Actuarial science is a major that students often don’t know a lot about. Despite the fact that it has great career prospects for careers in many institutions like insurance firms, banks and various companies who need someone who closely understands finances, many students don’t know what actuarial science is. Read on to learn more about what the major is and if it could be a good fit for you to pursue as your college major.
What is Actuarial Science?
Actuarial science is a highly mathematical major that deals with the risk management and financial stability of insurance companies or financial institutions. They also learn to predict, based on statistics, future events that are negative or positive and deal with them in a suitable manner. During the course of their academic years, students who choose to major in actuarial science, later called actuaries, study many courses in the fields of mathematics, statistics and probability. These courses prepare them for careers in the field and help them to easily pass the qualification exams.
What skills do actuarial scientists need?
Even though maths skills are crucial to becoming an actuary, there are other skills that students who want to become actuarial scientists would benefit from having. For example, they should have ample problem-solving skills. They should also be good at making informed decisions and analytical thinking. Stakeholder management is also a crucial skill for actuaries to be able to succeed in their field and be able to communicate efficiently in the organization. It’s crucial for them to also have sharp financial and technological skills, as being an actuary requires the usage of many technologies. In fact, actuarial science majors study some common courses with Computer Science majors.
What do Actuarial Science professionals do?
Those who work in the field have many job responsibilities. The first responsibility is an analysis of previous financial data. Actuaries analyse this data and advise companies on how much money should be placed as a safety net to reimburse the company in case any financial losses should occur.
Based on this data, actuaries map out trends and use them to place percentages for probabilities of certain incidents happening. Based on these percentages and on the severity of the consequences of a situation occurring, managers can decide how much money to set aside. If an actuary works at an insurance company, they calculate similar percentages based on data to help set insurance rates for those who want to buy health or life insurance.
If the previous descriptions sound interesting to you and you feel intrigued to pursue a career in a mathematical major like actuarial science, you may be interested in the admission requirements. As with any other course of study, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to study for a bachelor or masters degree in the field.
Bachelor Admission Requirements
Generally, admission requirements for those wanting to pursue a bachelors degree in actuarial science are pretty simple. These requirements include a minimum English language requirement of a 6 in IELTS test scores or 80 in TOEFL test scores. They also require a good high school transcript of records, a letter of recommendation from trusted professionals and financial certification.
Masters Admission Requirements
On the other hand, if you are applying for masters in actuarial science, you should make sure if the university you are applying to requires prior bachelor studies in actuarial science or a related field, such as mathematics or probability and statistics. If the bachelor’s degree you have is suitable, then you will also need a minimum of a test score of 6.5 in IELTS or a score of at least 85 in the TOEFL exam. You should also have a minimum GPA in your bachelor studies of 3.0 and GRE test scores.
Why should I study Actuarial Science?
Actuarial science professionals are respected professionals who work top-ranked job titles with competitive salaries. They also allow students to work in many fields because of the rigorous courses they study in academic areas of mathematics, finance and accounting. However, there are other reasons why students should choose to study actuarial science and go on to pursue careers in the field.
Many stable job opportunities
One of the main reasons why students should pursue degrees in actuarial science is the many job opportunities available and the fact that they can pursue top-ranked jobs. The jobs are also very highly demanded so it’s easy to find a job and to keep it. This also means that actuarial science graduates can enjoy job stability.
Actuarial science students can work in many fields because they have solid financial and mathematical knowledge from their studies. For example, they can work as business analysts, financial planners or investment analysts. After passing the actuarial exams, which we will talk about later in the article, they can also work as actuaries or senior actuarial analysts.
High paying salaries
Actuarial science alumni receive one of the highest-paid salaries of any fresh graduate. For example, those working in entry-level positions like business analysts receive yearly salaries of 63,000 USD while those working as financial planners achieve salaries of 62,000 USD per year. Other jobs include risk analysts which also get 63,000 dollars salary per year.
Seniors in the field, who have been working for many years, receive relatively higher salaries. After passing the actuarial exams, those who have degrees in actuarial science who work as actuaries receive impressive yearly salaries of 86,000 USD per year while those who work as senior actuarial analysts earn a whopping 84,000 USD yearly.
Real-life problem solving
Another reason to study actuarial science is the real-life problem solving and application of critical thinking in your work tasks. Because you have to apply the mathematical, probability and statistical skills you learned to solve real-life problems, you will never feel bored! This major is perfect for those who love solving problems and being challenged every day.
What are the Actuarial Science exams?
Finally, in order to become a full-fledged actuary, you need to pass the actuarial exam. These exams are separate from any academic institution and degree. Actuarial science exams are difficult and need years of preparation in order to pass them. However, many companies take those studying for the qualification exams and give them entry-level positions such as junior analysts or assistants until they pass the exams. These companies also support them on their exam preparation and reward them for passing the exams, either financially or with promotions.
From job stability to high salaries to problem-solving applications, actuarial science jobs are rewarding and interesting. Another plus is the multitude of intriguing courses in probability and statistics that actuarial science majors study during the course of their university studies. Even though passing the actuarial exams may be difficult, students can still work in entry-level positions and earn good salaries until they pass the exams one day.