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How do I Choose the Best Actuarial Program?

By D. Nelson
Updated May 17, 2024
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An actuary is a professional who specializes in determining the probability that future events will occur. These professionals normally work in industries such as insurance, finance, and other fields in which predictions and assessments of risk are necessary. In order to choose the best actuarial program, it can be important to first determine which degrees or certifications are essential in order to practice as an actuary in your region. Many aspiring actuarial students also consider factors such as prestige and cost of a program.

It is fairly uncommon to find an actuarial program that is designed solely for actuaries. On the contrary, many who enter this profession have degrees in subjects such as mathematics and business. Others come from fields in the liberal arts.

Experts and professionals in the actuarial field consider the best actuarial programs to be those that have a strong concentration on mathematics. It can be important to learn mathematical concepts, such as probability theory, which focuses on determining the chances of random events occurring. Business programs, such as financial studies, often include many math courses that may include effective overviews of probability theory.

In many regions, an actuary may not practice without the proper degree, license, or certification. In these cases, an actuarial program may be a prerequisite for taking the necessary certification or licensure exam. In other cases, an actuarial program may not be necessary, though it may help you to prepare for taking the exam. The best program is the one that allows you to get the education you need in order to pass the relevant exams.

Prestige may be another important factor to consider when you are choosing an actuarial program. The prestige of a program is determined by factors such as how long a program has been in existence, how selective the admissions process is, and the quality of the faculty and the education. Not only might prestigious programs provide educations that are more effective, but many professionals consider those who have graduated from these programs to be more attractive to potential employers.

Cost is almost always an issue when it comes to choosing the best actuarial program. Many students choose programs that allow them to take out the smallest loans. Others choose programs that offer scholarships and grants, which may pay for all or part of the tuition for a program. Factors such as the location of a school and its level of prestige often help to determine the overall cost.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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