passport to accreditation as a qualified actuary If you aspire to a career as an actuary, this specialization is a necessary first step towards your qualification. Once you have this official accreditation, you can become an actuary almost anywhere in the world.
Preparatory courses If you are currently studying the bachelor’s programme in Econometrics and Operations Research at Maastricht University, you have the opportunity to take preparatory courses as an elective. If you are studying elsewhere, you can also take these courses before starting your master’s degree. The preparatory courses, coupled with this master’s qualification in Actuarial Sciences, allow you to apply for a two-year part-time postgraduate course at the Dutch Actuarial Society and equivalent institutions in other countries. Actuaries are in high demand, both in the Netherlands and abroad, so it’s an excellent qualification to have.
The role of actuaries is changing. Until recently, actuaries have concentrated on mitigating risk. Now, their role is broader and more proactive: they study market demand and manage return on investment, both in the short and long terms. To do this, they must take a balanced view of both assets and liabilities. The Actuarial Sciences track at Maastricht University is one of only three such studies in the Netherlands, putting it at the cutting edge of its field. Become a ‘financial engineer’: take Actuarial Sciences.
What will you learn? Keys skills that you will learn include problem solving and the ability to see those problems from more than one point of view. You will also learn how to communicate your opinions and solutions professionally and clearly in order to persuade others of your viewpoint.
At the end of the track, you will be able to:
• break financial problems down into smaller parts in order to solve them • use a two-pronged approach to financial problems: an asset perspective and a liability perspective • demonstrate financial expertise in the pension and insurance sectors
Most graduates of this track do go on to become qualified actuaries. There is a huge demand in this industry; ABP and AZL pension funds actually approached Maastricht University to ask them to offer this track to meet the current undersupply. However, you can also go on to apply for many roles in banking or insurance that require a similar skill set. Econometricians acquire techniques in investigating large sets of data, which can be used in many industries. Many banks, pension funds and insurance companies approach students regarding jobs before they have finished studying.
Moreover, student associations in the field have contacts with companies, or are even sponsored by them. NETSPAR, a large research institution in Tilburg, has connections with universities as well as insurance companies and pension funds.