Actuarial Science majors study math and finance and their application in the world. For example, a health insurance company will consult with an Actuary to predict how much it would cost to cover Mr. Smith if any number of things were to happen to him. Using statistics, trends and predictions, the Actuary can assess how much the insurance company should charge Mr. Smith given his likely outcomes. It’s like fortune telling but with numbers and reason behind it. The good news is that you can make it big as an Actuary with a bachelor’s degree. However, there’s also a series of tests you have to take to be full-fledged – tests that can take you up to 10 years to finally pass.
Actuarial Science majors really enjoy their statistics courses. They like to predict outcomes. They also have a blast with spreadsheets. They probably track how many times they sneeze in a day just so they can plot it out on a graph to compare over time.
Actuarial Science majors are level-headed. They take information for what it’s worth and are good at making sense of lots of pieces to the puzzle at once. And of course, they’re whizzes at math.
If you’re looking for a light-on-math major, you took a wrong turn about a mile ago. This is for the math-lover only.
Because you’ll need to know math and how to apply it, there’s no surprise you’ll take a heavy load of math courses. Expect to take calculus and statistics, economics, finance, and business classes. You’ll also become an expert at spreadsheets and databases.
Most Actuarial Science majors work for insurance companies, since they have the greatest need for this kind of information. You can work full-time for one company, or you can consult for many different companies. Often you can even work in Actuarial Science as an assistant until you pass all your exams. Some employers will even pay your exam fees and give you time to study on the job.
Get a jump start in all your math classes now. Make sure you really understand the basic concepts, because everything else you learn will be based on those.
Track down an Actuary near you to get some pointers. You’ll also want to start studying for your exams early. People make a big deal about the Bar Exam you take to become a lawyer; let’s just say a lot of people pass that test each year. Not that many people become Actuaries.