Actuaries measure and manage financial risk through applied mathematics. Actuaries are found throughout corporate America, helping executives make intelligent and informed financial decisions. In addition to helping insurers mitigate the chances of losses, actuaries help weigh risk in pension funds, stock and bond portfolios, and even hedge funds. Actuaries also work in areas beyond the financial industry, helping to determine and alleviate risks for product launches, production facility expansions and much more.
Job Title Examples:
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Oral/written communication
- Systems analysis and evaluation
- Analytical skills
- Quantitative skills
- Bachelor's degree required for entry-level position
- The backbone of a career in the actuarial field is education. You will need a thorough understanding of advanced mathematics just to get through the first of many actuarial exams.
- Advancement in this career will depend on continuing your education not only in mathematics and actuarial science, but also economics and finance.
Please note, it’s common for companies in this industry to post directly to their own website’s employment pages - it’s recommended to also check these for opportunities.
The hiring timeline for the Actuarial industry is mostly year round. A stronger need in the fall, employers are recruiting and interviewing for both full-time positions and internships. However, the spring is also an active time for opportunities.
Applying and Interviewing
Your resume will often be the first impression for a potential employer. You want to make sure that your resume is concise, direct, and specific. Ensure that your resume is tailored for the position and for the industry. Highlighting relevant coursework can demonstrate your fit for a particular position. Review our guide on resumes for more information on how to construct one.
A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer. Use the position description to make specific connections between your skills and experience and what the organization is looking for in a candidate. The cover letter should be concise and well-written—if a potential employer reads your cover letter and is intrigued, they will then read your resume. Your cover letter should not repeat your resume verbatim, but enhance it. Together the cover letter and resume can help land you an interview. Review our guide on cover letters for more information on how to construct one.
Most interviews will contain a mixture of resume based questions (questions about your past experience) and behavioral based questions (your ability to handle prospective situations at work. Most positions will begin with an interview that has a mix of these questions. Review our guide on common interview questions.
Preparation is extremely important for interviews. Research the company/organization, current and previous projects they’ve worked on, and even the people that you’re interviewing with. Know the current business climate by researching online journals, the WSJ or New York Times. We also recommend talking with a professor who knows the field prior to your interview. This will not only help provide talking points but will show your knowledge and genuine interest in the position. Utilize our resources on how to best prepare yourself to excel in your interview.
- Actuarial Science Club
- Association of Women in Mathematics of the University of Notre Dame
- Math Club
- Willis Towers Watson
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