Like Risk? Be an Actuary!

Do you like risk? Or, more precisely, do you like to assess and quantify risk and put a price on it (the premium that insurance collects)? If yes, consider becoming an actuary. This profession almost always makes the top 10 in the various best jobs lists (like this one, which also includes mathematicians and statisticians, both closely linked to the actuarial profession). For more information on what it takes to get and be an actuary, check out web sites like this one.

Note that you can take four actuarial exams (by either of the two societies SOA or CAS; three of the four exams are the same) as a route to honors in mathematics! These exams include computer-based testing (the first exam on probability, the second exam on financial mathematics and the fourth exam on construction and evaluation of actuarial models). Check the societies’ websites for exact test dates as some are only offered a few times a year. I have met several students who found the first two exams straightforward for someone who has had calculus and probability and statistics at Williams. The Math/Stat department has extensive preparation material on the second exam, available in our Math/Stat library, and we have some funds to buy more if needed.