Actuarial, Business and Finance Career Profiles


An actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries are experts in financial security systems; their reasons for being, their complexity, and their mathematics. They evaluate the likelihood of events and quantify the outcomes in order to minimize losses associated with uncertain undesirable events. Actuaries are employed by insurance companies, pension plans, businesses, consulting firms and government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, all which face risk and uncertainty. To become an actuary, one must pass a series of examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries. The initial exams are primarily mathematics, including probability and statistics, and can be taken while still an undergraduate student.

Applied Mathematician

Applied mathematicians use theories and techniques, such as mathematical modeling and computational methods, to formulate and solve practical problems in business, government, and engineering and in the physical, life, and social sciences. Applied mathematicians start with a practical problem, envision the separate elements of the process under consideration, and then reduce the elements to mathematical variables. They often use computers to analyze relationships among the variables and solve complex problems by developing models.

Benefits Specialist

Benefits specialists are responsible for overall design, implementation, communication, and administration of the organization's compensation and benefits program. They ensure that compensation and benefit programs support the organization's strategic objectives. They are also responsible for the development and administration of all benefits programs that are designed to attract and retain employees within budgetary constraints.

Business or Management Analyst

Business analysts analyze and propose ways to improve an organization's structure, efficiency, and/or profits. They determine what resources will be required and what problems may be encountered in a certain project. They analyze relevant data then develop solutions to the problem. They build and solve mathematical models to gain insight into the problem.

Communications Engineer

Communications engineers plan and manage projects, ensuring that they are delivered on time, within budget, and to the agreed standards of quality. They test theoretical designs and provide technical guidance to others within the organization. Communications engineers work in a number of sectors, including Internet and computing technologies, networking and telecommunications, and radio.

Economic Analyst

Economic analysts conduct research, collect and analyze data, monitor economic trends, and develop forecasts. They devise methods and procedures for obtaining the data they need. They must present economic and statistical concepts in a clear and meaningful way.

Engineering Analyst

The engineering analyst is responsible for supporting the engineering function within the business/industry. They provide support in the form of research of products for projects, supervision and direction of certain aspects of projects, and monitoring progress of projects. Analysts research information, write reports, create project timelines, and assist in various functions for the success of the overall project.

Financial or Investment Analyst

Both types of specialists gather financial information, analyze it, and make recommendations to their clients.

Financial analysts read company financial statements and analyze commodity prices, sales, costs, expenses, and tax rates in order to determine a company's value and to project its future earnings. They often meet with company officials to gain a better insight into the firm's prospects and to determine its managerial effectiveness. Usually, financial analysts study an entire industry, assessing current trends in business practices, products, and industry competition. They must keep abreast of new regulations or policies that may affect the industry, as well as monitor the economy to determine its effect on earnings.

Investment analysts provide analysis and guidance to businesses and individuals to help them with their investment decisions. They assess the economic performance of companies and industries for firms and institutions with money to invest.

Investment Manager

Investment managers mostly work for large financial institutions such as a bank, life insurance, or trust company. They oversee the daily activities for the company's investment operations and manage investment portfolios of clients.

Market Researcher

Market researchers are concerned with the potential sales of a product or serve. They gather statistical data of competitors and examine prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution. They analyze data on past sales in order to predict future sales.

Product Developer

A product developer plans and develops new products. They research what consumers' want and need and create a timeline for the project. They are responsible for taking a product from the drawing board to production to marketing.