of-the-art facilities together with lush greenery and its trademark 5.5 acre lake

Validation of these topics is required in addition to the four Preliminary Education examinations (P/1, FM/2, MCL, MFE and C/4). The SOA, CIA, and CAS have implemented VEE requirements for the following topics:

  • VEE – Applied Statistical Methods
  • VEE – Corporate Finance
  • VEE – Economics

The VEE topics are no longer tested on in the preliminary exams. Candidates with credit for Course 2 earned prior to 2005 have been given credit for VEE – Economics and VEE – Corporate Finance topics. Candidates with credit for Course 4 earned prior to 2005 have been given credit for VEE – Applied Statistical Methods.

NOTE: VEE topics are not prerequisites for the preliminary examinations. They need not be completed prior to writing any of the preliminary exams and may be fulfilled independently of the preliminary exam process.

Credit for VEE can be obtained through various courses completed from colleges or other education programs.

3. Fundamentals of Actuarial practice (FAP)

Web-based course comprising eight modules and two assessments:

Modules:

  • Module 1 – Introduction / The Role of the Professional Actuary
  • Module 2 – Core External Forces
  • Module 3 – Risk in Actuarial Problems
  • Module 4 – Actuarial Solutions
  • Module 5 – Actuarial Models
  • Module 6 – Model Selection and Solution Design
  • Module 7 – Selection of Initial Assumptions
  • Module 8 – Monitoring Results and Completing the Control Cycle

Assessments:

  • First Assessment upon completion of Modules 1 to 5
  • Final Assessment upon completion of Modules 6 to 8

4. Associate Professionalism Course (ACP)

Half day course covering professionalism, ethics and legal liabilities.

Upon completion of the Preliminary Education Component, VEE, FAP and ACP, the candidate will obtain the title of Associate of the SOA (ASA).

5. Fellowship Courses (Will be changed in July 2013)

To proceed from Associate to Fellow in the SOA, additional courses have to be completed:

  • Two FSA Modules in one specialty track
  • One Company / Sponsor Perspective (CSP) paper and One Design and Pricing (DP) paper from one of the following areas:
    • Finance: Advanced Finance and ERM (CSP) / Financial Economic Theory (DP)
    • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): Advanced Finance and ERM (CSP) / Financial Economic Theory (DP)
    • Investments: Advanced Portfolio Management (CSP) / Financial Economic Theory (DP)
    • Group and Health: Group and Health CSP Exam / Group and Health DP Exam
    • Individual Life and Annuities: Individual Life and Annuities CSP Exam / Individual Life and Annuities DP Exam
    • Retirement Benefits: Retirement Benefits CSP Exam / Retirement Benefits DP Exam
  • Decision Making and Communication (DMAC) Module

Fellowship Admissions Course (FAC)

How many Professional Actuaries are there in Malaysia?

Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) Society Statistics As at 31 December 2015

Membership in the Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) Breakdown by Class

ClassTotal
Fellow148
Associate43
Ordinary572
Student35
Total798


Membership in the Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) 
by Professional Body

Professional BodyTotal
Society of Actuaries433
Institute & Faculty of Actuaries220
Institute of Actuaries of Australia51
Casualty Actuarial Society54
Others40
Total798

Membership Breakdown of the Actuarial Society of Malaysia by Employment Category As at 31 December 2014

Employment CategoryTotal
Life Insurance217
Takaful122
Composite Insurance105
Consulting94
Regulator39
General Insurance38
Reinsurance / Retakaful26
Others14
Total655

Actuaries Salary and Career Opportunities in Malaysia

Actuaries are well compensated. Experienced fellows have the potential to earn from $150,000 to $250,000 annually, and many actuaries earn more than that.

According to the 2015 Robert Walters Salary Report, the salary for an actuary in Malaysia is:

4 – 7 Years Experience8 – 12 Years Experience12+ Years Experience
Actuaries salary72 – 120k a year96 – 204k a year204k+ a year

Membership Classes (To become a member of Actuarial Society of Malaysia)

There are four membership classes under the ASM:

  1. Fellow
  2. Associate
  3. Ordinary
  4. Student

The requirements for each class are as follows:

Fellow

To join, professionals must be a Fellow of one of the following bodies:

  • Society of Actuaries (USA)
  • Casualty Actuarial Society (USA)
  • Faculty and Institute of Actuaries (UK)
  • Institute of Actuaries of Australia (Australia)
  • Canadian Institute of Actuaries (Canada)
    • Recommended by 2 Fellow members of the Society
    • Resident in Malaysia or deemed to be familiar with Malaysian conditions
    • At least 1 year’s experience in the Malaysian actuarial industry

Associate

To join, professionals must be an Associate of one of the following bodies:

  • Society of Actuaries (USA)
  • Casualty Actuarial Society (USA)
  • Faculty and Institute of Actuaries (UK)
  • Institute of Actuaries of Australia (Australia)
  • Canadian Institute of Actuaries (Canada)

OR

– Passed examinations of any professional actuarial bodies to be recognized as Fellow, which is
deemed to be at least equivalent to the examination requirements to become an Associate of the
above actuarial bodies.

Ordinary

– Satisfies one of the following:

  • Ordinary member of a professional actuarial body; OR
  • Passed at least 1 part/subject of the examinations of a professional actuarial body which has no class of Ordinary membership and is continuing to study for other examinations of the actuarial body; OR
  • Completed an actuarial course or other related statistical course in a university, college  or other academic institute and has achieved a qualification thereof; OR
  • Carrying out actuarial or other related work in a life or non-life insurance company, government office or actuarial consulting office.

– Nominated by 2 members of the Society

Student

  • Nominated by 2 persons delegated by the Vice Chancellor of the university
  • Does not meet the requirements for admission as Fellow, Associate or Ordinary member; OR meets       the requirements but is not gainfully employed and chooses to seek Student membership
  • Has a declared interest in actuarial matters
  • Undergraduate/postgraduate student in an actuarial-related program

EduSpiral Consultant Services- Your Personal Online Education Advisor

Established since 2009, EduSpiral Consultant Services helps provide information and counselling on courses and private universities in Malaysia.

EduSpiral Consultant Services represents the best colleges and universities in Malaysia offering a wide

EduSpiral took us around to tour the campus and talk to the Head of Actuarial Science Department to help us make a better decision. Edward Loh (L) Partial Scholarship and Chee Wei (R) Full Scholarship for Actuarial Science at UCSI University

EduSpiral took us around to tour the campus and talk to the Head of Actuarial Science Department to help us make a better decision. Edward Loh (L) Partial Scholarship and Chee Wei (R) Full Scholarship for Actuarial Science at UCSI University

range of choices for students to choose from. These colleges and universities offer value for money in the quality of education and excellent facilities that you get.

These universities and colleges are chosen by EduSpiral because they represent the best in their fields in Malaysia and affordable. EduSpiral provides in-depth information and counseling on their courses so that students are able to make the right choice.

If you are still not sure what to study, please contact us and we will send you a free EduSpiral Career Assessment Form.

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Posted on September 12, 2013, in Actuarial Science, APU, Asia Pacific University, Business, Career Choices, Choosing the right course, Choosing the right university, Study in Malaysia, taylors university, Top Universities, UCSI University and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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