Earning a living as an actuary can be pretty great.
Actuaries carry out detailed mathematical analyses that helps their companies understand and make important decisions. The majority of actuaries work in the insurance industry, working for either a life and health insurance company or a property and casualty insurance company. A smaller percentage of them work at large pension or investment funds, other financial service firms or in actuarial consulting services.
Very few incoming freshmen show up for college planning on becoming an actuary. It’s a career field that is typically learned about as they study. Most people in the actuary line of work started with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, economics, finance or accounting.
There is a formal series of actuarial examinations that a person needs to pass in order to advance up the actuary ladder. These tests are meant to gauge the student’s competence in statistics, calculus, probability and other mathematics areas. You can start taking the first exam while still in college. Everyone who wants to sit for the exam uses either one or two self-study guides and/or study classes. Students who have passed at least one examination have a better opportunity for getting a starting job than students who have not passed one. These exams are given only twice each year.
Actuaries continue to take the entire series of examinations. Upon successfully passing the first few exams, the student will earn their associate level (ASA), and with further tests, advance to the fellowship level (FSA).
You can prepare to become an actuary by taking classes and studying to take the series of exams necessary to be certified as an actuary. Everyone encourages young students and associates to try to pass all of the exam levels as soon as possible. Not only will the exams be easier for someone who has recently completed their college-level math classes, but career advancement and daily work opportunities may also be offered.
- Live online classes: All classes are held weekly on a face-to-face video platform and are kept small, with a low student-to-faculty ratio.
- Renowned faculty: The program is designed by many of the same School of Information (I School) faculty and data science professionals who teach our on-campus programs.
- Multidisciplinary curriculum: Course work is designed with a project-based approach, encouraging the application of tools and methods to solve problems.
- UC Berkeley community: Students gain access to the UC Berkeley I School community, including technical support, academic support, and the university’s vast alumni network.
- Master of Information and Data Science
The online Master of Science in Data Science from the University of Denver Ritchie School prepares students to build the tools that collect data and use evaluation strategies to make critical business, research, and policy decisions. The program is designed for students of all academic backgrounds and offers four bridge courses to provide them with the programming skills they need to start classes. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.
- Master's in Data Science
- The DataScience@SMU is an online program designed for working professionals and can be completed in as little as 18 months.
- Live classes are held online and coursework is self-paced.
- Students in the DataScience@SMU program have access to dedicated support services and join the Southern Methodist University (SMU) alumni network after graduation.
- Students attend an in-person immersion at the SMU campus in Dallas, Texas.
- The curriculum is truly interdisciplinary, bringing together subjects that data scientists use in the field every day.
- Coursework is pulled from three SMU schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering and Meadows School of the Arts.
- M.S. in Data Science