Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Becoming an Actuary

Many of my exceptionally bright students have no idea what they want to do in life, and seek my consult.  The first thing I do is to tell them that it is okay, most students don't.  Many people go through their entire lives not knowing exactly what they want to do.  Happiness in the job is as much about who you work with than your particular occupation.

Yet, when it comes to careers, I consistently recommend my students who are good with numbers to look into becoming an actuary (you know, people who come up with insurance premiums, things like that).  It is challenging, utilizes what they learned in school, pays well, and provides them with some degree of autonomy because they are a professional.

Just recently, the Wall Street Journal published a list of  the Best and Worst Occupations in the U.S. -- an actuary was the 2nd best job, as shown below.  An economist was #11.

The Best and Worst Jobs

Of 200 Jobs studied, these came out on top -- and at the bottom:

The BestThe Worst
1. Mathematician200. Lumberjack
2. Actuary199. Dairy Farmer
3. Statistician198. Taxi Driver
4. Biologist197. Seaman
5. Software Engineer196. EMT
6. Computer Systems Analyst195. Garbage Collector
7. Historian194. Welder
8. Sociologist193. Roustabout
9. Industrial Designer192. Ironworker
10. Accountant191. Construction Worker
11. Economist190. Mail Carrier
12. Philosopher189. Sheet Metal Worker
13. Physicist188. Auto Mechanic
14. Parole Officer187. Butcher
15. Meteorologist186. Nuclear Decontamination Tech
16. Medical Laboratory Technician185. Nurse (LN)
17. Paralegal Assistant184.Painter
18. Computer Programmer183. Child Care Worker
19. Motion Picture Editor182. Firefighter
20. Astronomer181. Brick Layer

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