The job prospects for actuaries are supposed to be excellent. I really ought to have known better at this point in my life. Let’s have a look.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook says:
Number of Jobs, 2014: 24,600
Job Outlook, 2014-24: 18% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24: 4,400
Wow, that’s not bad in this economy, right? But you know…2014 to 2024 is a pretty long time span. Maybe we’d better look closer.
18% growth over ten years means 1.7% growth each year. That doesn’t sound as great, does it?
Now, take a look at that number of jobs in 2014, 24,600. That’s big enough that it’s tough to wrap your head around it. What’s the expected growth for the next year? Well, 1.7% of 24,600 is 418. That’s for the entire profession in the United States, mind. Compare that with a real job market like healthcare or teaching high school, where the growth is more like 100,000 per year (but then you don’t qualify for those, it’s just for example).
There are fifty states in the US (53 actually, the Handbook includes data for Washington DC, Guam, and the District of Colombia). That means the average number of actuary science jobs openings per year, per state is less than ten. Well, you can always travel, right? The Asians you’re competing with are certainly willing to travel (and they’re way smarter than you, by the way).
Buckle your seatbelts, I’m gonna do a few posts on this topic. I’m thinking about starting a side blog called “Don’t major in math”, with the subheading “Brought to you by generous Welfare benefits”.