Modern financial theory and practice has opened up the market for a new league of professionals. Although actuarial science is a discipline that has been around for years, the last few decades have brought in some drastic changes in understanding and applying the subject to the present business setup. Actuarial science is intertwined with various other disciplines like Mathematics, Finance and Statistics.
There are many universities and business schools around the world that offer excellent programs in actuarial science. However, to actually qualify as an actuary, students need to become members of the Society of Actuaries. The qualification process includes a series of rigorous examinations.
In the US, the Wisconsin School Business is ranked as one of the best places to study the discipline. The University of Connecticut offers undergraduate, post graduate as well Ph.D programs in actuarial science under the department of Mathematics.
The Department of Risk Management and Insurance at Georgia State University has a program that is a designated Centre of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries. It offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The courses are structured to provide an in depth knowledge of life contingencies and insurance mathematics.
At Drake University, students who are studying at the advanced undergraduate level can benefit from extra exam preparation courses.
The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has programs at the introductory and advanced undergraduate levels as well as graduation in education and research. It is located in the Department of Mathematics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The school provides exam preparation courses and has an external actuarial advisory committee.
In Canada, the University in Waterloo is one of the best institutions that offer programs in mathematical and statistical disciplines. Students can apply for degrees at the graduate, post graduate and Ph.D levels in Statistics and Actuarial Science.
The University has a Statistics Consulting Service, which is mainly meant for researchers and it is also associated with research groups such as WatRISQ, the Survey Research Centre (SRC) and the Institute of Quantitative Finance and Insurance (IQFI).
Being an actuary is challenging and provides better job opportunities even in economically difficult times. The skills that you acquire are dynamic and can be applied across different industries. All it requires is good communications skills, a positive attitude and an aptitude for advanced mathematics and statistics.