The business scandals and accounting frauds of 2001 – 2002 were eye-openers for the business world. Financial losses, as it turned out, could come not only from random thefts, unexpected catastrophes, and natural calamities but from anywhere.
In line with this, the academic world and the Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASN) came up with a goal in 2005: It was to convince financial companies to hire actuaries as part of a risk management team. Back then, even major business industries had very little knowledge about what is an actuary in a larger sense of the word, aside from the actuary being an insurance professional.
ASN proposed a mutually beneficial arrangement in order to demonstrate the role of an actuary in other types of business industries. The proposal was for selected companies to provide internship venues for actuarial students, in consideration of the former's high level of susceptibility to all types of risks. That way, the actuarial learners could perform the practical aspect of what they were being academically trained to do. At the same time, the business industry would be enlightened about the importance of managing risk as a proactive solution for providing investment protection.
Needless to say, the ASN’s underlying objective for its proposal was achieved, because by 2008 the number of actuaries employed reached 19,700 from its previous high figure of 9,400 in the early 1990s. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ outlook report for the same year disclosed that of the 19,700, 55% were employed by major insurance companies; 16% found work in management, technical, and scientific consultancy services; and the rest worked for various government agencies and smaller scale insurance organizations, management firms, rating bureaus, and other enterprises. An estimated 21% job growth is expected to continue through 2018.