New Minor for Future Actuaries

by Professor Matt Carlton

Statistics majors have shown a sharply increased interest in actuarial careers recently. Several students have done senior projects related to actuarial problems, many have taken (and passed!) one or more actuarial exams, and more than a few have begun careers in actuarial science after graduation.

In response to increased interest, 2010 graduate Dave Evans and I worked with an advisory panel from the Statistics, Mathematics, and Finance departments to create a minor in Actuarial Preparation. Students can apply to this minor beginning summer 2011.  The minor curriculum includes advanced courses in probability and finance, along with a five-course “pack” of economics, finance, and statistics called Validation by Educational Experience. These courses are required by both major national actuarial societies (CAS and SOA). Statistics majors with an interest in actuarial careers will find it easy to integrate the minor into their major curriculum.

Additionally, our department website now includes a page dedicated to actuarial information: the new minor, what actuaries do, how to prepare for the preliminary exams, and more. The bulk of the website’s content was created by Evans, with additional input from me and 2011 graduate Brad Vancho. Check out Actuary Information.

Finally, several students from the Class of 2013 have just formed an actuarial interest club, the Cal Poly Actuarial Society. The new club hopes to create a network for students interested in actuarial careers and to bring in local actuaries and other speakers.


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