If you’re looking for a program that will propel you towards a job in a quickly-growing field, Georgia State’s master’s degree and certificate program in actuarial science can help you do just that.
Part of the Robinson School of Business, Georgia State’s actuarial sciences programs boast the No. 1 ranking in North America for research productivity by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. For National Coding Week, we’re taking a closer look at two of its online programs and how coding is used in both programs’ curriculum.
For individuals seeking an additional degree, Georgia State’s online master’s in actuarial science provides an opportunity to complete a degree in as little as three semesters as a full-time student. The 30-credit hour program includes a STEM-designated curriculum designed to prepare students for actuarial exams administered by the Society of Actuaries.
The degree program is also available to complete at Georgia State’s campus in Atlanta –both the online and in-person degrees require the same coursework. Part-time students can complete the degree in five to six semesters, and the program is geared toward individuals with quantitative backgrounds, both with and without prior actuarial training.
Kasyoki Kimeu is four weeks into his studies this semester, but he is already making progress in his Data Programming for Analytics course.
Kimeu completed his undergraduate degree in actuarial sciences from a university in Kenya before moving to the U.S. for a master’s program. A first-generation graduate student, Kimeu can see the importance of coding in the program.
“In Kenya, it was more about learning the code, just getting the code for the exam,” Kimeu said. “But here, it is knowing the code and understanding the code for application. That’s the biggest difference.”
That same Data Programming for Analytics course is one elective choice for the online graduate certificate in actuarial science program. The 12-credit hour program can be completed in two semesters of two courses. It is geared for students who wish to prepare for the P (Probability) and FM (Financial Mathematics) exams needed to become a credentialed actuary.
Courses in the online graduate certificate program are offered in synchronous and asynchronous formats, with synchronous courses typically held in the evenings. These night courses accommodate professionals who can attend class after work from any continental U.S. time zone and are normally held from 7:15-9:45 p.m. ET.
The online master’s program requires students to take elective courses, many of which are coding-related or heavy. Courses like Scalable Data Analytics touch on topics of programming paradigms and languages, while Financial Data Analytics gives students experience in modern machine learning techniques and statistical programming.
Before joining the program, Kimeu relied on conversations with alumni and members of the program to make a decision on where he would enroll in graduate school.
“I talked to several students in the advanced semesters after they had completed it,” Kimeu said. “I also talked to others who were able to tell me about exams, especially about the spring project, lectures and the logistics.”
Certain courses, Kimeu explained, require no exams, but instead focus on projects where students can showcase skills learned during lectures and other portions of the course. His final project in one course, for example, makes up 40% of his grade, but Kimeu is able to choose a topic in the banking or finance industry for a practical application of his learning.
On top of its experience-building coursework, the Robinson School of Business recently dropped its Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score requirement, opening the door for more individuals to reach the credentials of their dreams. With two dual degree offerings, students can easily add a master of science in quantitative risk analysis and management or a master of science in data science and analytics to their actuarial sciences degree. These dual degree options add only one additional semester of study and help differentiate students from other individuals in the workforce.
Although Kimeu is only a few weeks into his semester, he looks forward to turning his tassel and putting good use to his new degree.
“I look forward to using my graduate education and the necessary academic and technical skills for my career growth,” Kimeu said.
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