Actuaries' Survival Guide - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780123869432, 9780123869890

Actuaries' Survival Guide

2nd Edition

How to Succeed in One of the Most Desirable Professions

Authors: Fred Szabo
eBook ISBN: 9780123869890
Paperback ISBN: 9780123869432
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 21st May 2012
Page Count: 296
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What would you like to do with your life? What career would allow you to fulfill your dreams of success? If you like mathematics—and the prospect of a highly mobile, international profession—consider becoming an actuary.

Szabo’s Actuaries’ Survival Guide, Second Edition explains what actuaries are, what they do, and where they do it. It describes exciting combinations of ideas, techniques, and skills involved in the day-to-day work of actuaries. This second edition has been updated to reflect the rise of social networking and the internet, the progress toward a global knowledge-based economy, and the global expansion of the actuarial field that has occurred since the first edition.

Key Features

  • Includes details on the new structures of the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) examinations, as well as sample questions and answers
  • Presents an overview of career options, includes profiles of companies & agencies that employ actuaries.
  • Provides a link between theory and practice and helps readers understand the blend of qualitative and quantitative skills and knowledge required to succeed in actuarial exams
  • Includes insights provided by over 50 actuaries and actuarial students about the actuarial profession
  • Author Fred Szabo has directed the Actuarial Co-op Program at Concordia for over fifteen years


Actuarial mathematics students, career-minded students in courses such as macroeconomics, microeconomics, finance, and business, and for beginning professionals who are interested in career alternatives

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Actuarial Careers

1.1 Career Options

1.2 Benefits and Rewards

1.3 A Typical Day

1.4 Typical Projects

1.5 Mathematical Skills

1.6 Complementary Disciplines

1.7 Actuaries of the Future

1.8 SOA Versus CAS

1.9 Actuarial Accreditation

1.10 Associates and Fellows

1.11 Going for a Master’s

1.12 Career Alternatives

1.13 Actuaries around the World

Chapter 2. Actuarial Education

2.1 The International Syllabus

2.2 The European Syllabus

2.3 The North American Syllabus

2.4 The SOA Examinations

2.5 The CAS Examinations

2.6 Printed Study Material

2.7 Theory and Practice

2.8 Difficulty of the Examinations

2.9 Ways to Pass Examinations

2.10 Study Aids

2.11 Mathematical Foundations of Actuarial Science

2.12 Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Finance, and Theory of Interest

2.13 Use of Actuarial Models

2.14 The CAS Version of the Actuarial Model Course

2.15 Building Actuarial Models

2.16 Advanced SOA Examination Topics

2.17 CAS Courses Referenced in the Survey

2.18 Professional Development Course

Chapter 3. Actuarial Jobs

3.1 Landing Your First Job

3.2 Moving Up the Ladder

3.3 Salaries and Benefits

3.4 Company Reputation

3.5 Consulting versus Insurance

APPENDIX A. Consulting Firms

A.1 Aon Hewitt Corporation


A.3 Buck Consultants

A.4 Deloitte

A.5 Dion Durrell

A.6 Ernst & Young

A.7 Hay Group


A.9 Mercer

A.10 Normandin Beaudry

A.11 PricewaterhouseCoopers

A.12 Towers Watson

A.13 Other Firms

APPENDIX B. Insurance Companies



B.3 Allianz

B.4 Aviva


B.6 Desjardins

B.7 Generali

B.8 Great-West

B.9 Manulife

B.10 MetLife

B.11 Munich Re

B.12 Prudential

B.13 RSA Insurance Group

B.14 Sun Life Financial

B.15 Swiss Re

B.16 The Hartford

APPENDIX C. Reciprocity Agreements

C.1 United Kingdom and Australia

C.2 United Kingdom and Canada

C.3 United Kingdom and the United States

C.4 United Kingdom and Japan

C.5 United Kingdom and the European Union

C.6 Within the European Union

APPENDIX D. Actuarial Websites

D.1 North American Sites

D.2 International Sites

APPENDIX E. Recruiting Agencies

E.1 Prominent Agencies

E.2 Sample Job Postings

APPENDIX F. SOA Education Summary

F.1 Associateship Requirements

F.2 Fellowship Requirements

F.3 Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) Requirements

APPENDIX G. CAS Education Summary

G.1 Associateship Requirements

G.2 Fellowship Requirements

APPENDIX H. Actuarial Symbols

Appendix I



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© Academic Press 2012
Academic Press
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About the Author

Fred Szabo

Author of:

The Linear Algebra Survival Guide, 1st Edition

Actuaries' Survival Guide, 2nd Edition

Actuaries' Survival Guide, 1st Edition

Linear Algebra: An Introduction using Maple, 1st Edition

Linear Algebra: An Introduction using Mathematica, 1st Edition

Fred E. Szabo is professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Concordia University in Canada. He completed his undergraduate studies at Oxford University under the guidance of Sir Michael Dummett and received a Ph.D. in mathematics from McGill University under the supervision of Joachim Lambek. After postdoctoral studies at Oxford University and visiting professorships at several European universities, he returned to Concordia University as a faculty member and dean of graduate studies. For more than twenty years, he developed methods for the teaching of mathematics with technology. In 2012 he was honored at the annual Wolfram Technology Conference for his work on "A New Kind of Learning" with a Wolfram Innovator Award. He is currently professor and Provost Fellow at Concordia University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Mathematics, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada