Actuarial timing is everything…
Still looking for a graduate actuarial job? Hang in there, some months are just better than others!
I’ve been working with graduates for around 12 years now and over that time I have definitely noticed some months are better than others in the actuarial market. When I first joined the company I had loads of graduate actuarial roles with top firms looking for graduates, and most candidates I spoke to had never heard about what an actuary was. If they had, most graduates had a preconception of a rather strange individual sitting in the corner working with statistics. I used to have to send out information packs on what an actuary’s role was. Mathematics graduates just wanted to be in Banking and Trading.
Then around 2008 after the banking crisis, I found many more graduates in the market who had been offered roles that no longer existed. I remember from speaking to graduates at that time, an article was doing the rounds at universities about the best jobs for a mathematics graduate (as there were no longer any jobs in banking) and being an actuary came out on top.
Since then, to become and an actuary has become very competitive. You need to be a well-rounded, excellent communicator and a top-drawer Mathematician and even then to get an actuarial role isn’t easy.
So with less roles on the market timing is going to be a big factor.
December to January – forget it! Most companies are more focused on the office Christmas party and end of year work, rather than interviewing graduates.
February to March is an excellent time to focus on looking. HR have managed to catch up with managers to see gaps in teams where employees may have left. Also new year budgets can open up opportunities for graduates. If you have been travelling, now is the time to return as there isn’t as many graduates on the market, so less competition and you beat the new grads as they can’t start for a few months yet.
April does tend to be a bit quiet as its actuarial exam period. Students are not moving to make room for graduates because they are sitting exams. Also it’s the end of the financial year, so the purse strings tend to be a little tight!
May to September – again an excellent time to look. As it’s graduation season lots of companies are looking at their grad intake. Students are also looking around after exams which opens up roles for grads.
The above isn’t gospel, there are always jobs out there, but it’s always useful to get a little inside information as to why some months are quieter than others.
Good luck and remember – there’s a job out there for everyone!
This article was written by Sian Thorn, Senior Graduate Consultant at Emerald Group
To get in contact with Sian regarding Graduate Actuarial roles:
M: +44 (0) 20 3867 9859