5 Common Courses in Actuary Science

The Actuary Science Degree: Five Essential Courses Within

  • Calculus
  • Probability Theory
  • Statistical Inference
  • Actuarial Methods I, II, III
  • Predictive Modeling in Finance and Insurance

Actuary work is that unique profession concerned with forecasting risks, especially for insurance and finance companies. The professionals here are those who help to decide what kinds of risks such a company can take and still survive to turn a profit. For those interested in this line of work, there is a dedicated degree program for it, the actuary sciences degree, as well as some key courses that every student will need to tackle therein. What kinds of coursework does today’s actuary sciences degree program entail? Here are five essential courses everyone can count on.

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1. Calculus

Naturally, there are many math requirements along the path to completing the actuary sciences degree. One of the crowning, culminating essentials here is calculus. Of all of the types of mathematics taught today, calculus is the primary discipline focused specifically on mathematically understanding and predicting change. This area of concern itself is based on finding integrals and derivatives of functions. Other important components of calculus include differentiation, slope-speed relationships, vectors, and more.

2. Probability Theory

Probability theory is yet another, crowning component of math understanding in actuary science degrees. This branch of study focuses on probability as well as the nature of randomness in all things. Mathematically, without the understanding of one these components, the other is not much good. Students of this important course will also need to master working with non-deterministic events, abstractions, stochastic process, variables of all sorts, and plenty more by the end.

3. Statistical Inference

Statistical inference is a sort of sub-branch of statistics. This disciplinary focus specifically delves into the drawing of conclusions from statistical figures and processes. For one to be effective here, however, they must be able to decipher between the two sides of working statistics: inference and estimation. Students in this essential course will also master the Bayesian inference method, various bootstrap methodologies, hypothesis testing processes, and more.

4. Actuarial Methods I, II, III

The required line of Actuarial Methods courses students will take is widely considered to be where the rubber meets the road as far as actuarial calculation work goes in insurance and financial organizations today. Students here will learn the inner-workings of calculating and forecasting all things related to human life events. Survival and health statistics, life tables, annuity calculations based on life/death probabilities – this area of understanding is the core of many organizations’ success or failure today.

5. Predictive Modeling in Finance and Insurance

A great number of mathematics branches associate with predictive modeling processes, and today’s insurance and finance industries are highly reliant on these processes as well. How does one build a predictive model that is accurate to the targets of replication? How is this then double-checked, tested, and ultimately proven? Spreadsheet work, linear graphing, time series modeling, and statistical learning models represent some of the key tools of the trade in predictive modeling here.

Actuary science is as important to the business sector as virtually any other academic component. To become educated in this science, one must complete coursework highlighted by these above-mentioned, essential courses to the science. In conclusion, for those interested in the educational and/or vocational paths of actuary science, Beanactuary.org is a great resource, provided in partnership by both the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuary Society, with which to seek further, expert guidance.