I am a mid-life career-changer with a background in mathematics, data analysis, military intelligence. The actuarial profession seems like a good fit for me, but I have a serious concern:
I have worked in higher ed administration for almost a quarter century. Over the last few years it has become clear to me that higher ed (at least in my experience) has become mostly a game of appearance over substance. The paper world of official documents is mostly a facade, and my employer sees my job to be maintaining the illusion.
I'm sure that increasing (and sometimes nonsensical) government regulation in every industry has had the unintended consequence of encouraging businesses to create a protective illusion--smoke & mirrors instead of transparency. Most "professionals" here do not consider it fraud unless someone is lining their own pockets and justify the con accordingly. I suppose similar justifications supported the mortgage fraud scandals. Such things have always existed in the shadows, but in our topsy-turvy world, such things seem to be widespread.
As you may imagine, It is very difficult (though not impossible) to maintain one's integrity in this corrosive environment. Integrity is a liability, not an asset. Generally only those willing to actively participate in the game are promoted above a certain level. It would be wonderful to work in a profession where quality and substance came first and integrity was actually rewarded.
So...for you established actuaries...
How badly is your industry affected by these corrosive influences?
In particular, do you feel that the quality and substance of your work matter to your employer?
Or do you feel that your work is primarily an extension of the marketing department?