I recently completed my under-graduate studies in pure mathematics, and have been accepted for Masters at one of the top 10 math schools. I have great interest in research and would like to continue studying pure math. However I would also like to keep an open mind, and would like to get trained in Masters in a way that I could get job as an (beginning?) actuary, if I wish to get one.

Does a Masters in pure math, with a focus in say complex geometry, equip myself with skills required to work as an actuary later? Should I pursue Masters in actuarial science to get a job as an actuary? Since I am not quite certain about what I want to do after Masters, whether to go to do a PhD or do a job as an act, I am currently thinking of pursuing pure math, but also take some courses in act science? Is this possible, given that Masters study is only of two years, which is a very short period of time? During this summer, I would like to prepare myself to take first two exams in act science. How should I prepare for this? Any suggestion for references? Any programming skills that I should learn?

I apologize for making my questions very broad. Please suggest in comments if any improvement needs to be made. Thanks!


closed as too broad by user223391, Adam Hughes, user147263, Mike Pierce, Macavity Jun 29 '15 at 3:52

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Actuaries work with applied math. The theoretical math should help your mind, but hiring managers will be looking for applied math skills.

Pursuing a Masters in Act Sci is expensive and overkill. Take and pass the first two actuarial exams will suffice to show potential employers that you have skills and are interested. If you get a job with an insurance company, they'll likely give you paid time off to study for and pass the remaining exams (consulting firms will say they'll give you the time, but you're less likely to actually be able to take the time off). With your math background, you'll probably find Property/Casualty insurance more interesting than Life or Health insurance, so follow the CAS path (casact.org).

To prepare for the first two exams, start at http://casact.org/admissions/syllabus/ and read the syllabi for Exam 1 Probability and Exam 2 Financial Math.

For more help on exams, you'll find lots of help at the discussion forum on actuarialoutpost.com

For programming, know Excel very well, including some VBA. If you know SQL even better. If you know R or SAS as well, you're doing great!