Jordan Paszek always liked math and decided on an actuarial career back in high school. He had seen national headlines naming it as a smart career choice, so he entered an actuarial science program as an undergraduate. Unfortunately, the program did not provide the training he needed to pass industry exams.
Paszek learned about the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science and realized it could quickly give him the proper foundation. In as little as nine months, the program prepares students to pass the professional credentialing exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries.
“The capstone program seemed like the best transition to making my goal attainable,” Paszek says. “Within one year of completing the program, I already feel I have gotten an adequate return on my investment and know that it will continue for years to come.”
Making connections with employers
Using mathematical skills, actuaries are in demand to develop, price, and evaluate products for the insurance industry and to calculate the costs of new risks for businesses and industries. Actuarial science is consistently rated as a top career, with a higher-than-average projected growth of 18% over the next decade.
Paszek liked the fact that his UW-Madison instructors all had industry experience. He was also impressed that they got to know each student personally.
“I’m convinced UW has some of the best, if not the best, actuarial instructors in the country,” he says. “I found every instructor was willing to put in extra time for students who sought additional help outside of class. It was refreshing to see them truly committed to making sure every student had a firm grasp of the material covered in class.”
The Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science helps students make connections with prospective employers, and Paszek took advantage of these opportunities.
“So many employers recruit students through UW in career fairs, employer presentations, and off-site interviews,” he says.
Paszek is now an actuarial analyst at Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc., a consulting firm focused on property/casualty insurance. He says the Capstone Certificate Program prepared him for the job by exploring relevant topics in-depth.
“Understanding why and how different concepts are developed is very helpful in relation to the actuarial exams,” he says, “as well as seeing them used in practice.”
For more information on UW-Madison’s Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science, see here.