While actuarial scientists — the number crunchers who use complex mathematical models to estimate risk — traditionally have been vital to the insurance industry, companies like Google and Uber are now hiring them to help assess opportunities for growth.
And as it turns out, some of the best actuaries in the country are coming out of UC Santa Barbara, where the actuarial science program is the first on the West Coast to be designated a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE).
Raya Feldman, the UCSB program’s director of undergraduate studies, credits its success to a commitment to fine-tuning curriculum. “We are always changing and adapting to meet the industry standards,” she said. “The standards of this profession are defined by two major societies — the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuary Society — and they constantly change their requirements, which means we have to adapt.”