Actuarial analysts are trained to assess financial risks and probabilities, and they typically enter this profession with some knowledge of finance, insurance and high level-math skills. Actuary courses are found at 4-year colleges in bachelor's and graduate degree programs. Students in actuarial analyst courses study topics such as statistics, financial security systems and mathematics. Coursework in degree programs for potential actuarial analysts also includes economics, probability and instruction on predicting how certain life circumstances can affect one's life-expectancy. Potential topics can be found in the following list:
- Interest rate values
- Random variables
- Linear regression
List of Actuarial Analyst Classes
A basic economics class for actuarial analyst students, this course introduces principles in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics is concerned with trends in consumer behavior or individual businesses. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, is the big picture or overall behavior of a nation's economy. Students in an economics course study economic methods, tools for analysis and economic theories as a basis for understanding concepts in actuary science and predictions.
Mathematics for Finances Course
This is a course that is typically taken early on in an actuarial analyst's program of study. Time is spent discussing the Black-Scholes formula, which is a popular model used to calculate price, stock and interest rate values. Other price models include Brownian Motion and general interest rate models. This course format combines mathematical equations with word problems. Additional areas of study may include interest measurements, annuities, yield rates, amortization (value reduction) and bonds.
Another course that is taken at the beginning of an actuarial analyst's school career, this probability course is based on calculus methods and variables. Students explore empirical estimations, random variables and conditional probabilities. Specific probability laws and theories are also covered, including Radon-Nikodym derivatives, Laplace transforms and the central limit theorem.
A statistics course for someone in an actuary program focuses on quantitative finance and risk calculations. Depending on the actuary program layout, it may be beneficial for students to first take a probability and calculus course. Other areas of study in this statistics course may include risk measures, convergence, hypothesis testing and linear regression for pricing models. The course is structured as an applied learning course so that students are able to see information and theories applied to real-world situations and concepts.
Life Contingencies Course
A life contingencies course concentrates on life insurance calculations and models for predicting life expectancy. Typically a lecture-style course, students learn about the specifics of life insurance variables, annuities, insurance premiums and insurance loss. Time is also spent on Markov Chains and Poisson processes. Markov Chains discuss discrete random processes or systems that change at random as part of a slow interval. Poisson processes are situations that occur independent of each other, yet continuously. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to estimate factors for each of the models discussed.