MANSFIELD, Pa. — Aaron Butters ‘21, a Mansfield University alumnus, recently passed his fifth actuarial exam on predictive analytics. Butters graduated with a degree in mathematics with a concentration in applied mathematics.
An actuary measures and manages risk for an organization to help them maximize their profit. According to the Society of Actuaries, individuals in this field are experts in evaluating the likelihood of events happening, designing ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events, and decreasing the impact of these events.
Taking an actuarial exam requires a great deal of preparation. “They’re a major commitment to take. It’s like medical or law exams,” said Butters. “The exam cover mathematics, statistics, finance, investment, insurance industry knowledge, and programming.”
So far, Butters has passed exams on probability, financial mathematics, investment and financial markets, statistics for risk modeling and now, predictive analytics. Passing this fifth exam in December 2021 marked Butters’ halfway mark to earning his fellowship in the Society of Actuaries. There is still a long road ahead for Butters’ to reach his goal of fellowship.
“The predictive analytics exam was five hours long and involved typed answers about a business problem based on a dataset I needed to analyze using statistical software,” explained Butters. “Also, each exam usually requires about 200 to 300 hours of study time. This can vary depending on the amount of material. I usually start studying six months before I take each exam.”
Additionally, there are several other online, graded courses on topics such as professionalism, economics, accounting, and finance that are part of the credentialing process.
Butters, a Troy native, first became aware of the actuarial profession in high school while his father was reading about it in a list of careers in STEM. “Up until that point I had been considering various engineering career paths, but since actuarial science matched my interests so well with its combination of mathematics (specifically its emphasis on statistics) and business and finance, I decided to pursue that instead.” said Butters.
This is what led him to MU’s applied mathematics program. “My classes at MU prepared me very well for my career and my professors have given me a great deal of advice.”
Currently, Butters works with Guardian Life, a mutual life insurance company, and is planning to continue his career path there as he earns his Fellowship.
For more information about the Mansfield University mathematics program, visit mansfield.edu/mathematics/