Actuarial Science Degrees
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Salaries For Degrees in Actuarial Science
Those who majored in Actuarial Science can be employed in a variety of occupations. It is impossible to say what you personally will do with a degree in Actuarial Science, our survey panel picked the following occupations as likely options:
Students with a degree in Actuarial Science are considered well prepared for becoming Actuaries.
The median salary for people with a degree in Actuarial Science is $82,964.91. The lifetime value of this degree is approximately $1,935,036.00.
Salaries are highly dependent on individual negotiating skill, years of related experience, policies at your employer, location, and more besides. The estimates we show on these pages are just that: estimates. Your individual experience will likely vary.
Where does this come from?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the US government, classifies all workers into some 800-odd occupational categories. We paid a army of freelancers to solicit their opinion on what type of degree a holder of each type of job would likely have majored in. For pairs which had a high degree of consensus, we created a link between the degree and the job.
From this, we calculated the average salary for Actuarial Science degrees and converted it into a lifetime value. We then compared it against other degrees at the same level of schooling (such as associate's, bachelor's, or master's), so that you can make informed educational and employment decisions.
What Can a Actuarial Science Student Expect to Learn?
Chaos is like a rabid dog being chased by animal control. At every possible junction, the dog can dart left or right, maybe even feigning one way and going the other to elude his pursuers. But what happens when the dog is backed into a corner? The one thing that is certain about that scenario is the fact that the dog has many less options and will probably soon be captured and restrained, making the area much safer for passersby and nearby residents alike.
The teachings of actuarial science and the professions that it produces are like the metaphorical "animal control," with the expertise in statistical assessment and related methods to "back chaos into a corner" by analyzing risk and providing critical information for the betterment of everyone here on earth. Of all people in a position to tout something at that first high school reunion, it has got to be these individuals. Ready to sign up? A degree in actuarial science is all that is needed to get there.
Essentially, whenever a company or group finds it in their business' best interest to assess risk, much like life insurance companies have to consider, they need to turn to someone who is trained in actual calculation of these risks, so that the companies can equate level of risk to a dollar amount. Everyone can speculate to a degree, but those with an education in actuarial science actually calculate risk with mathematical equations, a process that will obviously yield much more accurate results.
Course teachings and coursework in an actuarial science education have a way of avoiding monotony because actuarial science is an interdisciplinary field. This means that although the core of the discipline is rooted in mathematics, one can "dabble" in other areas of study to reach a truly effective level of skill and knowledge. The staple disciplines that will build an actuarial science program are mathematics, economics, statistics, probability, and business. Actuarial science students will be well versed in statistical analysis, probabilistic analysis, preventive policy, and some other skills that may vary, as the field allows for a certain degree of specialization. This is due to the nature of the diversity of the industries that need the expertise of an actuary.
Online Schools Offering Accredited Actuarial Science Degree Programs
The most important factor in the development of a strong educational foundation in any field, granted the student is motivated and ready to work hard, is the institution that administers such an education. As it pertains to actuarial science, and an increasing number of other disciplines, there are degrees that are offered in their entirety offline as well as degrees offered online.
The University of Illinois has an entirely online undergraduate math program that is geared towards the education that an actuary is required to undergo. Whether or not a graduate program is involved in conjuction with this one depends on the students level of readiness for the exams that must be passed in order to receive certification as an actuary. Although many graduate degree programs are available, the majority of them are not online. Aggressive actuarial science students will take their exams after their undergraduate degree.
Actex Publications is a company with a long (positive) track record of providing actuarial science students with affordable textbooks, online classes, test preparation, and VEE credit. VEE stands for "validation by educational experience." It is essentially "proof-of-education" that needs to be submitted to the institution that administers the tests and grant certification. Actex is not a university, but rather a more independently facilitated group whose sole mission is to aid actuarial students in their endeavors.
Top Colleges & Universities Offering Campus-based Actuarial Science Degrees
As for the universities that are not online, there are many, many schools that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in actuarial science.
Among the most reputable of them, starting with the undergraduate programs, is the Wharton Insurance and Risk Management Department at the University of Pennsylvania. This department and the degree that it offers in actuarial science is revolutionary in the sense that it is narrow enough in scope to ensure career-specific education but broad enough in material at the same time to allow for freedom of job choice within the career upon graduation. The university comes highly recommended for burgeoning young actuarial science students.
The Actuarial Scinece Program at Georgia State University offers competitive training and education of actuarial professionals with a huge alumni to prove it. The fact that the program is 62 years old with the success that it is having now speaks volumes about the integrity of the founders and educators involved.
As for the graduate programs, the University of Hartford at West Hartford, Connecticut, offers a Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation program. The most convenient aspect of this program is that it can be done at the students discretion; at his or her own pace. The up-and-coming institution, founded in 1957, has already developed a reputation for outstanding graduate degree progams, with already more than 30.
Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, boasts an actuarial science graduate program that prepares students for the tests while the students are earning their degree as well as VEE credit. This is an extremely aggressive program for graduate students who are ready to put their heads down and work.
Famous Actuarial Science Students
To provide some context as to the kind of character that it takes to succeed in an education of actuarial science, there is someone that we are all familiar with that has such a degree, that can be used as a template to some extent. That person would be none other than talk show host Conan O'Brien (pictured right).
Conan O'Brien received an actuarial science degree from Ball State University. His comedic genius coupled with his experience with other fields that he picked up from his time at Harvard University is a testament to the mental agility of an actuary.
The mind of an actuary must be versatile, able to conceptually "envelope" all factors that may affect the probability of a situation occuring or not occuring. Thus a fairly broad knowledge of many things helps to supplement a more specific expertise in the math that is required to assess the true likelihood of an event. It would be dishonest to say that this kind of rearing is easy, but it will forge a much greater intellect for anyone who takes it seriously.
There will always be a certain measure of disorder in this world. The importance of people who can garner a little sanity for the rest of us by means of calculation will only increase as the world becomes smaller. Becoming an actuary is to choose a path that allows ample freedom, gratification, and pay for everyone who earns it. One will enjoy the freedom that comes with being wanted by multiple jobs upon completion of the program, the gratification from helping people to soften the effect of or even prevent bad events from occuring, and the generous compensation that is earned in the process. There is no education in any field that can grant people clairvoyance, but a degree in actuarial science guarantees a bright future.