Actuarial Science Program Profile
If you are interested in thinking more about how we should be responsibly using data as a tool, then studying statistics or actuarial science might be for you.More about Actuarial Science
- Excellent pass rate on preparatory exams which are a key to success in the field and placement into actuarial positions upon graduation.
- Connections with a network of Dordt University alumni and others that give students a leg up on the competition when seeking internships.
- A world-class teaching faculty that is at the cutting-edge of their field in disciplinary expertise and teaching practices, dedicated to their faith and beliefs, and who are accessible and committed to serve students at Dordt University.
- A cohort of other students who are highly interested in actuarial science who together explore opportunities to visit corporations, attend conferences, host speakers, and study together for exams.
A graduate of the Dordt University actuarial science program is:
- A communicator: Can clearly communicate actuarial concepts and counsel in a professional way to a variety of audiences.
- An explorer: Has developed a curiosity to ask questions about financial and statistical risk and the skills to investigate them.
- A connector: Can translate complex real-world questions into mathematical and statistical models and provide data-informed answers.
- A learner: Has an interdisciplinary knowledge of mathematics, statistics, finance, and economics and leverages it to engage new areas and display competence on professional exams.
- An ambassador: Can share the joy and utility of actuarial science to promote a Biblical perspective about its place in God’s creation.
WHAT IS STATISTICS? WHAT IS ACTUARIAL SCIENCE?
Statistics and actuarial science both draw conclusions based on our observations (via data). The discipline of statistics provides a systematic framework, related to the scientific method and grounded in the mathematics of calculus and probability, to draw valid conclusions which can be appropriately tempered by a quantifiable confidence in their accuracy. Actuarial science applies statistical, probabilistic, and algebraic reasoning to quantify financial risk. Statistical reasoning is more general and can be applied to almost any field. Statistics is an essential tool in modern society, impacting all of our lives on a regular basis, thus there is an increasing need for individuals who choose to study it deeply and practice it as a profession.
WHAT WE TEACH
In addition to the technical concepts, we emphasize that statistical and actuarial thinking require an abstraction of reality (many call this a 'model' of reality). A famous statistical quote says that "all models are wrong but some are useful" (Box, 1979). This means that our ability to capture the realities of the world in which we live with a statistical model will always be incorrect-they will always be unable to capture all of the intricate details-however, sometimes these models are useful. We teach that statistics and actuarial thinking is increasingly useful in a world with ubiquitous data, but that this thinking is easily misused (e.g., being overconfident or overcritical). In short, we must understand what statistical and actuarial reasoning can and can't tell us, and how to evaluate conclusions based on data in the context of a much broader view of the world.
HOW WE TEACH
Our approach to teaching focuses on conceptual understanding (not memorization), getting your hands dirty with meaningful data, a priority on thinking about important research questions and bridging the classroom to the real world. In short, the focus is on doing statistics and actuarial science. Our role as faculty is to come alongside you, giving you room to be creative problem solvers.
WHY CHOOSE US?
If you are excited to develop your understanding of the role of data today and do so alongside a passionate and like-minded group of students and faculty, then you may want to consider studying financial risk management through a degree in Actuarial Science, or adding a Statistics minor to any other major we offer here at Dordt. Our program stands alone in its ability to provide you with a cutting-edge technical education, a wealth of research opportunities, strong connections to business, industry, and graduate schools for internships, employment, and additional schooling, all grounded in an integral Christian view that permeates all aspects of our life today.
Box, G. E. P. (1979), "Robustness in the strategy of scientific model building", in Launer, R. L.; Wilkinson, G. N., Robustness in Statistics, Academic Press, pp. 201-236.