Actuarial Science Option to be Offered Starting Fall 2014

2013_CSTA_BiologyCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 2, 2013 – Southeast Missouri State University students Erin Ciezadlo and Austin Butorac hope to follow in their parents’ footsteps, pursuing careers as actuaries.

Ciezadlo’s father is currently the chief actuary and vice president of his firm.

“I job shadowed each of his employees, and observed what they do every day. This sparked a large interest for me,” Ciezadlo said.

A sophomore from Defiance, Mo., she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in mathematics with an option in applied mathematics and statistics from Southeast Missouri State University. Her true interest lies in being an actuary.

She says she’d heard about actuarial science becoming an option at the University, and she wants to pursue it as soon as she can. Next fall, she’ll be able to pursue actuarial science as an option after Southeast’s Board of Regents approved it as the newest option in the mathematics major at their Sept. 21st meeting.

“I find searching and collecting data and forming statistics to manage risk for organizations and businesses intriguing,” she said. “I would love to be able to expand my skills and abilities to become a successful actuary.”

Butorac, a Southeast sophomore from Bloomington, Ill., has a similar career goal. He plans to pursue Southeast’s new option in actuarial science as well.

“I grew up around State Farm. Their headquarters is located right where I grew up, and both my parents work there,” he said. “Insurance companies are big on actuarial science. It is through State Farm that I learned of the career and decided to pursue it for myself.”

Butorac, an applied mathematics major, says he is looking for a stable, good job.

“I decided to go with my strength, which is math,” he said. “A position as an actuary seemed to be just what I was looking for. It has a combination of good job security, many different places to work and great pay as well.”

Actuarial science is the discipline of applying knowledge of mathematics, statistics, probability and financial theory to measure and minimize the financial impact of tomorrow’s uncertain events faced by financial institutions, other businesses and society at large, said Dr. Emmanuel Thompson, a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics.

“In brief, actuarial science is a discipline concerned with the evaluation and management of financial risks,” Thompson said.

A person equipped with actuarial science training, particularly quantitative analysis of risk, is in a better position to estimate the cost of future risks and further provide the most optimal advice in improving financial decisions by building models to assess the present financial implications of future events, Thompson said.

By having this option, students at the University will be prepared to sit for the preliminary exams organized by the society of actuaries (SOA) and the causalty actuarial society (CAS).

“Actuarial training is in high demand and consistently has been rated as one of the best jobs in America,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, students pursuing this option will have prospects for entry-level jobs. Those who have internship experience and have passed actuarial exams while in school with good communication skills stand the best chance for getting entry-level jobs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment of actuarial science professionals is expected to grow by 27 percent between 2010 and 2020.

“Being able to switch to this program will certainly help me in my future endeavors,” Ciezadlo said. “These classes will better prepare me for what is expected in the future at a job. It will provide me with the ability to acquire new skills and understandings. It will also prepare me for actuarial exams.”