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Profession Under Fire After 'Best Job' Claim

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Donald Trump. Picture: Gage Skidmore.

A recent survey said that the job of actuary is one of the best careers in North America. However, that verdict shocked one Canadian writer, who took to his local paper to tell his readers just how poorly he rates the profession.

Writing in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News of British Columbia, ex-CBC broadcaster Arthur Black hit out at the survey by which revealed that actuary was the second-best career for 2012, behind software engineer and closely followed by financial planner. The survey looked at 200 different jobs, and ranked them based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook.

In response, Mr. Black—who hosted CBC Radio One's Basic Black program from 1983 to 2002, and now writes a column syndicated in over 50 newspapers—wrote: "Actuary? Best job? Do you think the folks at CareerCast actually know what an actuary does? My dictionary defines 'actuary' as a person who compiles and analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance rates and premiums.

"That's a 'best job', huh?

"Perhaps it's because I'm still carrying Grade 10 algebra, but I would rather be trapped in a stalled elevator with Donald Trump than spend a nanosecond sitting at a desk toiling as an actuary.

"As for being a financial planner, let's see now . . . would that be like filling out your income tax form forever?"

The CIA works constantly to educate people about the value and importance of actuaries, but it appears there may be some way to go until it convinces everybody . . .

Do you have an opinion on, or response to, Mr. Black's criticism of actuaries and their work? If so, send your thoughts to (e)Bulletin editor Andrew Melvin at and we will compile them for a future article.

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