Actuarial Science

Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia can get you a High Salary Career

Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia is a Pathway to a Financially Rewarding Career

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With only 100 qualified actuaries in Malaysia, the market for actuaries can perhaps still be considered unsaturated. Due to the demand for actuarial technical skills and knowledge, there are vast career options and opportunities for an actuary. Traditionally, actuaries worked only in the insurance industry.

However, with the growing acknowledgement and recognition of actuarial skills today across the various financial sectors, the potential employment opportunities of an actuary have expanded to encompass banks, investment companies, security and commodity broker firms, regulators and even lecturing in the education sector. With such demand, there is an ever-increasing need for actuaries all around the world.

Furthermore, salaries for actuaries is can be very high compared to the similar jobs in financial institutions.

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Choosing to Study Actuarial Science in Malaysia can get you into High Paying Jobs in your Future Career

My father wanted me to study at the best university for actuarial science & I wasn't sure about my results. EduSpiral met up with us, explained about the course and university.

My father wanted me to study at the best university for actuarial science & I wasn’t sure about my results. EduSpiral met up with us, explained about the course and university.
Min En, Actuarial Science, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

One of the main aim of getting a university education in Malaysia is to find a stable job so that you can take care of yourself and your family. However, nowadays, with the high cost of living, just finding any job will not do. You will need to find a job that has a high salary.

Choosing the right course is just the first step in the right direction of achieving a life with stable or high income. And to get a job with a high salary, you need to choose a degree course that has a high job demand and salary. The career in Actuarial Science in Malaysia is one that’s financially rewarding should you work hard for it.

In addition, the university that you study that course at also plays an important part in helping you to gain the knowledge and skills to perform well in your career and earn a high income.

How much do Actuaries Earn in Malaysia?

For those who are willing to work hard, Actuary is a financially-rewarding profession. According to the Robert Walters Salary Survey 2018, an Actuary with 4-7 years of work experience can earn RM72,000 – RM144,000 a year while those with 8-12 years experience expects a range from RM144,000 – RM204,000. With more than 12 years experience, you can expect to earn more than RM240,000 a year.

What is the Job Demand for Actuaries in Malaysia?

Ong Shze Yeong, Head of Actuarial at AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad was at UCSI University to discuss the general insurance industry in Malaysia and to share career insights in this emerging market.

Ong Shze Yeong, Head of Actuarial at AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad was at UCSI University to discuss the general insurance industry in Malaysia and to share career insights in this emerging market.

With only 100 qualified actuaries in Malaysia, the market for actuaries can perhaps still be considered unsaturated. Due to the demand for actuarial technical skills and knowledge, there are vast career options and opportunities for an actuary. Traditionally, actuaries worked only in the insurance industry.

However, with the growing acknowledgement and recognition of actuarial skills today across the various financial sectors, the potential employment opportunities of an actuary have expanded to encompass banks, investment companies, security and commodity broker firms, regulators and even lecturing in the education sector. With such demand, there is an ever-increasing need for actuaries all around the world.

Given the expected continuous growth in the insurance market, it is anticipated that the demand for actuaries in Malaysia will continue to grow in the next few decades. Future regulatory developments (e.g. requirement for certification of IBNR) and the increasing need for risk management are likely to result in significant increase in demand for actuarial services by general insurers.

Currently, Malaysians are generally under-insured or not insured, and there is a lack of understanding of insurance products by the general public. However, as the country develops and the middle-working class population grows, there will be an increase in financial awareness. This will create a lot of potential growth in the Malaysian market. There is a demand in Life and takaful insurance, since the majority of Malaysians are Muslims where there is demand for Sharia compliant products.

Where do Actuaries Work?

I was confused which university to choose for my studies and contacted EduSpiral. He provided facts & evidence to help me make the right choice. Vivian Chua, Actuarial Science at UCSI University

I was confused which university to choose for my studies and contacted EduSpiral. He provided facts & evidence to help me make the right choice.
Vivian Chua, Actuarial Science at UCSI University

Actuarial science is also an internationally-recognised qualification that is a passport to working anywhere globally. Actuaries are in demand mainly in the financial services sector, working in banks, insurance and investment companies as well as government bodies.

Actuaries are excellent risk managers. They work in the specialist areas of insurance, pensions, benefits, healthcare, investments and banking, or for any large organization where risk management plays an important role, or for a consultancy advising on all sorts of different projects.

Therefore, actuaries play very important roles in the insurance and finance industries in Malaysia. They include life insurance companies, general insurance companies, and reinsurance companies.

Actuarial Science is a job that is recession-proof, therefore providing security for your career.

Who Should Study Actuarial Science?

After chatting with EduSpiral on WhatsApp, he met me & my family to take us around the campus & provide further advise on the course. Zijun, Actuarial Science at Asia Pacific University (APU)

After chatting with EduSpiral on WhatsApp, he met me & my family to take us around the campus & provide further advise on the course.
Zijun, Actuarial Science at Asia Pacific University (APU)

The work is challenging and intellectually stimulating, especially for those who love numbers and logic.

For an actuary, being good in mathematics is a must. However, actuaries must also have good verbal and written communication skills, strong computer skills, time-management skills, as well as possess good judgement, imagination and clear logical thinking.

They also should have a knack for problem-solving, be self-confident, and possess the ability to work under pressure. Sharpness, creativity, practicality coupled with good business sense are also some of the key personal attributes. An actuary who has devised a brilliant solution to complex problem must be able to explain his solution to non-actuaries!

You can also see your efforts having a big impact on the industry and society as a whole, as when you devise and formulate financially-secure benefit plans and programmes that serve to protect clients.

What will you Study in an Actuarial Science Degree in Malaysia?

Actuarial Science at Asia Pacific University (APU)

I wasn’t sure of which university to join for actuarial science. EduSpiral shared with me about the scholarship and actuarial pathways clearly which helped me to decide.
Wei Zhe, Actuarial Science at Asia Pacific University (APU)

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.

Actuarial science includes a number of interrelated subjects, including mathematics, probability theory, statistics, finance, economics, and computer science. Historically, actuarial science used deterministic models in the construction of tables and premiums. The science has gone through revolutionary changes during the last 30 years due to the proliferation of high speed computers and the union of stochastic actuarial models with modern financial theory.

Actuarial Science degree students at top universities in Malaysia will also learn Calculus, Statistics, Probability, and Financial Mathematics. With this fundamental Mathematical knowledge graduates will be able to solve complex actuarial problems.

Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified in this field through intense education and experience. Upon completion of the actuarial science degree programme in Malaysia, actuaries must demonstrate their competence by passing a series of thorough professional examinations.

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.

Where do Actuaries Work in Malaysia?

I received a lot of in-depth information about the course & university from EduSpiral. He took us around for a campus tour as well as the hostel in Cyberjaya.

I received a lot of in-depth information about the course & university from EduSpiral. He took us around for a campus tour as well as the hostel in Cyberjaya.
Wen Hang, Actuarial Science at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

Actuaries are normally found in the insurance industry. They also work in consulting, financial institutions, banks, investment, brokerages, or as lecturers.

The American Society of Actuaries defines actuaries as ‘professionals who provide expert advice and relevant solutions for business and societal problems that involve economic risk.’  In Malaysia, one of the places where actuaries are often found is at insurance companies. Using mathematical models based on statistical data, they are the brains behind the calculation of the amount of insurance premium that a policyholder has to pay.

With their readily transferable skills, actuaries can also be found in many other fields. Besides the hugely popular insurance field, an actuary can work in finance, marketing, manufacturing or in the development of new products.

For example, an actuary might be hired by a business to help determine where it should invest its money based on risk and potential return analysis. Opportunities for actuaries range from the education industry to research work and even to government agencies. Because of the importance of their work, actuaries are respected throughout the business community.

In Malaysia, most actuaries can be found in life insurance companies, financial institutions such as banks, consultancies providing advice in the fields of employee benefits, life insurance and general insurance, Bank Negara Malaysia and public universities.

The areas of work for actuaries are not limited to insurance firms only. Instead, the horizon for this line of job is very wide. Below are some of the areas of work which actuaries do:

  • Life Insurance / Family Takaful
  • General Insurance / General Takaful
  • Reinsurance / Retakaful
  • Actuarial Consulting
  • Investment and Financial Services
  • Employee Benefit Industry (e.g. EPF)
  • Government Sector (e.g. BNM)
  • Colleges and Universities

What is the Day-to-Day Job of an Actuaries in Malaysia?

Foundation in Business (Actuarial Science) at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

My mum contacted EduSpiral and he gave me in-depth information on the courses & universities. He arranged for us to tour the universities to help me make the right choice.
Bryan Yap, Foundation in Business (Actuarial Science) at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

In the insurance industry, actuaries are the financial engineers. Actuaries analyse and predict the probability that a potential event will generate a claim, and ascertain the amount of money needed for claims payouts. They are also involved in regulation, policy writing, product design and marketing of the products.

The main roles of actuaries in insurance companies are to calculate the premium for the insurance products, and determine whether the insurance company is financially solvent. In contrast, the roles of actuaries in the finance industry are in the field of risk management and assets liabilities management. They help in assessing all possible risks and manage them before the problems surface.

Actuaries are often required to work overtime in some aggressive companies, especially when they are to meet deadlines. As such, life of an actuary can be thrilling or stressful, depending on how you perceive it.

Combining their skills in mathematics, statistics, economics and finance, actuaries are able to gauge and make expert financial predictions about the future.

What areas can Actuaries Specialise in for their Job in Malaysia?

Actuaries can specialise in the following fields:

  • Traditional life insurance
    • They focus on the analysis of mortality, the production of life tables and the application of interest to produce life insurance, annuities and endowment policies. It also includes credit and mortgage insurance, long term care insurance and health savings account.
  • Health insurance
    • They focus on the analyses of rates of disability, morbidity, mortality, fertility and other contingencies. Also of great importance are the effects of consumer choice and the geographical distribution of medical services as well as the procedures and use of drugs and therapies.
  • Pension industry
    • They measure costs of alternative strategies with regards to the design, maintenance or redesigning of pension plans. The strategies are greatly influenced by collective bargaining, the changing demographics of the workforce, changes in internal revenue code and financial and economic trends among others.
  • Property and casualty
    • They focus on data collection, measurement, estimation, forecasting and valuation tools to provide financial and underwriting data for management to assess marketing opportunities and the required degree of risk taking.
  • Reinsurance
    • Focus on designing and pricing reinsurance and retro-reinsurance schemes. Their responsibility also includes establishing reserve funds for known claims and future claims as well as catastrophes.

What is the Education Pathway to Become an Actuary in Malaysia?

Actuarial Science at UCSI University (APU)

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 (APU)

The Actuarial Science degree programme has a heavy mathematical and statistical component. The first step after SPM or O-Levels, students will need to consider a private university in Malaysia that has a solid Actuarial Science degree programme that will help you prepare well for the professional papers. Students should have excellent overall results including Maths in order to tackle the academic rigours of the actuarial science programme.

Students after SPM or O-Levels with at least 5 credits including the relevant subjects may enter the  Foundation in Business  or Foundation in Arts for 1 year before continuing on to the Actuarial Studies degree. Pre-University graduates in Malaysia from programmes such as UEC, STPM, A-Levels, SAM, CPU, AUSMAT and others may enter directly into the Actuarial Science or Actuarial Studies degree providing they meet the minimum entry requirements.

After completing your degree, you can continue on to two of the more popular professional papers in Malaysia which are the Society of Actuaries (SoA) USA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) (UK).

Society of Actuaries (SOA) USA Pathway

One must pass the actuarial professional examinations and various on-the-job assessments, in addition to obtaining a degree. A normal actuarial studies degree spans 3 years.  Outstanding private universities in Malaysia for Actuarial Science or Actuarial Maths degree with VEE Paper exemptions from SOA are Heriot-Watt University Malaysia,  Asia Pacific University (APU),  UCSI University and  Taylor’s University. Students should choose the best university in Malaysia for actuarial science to prepare them well to face the professional exams.

Thereafter, completing the professional exams may take another 3-7 years (considering working full-time while studying). The Society of Actuaries (SOA) has a series of examinations and modules that you can take to become a fully-qualified actuary. This is usually undertaken while one is already working as an entry-level actuary, and this certification process is often sponsored by the employer while the candidate gains practical experience at the same time.

Most people will take around six to eight years to complete the requirements to become an Associate, and another two or three years to become a Fellow, by which time one will usually be in one’s thirties.

After qualifying to be an actuary, one can choose to specialise in one of the areas of insurance, viz life, health protection, property, pensions etc. Later, one can also choose to work with a consulting firm or even be an independent consultant.

However, even those who did not manage to sit for all the exams will still be recognised for those that they have successfully completed. Those who have taken only the first three exams can qualify to become underwriters.

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) Curriculum 2019 Pathway

One of the pathways to become a professional actuaries in Malaysia is taking the professional papers from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) UK.  As a professional body the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has a responsibility to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, up-to-date and reflects the skills, knowledge and attributes required of actuaries in an ever-changing global business environment. At the same time the IFoA, as a full member of the International Actuarial Association (IAA), must ensure that its curriculum reflects the international standards set by them.

To become an Associate member you need to complete 7 subjects of the Core Principles. The Core Principles cover three main areas which are Actuarial Statistics (CS), Actuarial Mathematics (CM) and Business (CB). Additionally, 3 Core Practices subjects (CP1, CP2 and CP3) either by examination or exemption and a minimum of 2 years of Personal and Professional Development (PPD).

To qualify as a Fellow you need to complete Two Specialist Principles subjects either by examination or exemption. You can choose 2 out of 9 subjects. Furthermore, you will need to complete One Specialist Advanced (Choose 1 out of 7 subjects) subject by examination or dissertation and a further minimum 1 year of Personal and Professional Development (PPD)

The best university in Malaysia for Actuarial Science would be Heriot-Watt University Malaysia where students can get 8-paper exemptions out of 15 needed to qualify as a Fellow at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (FIA), UK.

The Actuarial Science degree at Asia Pacific University (APU)  has been awarded full accreditation from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) (UK)APU is among the 7 universities in Asia to receive such worldwide recognition.

Where to Study the Best Degree for Actuarial Science in Malaysia?

EduSpiral helped me to find the right college for A-Levels, & now they have helped me to choose what to study after my A-Levels. Chee Kin, Actuarial & Finance degree at UCSI University

EduSpiral helped me to find the right college for A-Levels, & now they have helped me to choose what to study after my A-Levels.
Chee Kin, Actuarial & Finance degree at UCSI University

The Actuarial Science degree at Asia Pacific University (APU)  has been awarded full accreditation from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) (UK)APU is among the 7 universities in Asia to receive such worldwide recognition. In addition, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Studies students will also receive credits for all the 3 Validated by Educational Experience (VEE) papers from SOA as long as they receive a minimum mark of 70% in the APU equivalent papers.

In addition, students can consider studying the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science at top ranked UCSI University UCSI is one of the pioneers offering actuarial science and many students have completed 3 to 5 Preliminary Papers of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) during Year 2 and 3 of the degree programme.

Furthermore, 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 at Taylor’s University, students have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and gain industry exposure that will help them excel in their final year of studies.

The best university in Malaysia for Actuarial Science would be Heriot-Watt University Malaysia where students can get 8-paper exemptions out of 15 needed to qualify as a Fellow at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (FIA), UK.

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