Online students may be able to find courses relevant to actuarial science, but they typically need to attend on-campus programs to earn actuarial degrees at undergraduate or graduate levels. Students in these on-campus programs can earn Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in actuarial science, actuarial mathematics, economics and other fields that cover the skills and knowledge that actuaries need.
Though extremely rare, certificate programs in actuarial science are also available online through continuing education programs. Graduates with actuarial degrees can work for risk management consultants, insurance companies, businesses and government offices.
Online Actuarial Courses
Below is a sample of commonly offered online courses that can be used to fulfill some of the requirements of an actuarial science or related program.
- Online Risk Management Course: Risk management is an important concept for actuaries, and instruction in this area is available online. Though these classes may not focus specifically on risk management for actuaries, students in these courses usually learn how to identify, predict and prevent standard risks like potential profit loss or bad investing. Online classes focusing on insurance industry risk management may be particularly helpful for students intending to earn an actuarial science degree.
- Online Economics Course: Though online courses in economics don't usually include actuarial topics, they often provide a basic understanding of the field that can be applied in a variety of situations. Students in these courses learn macroeconomics and microeconomics either separately or concurrently. Some online schools present economics study with a focus on business.
- Online Management Course: Management is a common topic in actuarial degree program curricula. Courses in business management, financial management or general management concepts are available online and may be taken for credit in some actuarial degree programs. Online courses in management cover basic management theory, training students in assessment and planning strategies that can be applied to actuarial science.
- Actuarial Mathematics Course: Actuarial mathematics courses usually aren't available online and must be taken in a classroom setting. Courses in actuarial mathematics are central to many actuarial degree program curricula, and they are often taken at different levels throughout a student's actuarial education. The focus of these courses, from introductory to advanced levels, is on understanding the statistical models used in actuarial analysis. Finance is often heavily included in these courses.
- Actuarial Statistics Course: Statistics are very important in actuarial science; working actuaries rely heavily on statistical data to make their risk management conclusions. Like actuarial mathematics, statistics courses are often taken at different levels throughout an actuarial science student's academic career. Classes in actuarial statistics usually must be taken on-campus at a college or university.
- Casualty and Property Actuarial Science Course: This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of ratemaking and reserving, and will then show students how these techniques apply to property and casualty insurance cases. Risk based classification of insureds is also covered in this course. Students will conduct data analysis in order to determine the best techniques to use in different scenarios.