Why Study Actuarial Science at
- One of only a few schools in Indiana to offer a degree in
- Actuarial Science/Management program with both an
actuarial science degree and an MBA degree
- Active student club in actuarial science
- Board of Visitors for actuarial science offers advice for
the program and helps students find internships and
- Professional actuaries teach some upper-level actuarial
- Program prepares students to take 3-4 actuarial
science examinations while at Butler
- B.A. or B.S. in Actuarial
- Science Minor in Actuarial Science
Actuarial Science Program Student Learning
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic concepts and
theory of actuarial science as defined by the first five exams
given by the Society of Actuaries: Probability (P), Financial
Mathematics (FM), Actuarial Models (MLC and MFE), and Construction
and Evaluation of Actuarial Models (C).
- Solve insurance and financial problems related to risk
assessment and perform related calculations by applying standard
- Communicate quantitative analyses clearly to various audiences,
both in writing and orally.
What do actuaries do?
While actuaries work on all sorts of projects in diverse
business environments, they have one thing in common: They
use quantitative skills to analyze and plan for future financial
Using these skills, actuaries may be involved in projects as
- Placing a price on a company about to merge with another
- Estimating the impact of seat-belt laws in automobile losses
and determining appropriate rate discounts.
- Projecting Social Security benefits so money can be collected
to pay workers planning to retire in 20 years.
- Determining why malpractice insurance costs for doctors are
- Projecting what the AIDS epidemic will cost life and health
insurance companies in five, ten and twenty years.
- Determining the price for a liability policy. Collecting and
investing enough money so that an insurance company can pay
- Designing a new retirement program for a company.
- Calculating the price to charge for insuring a satellite
- Estimating the benefit costs for a labor union contract.
- Answering questions like "What risks are insurable," and "How
much and where should companies invest money?"
Where do actuaries
About two-thirds of all actuaries work for life, health, and
property/casualty insurance companies, which heavily rely on the
actuary's judgment to ensure their financial security. For
example, before a company insures the health of one individual or a
corporation's 5,000 employees, or before it issues a policy on a
family car or a fleet of trucks, the actuary helps determine the
risks of sickness or accidents that will result in claims.
The actuary then makes sure the insurance company charges a fair
price to assume the risk, has enough money available to pay claims
and operates profitably as a business.
Consulting firms: An increasing
number of actuaries work as independent consultants. Some
operate their own offices, while others work for large, nationwide
actuarial consulting firms. They consult not only on the
purely technical aspects of an insurance risk, but also on many of
the complex financial workings of virtually every industry in
existence. Consulting actuaries work with and advise chief
financial officers, chief operating officers and often chief
executive officers, especially in the financial services risk
management and health care fields. Another important field is
pension consulting. It has grown substantially since 1974,
when government regulators required actuarial review of all
tax-deductible pension contributions.
Fueled by the liability crisis of the mid-1980s, an increasing
trend toward self-insurance among corporations, governments, and
hospitals has also created a need for property/casualty consultants
to evaluate liabilities and assets for these organizations.
Other areas: Actuaries also find
significant and rewarding opportunities in government and
education, with many serving as university professors or as senior
officials with the U.S. Social Security Administration, the Health
Care Financing Administration, the Canadian Department of
Insurance, and other government bodies, such as state and
provincial insurance departments. Actuaries also are key financial
people in many other organizations, including insurance rating
bureaus, public accounting firms, large industrial corporations,
labor unions, and fraternal organizations.
Who should be an actuary and how important is
Most actuaries were first attracted to the profession as a way
to use their mathematical ability. While mathematics is the
basic building block of an actuarial career, actuaries are, first
of all, business men and women who needbroad-based business skills.
To find out whether your aptitudes and interests make you a good
candidate for an actuarial career, take this short quiz:
- Are you an above-average student, and do you excel in your
- Are you curious and do you like solving complicated
- Do you like writing? Do you like talking with
- Are you interested in historical, social, legislative and
- Would you describe yourself as a self-motivated achiever) who
If your answers are yes, consider becoming an actuary.
If you have a question about the Mathematics and Actuarial
Science program at Butler University, contact:
Dr. William W. Johnston, Chair
Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science
Revised May 2011