1. What courses should I take in college?
To prepare for an actuarial career, you should take three semesters of calculus, two semesters of probability and statistics, two semesters of economics, one or two semesters of corporate finance, business communications and a well-rounded group of liberal arts courses.
Find more detailed information about classes to take to prepare for an actuarial career:
2. What degrees are appropriate to an actuarial career? Are jobs in the actuarial field limited solely to individuals with an actuarial science/math/statistics degree?
Actuarial science, math, statistics, economics, business and finance degrees are all good training for an actuarial career. However, actuaries come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Actuaries may have majors in areas such as operations research, physics, engineering, and even fine arts.
While majoring in actuarial science or math in college will benefit someone wanting to be an actuary, you are not required to major in these fields to be an actuary. It is the ability to pass actuarial exams that determines if one is eligible to enter the profession. If you are able to pass one or more of the preliminary exams, that will demonstrate to potential employers that you have the aptitude, interest, and commitment to be an actuary, regardless of your major.
3. Does it help me to have a graduate degree?
Not necessarily; most actuaries earn a bachelor’s degree, but do not pursue advanced degrees. However, you might consider a graduate degree in math or actuarial science if your undergraduate degree was in an unrelated field, or if you heard about the profession later in life.
4. What types of scholarship opportunities are available for those interested in pursuing an actuarial degree?
There are a number of scholarship opportunities for students pursuing a career in actuarial science.
5. Where can I find a listing of colleges and universities that offer actuarial science programs and curriculum?
An Actuarial College List is available to help make the right decision for you.
6. How can I choose the actuarial science program that is best for me?
An Actuarial College List is available to help make the right decision for you. The colleges on the list are organized into six categories:
- Centers of Actuarial Excellence
- Undergraduate Introductory
- Undergraduate Advanced
- Graduate Education
- Graduate Education and Research
- Other – Offers some courses relating to actuarial science
The schools provide the information that appears on the college list, but only the Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) schools have had their information verified. The CAE schools have met specific requirements related to degree, curriculum, graduate count, faculty composition, graduate quality, appropriate integration, connection to industry, and research/scholarship.