Who are actuaries?

Several recent reports have been highlighting the advantages of an actuarial career. US News and World Report writes that "employment of actuaries is expected to increase by about 24 percent over the 2006-16 period, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations". #1 profession today, with 21% growth in the next decade. 

So what do Actuaries do?

Actuaries work on wide variety of projects in diverse business environments. Their specialty is assessing risks and then designing ways to decrease impact and likelihood of undesirable events. To do so, they carry out a rigorous quantitative analysis using their broad background in statistics, mathematics and finance. For example, actuaries are experts in:

  • Analyzing insurance rates, such as for cars, homes or life insurance.
  • Estimating the money to be set-aside for future pension/retirement benefits.
  • Participating in corporate planning, such as assessing the value of a company about to merge with another business.
  • Calculating a fair price for a new insurance product.
  • Forecasting the potential impact of catastrophes.
  • Analyzing investment programs.

While most actuaries are employed in the insurance sector, many also work as independent consultants, in banks and investment firms, at public accounting firms and in government. Actuarial research in universities is another thriving career path. See for more information. If you want to know more about our program, talk to the Undergraduate Program Assistant in the Statistics Department, South Hall 5607.

P.S. Do you like adventure? See the classic film, "Double Indemnity", where an actuary solves a bizarre crime!