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High School Actuarial Day in Chicago

Schaumburg, May 11, 2018 – Industry organizations in partnership with DePaul University hosted a “High School Actuarial Day” on April 18 at the University campus in Chicago. The event gathered more than 300 high school students and teachers from 14 Chicago-area high schools and it was sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), The Actuarial Foundation, The International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA), Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), and CNA.  More than 60 speakers and volunteers from these organizations participated in the event.

The program was spearheaded by CAS President, Brian Brown, with the goal to expose diverse high school students to the actuarial profession as a career choice. Schools with a diverse population were targeted, and within these schools, students in advanced math classes were encouraged to attend.

Recent research on barriers to entry into the profession for under-represented demographic groups has shown that one of the main reasons that diverse high school students do not enter the profession is their lack of knowledge of the profession until late in college. This puts them at a disadvantage relative to other students, as many employers look to hire students who have passed a few actuarial exams and completed an internship before offering full time employment.

The agenda for the program included a mix of general session speakers, table discussions, and problem-solving activities. Program highlights included:

  • Practicing actuaries sharing why they became an actuary, what they love about working as an actuary, and the different job opportunities available to actuaries.
  • An overview of the process for pursuing a career as an actuary and resources available to students to assist them along their career path.
  • Math estimation and logic problems, which the students worked in teams to solve.

“We appreciate the efforts of the local school teachers, university staff, and volunteers from the different actuarial organizations to share more about the actuarial career with these students,” noted SOA President Mike Lombardi, FSA, CERA, FCIA, MAAA. “We’re glad to have these types of opportunities to inform high school students about the actuarial profession and in turn to reach out to the next generation of potential actuaries.”

Brown commented, “Putting on an event like this requires a lot of work, and we are very appreciative of the support we received. As we work towards building a diverse pipeline of future actuaries, I hope to make this an annual event in Chicago.”

Students at the high school level who are interested in a career as an actuary can find resources about the actuarial profession at the website Be An Actuary.org.

About the SOA

With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world’s largest actuarial professional organization with more than 30,000 actuaries as members. Through research and education, the SOA's mission is to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal challenges. The SOA's vision is for actuaries to be the leading professionals in the measurement and management of risk. www.SOA.org