Degree In Actuarial Science – IAQS

Degree In Actuarial Science and Quantitative Finance by Mumbai University

Through this article, I would like to share some information of potential interest to Actuarial Science, CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) and FRM (Financial Risk Manager) aspirants.

Have you been in the dilemma of choosing bachelors or masters course to pursue Actuarial Science? 

Do you want a taste of Data Science? Have you felt a lack of proper guidance in these fields? Do you feel you lack the job skill set despite completing graduation with a few Actuarial science papers? Do you feel the lack of application in real-world of the concepts taught in these exams?

IAQS (Institute of Actuarial and Quantitative Studies) is launching two courses in Mumbai with degree recognition from University of Mumbai from the academic year 2019. IAQS is an independent institute formed to form courses for students who want to enter banking, finance, investment, and insurance sector. It is releasing

B.Sc. in Actuarial Science & Quantitative Finance 

M.Sc. in Actuarial Science & Quantitative Finance 

Before getting into details of the course, I’d like to tell you the purpose of the course as told by the designers of the course structure. 

Through the course, they want to connect students to the industry. The goal is to bridge the gap between exam-based knowledge and work-based knowledge. The program is designed to make the students work-ready.

Professional Examinations have failed to equip the successful candidates with skills that make them employable. For this purpose, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries have introduced programming languages in examinations under the new 2019 Curriculum. The course structure has been formulated under the guidance of eminent people from Finance, Insurance, Actuarial industry. These working professionals have put together their understanding of the field, software skills, and professional skills required to design the course.

Getting into the details of the course,

The B.Sc. and M.Sc. program is open to students from any stream. Eligibility for the course is judged by an entrance exam titled QAT(Quantitative Aptitude Test). The test is divided into 70% Maths and Stats and 30% English.  An applicant must score 50% to clear the test. After the entrance test, applicants will be screened through a personal interview round where interpersonal skills will be tested. Passing ACET or any Actuarial paper will also make the student eligible for the course.

B.Sc. in Actuarial Science & Quantitative Finance 

It will be a three-year full-time program, conducted at KC College, Mumbai. The first-year study will deal with probability, economics, life, and non-life insurance products. The second-year will include knowledge of financial market, derivatives, risk modeling and economics. In the third year, students have to choose between Actuarial Science and Quantitative Finance. The course has a different well-defined syllabus for either elective.

The quantitative finance elective offers a career similar to professional courses like CFA and FRM. Semester five will also focus on soft skills and business communication and semester six will have predictive analysis and machine learning as part of syllabus under both the electives. It has a one-year exchange program with few affiliated international colleges after the second semester. Every student must do an internship after the second year which will be provided by the campus placement cell.

There will be project work on real-world company problems in semester four and compulsory project work for all students in semester six. In the course of three years, students will also learn the application of concepts in excel and software languages like R programming, Python, C++, and Bloomberg. The department also has a placement cell dedicated to counseling, providing internship opportunities and job assistance.

M.Sc. in Actuarial Science and Quantitative Finance 

This will be a two-year program. In the first year, the course will cover probability, statistics, financial mathematics, financial engineering, business economics, insurance products and knowledge of the financial market. The first year will include applications of concepts in Excel and R programming.  The second-year will give students the choice between Actuarial Science and Quantitative Finance.

The quantitative finance elective offers a career similar to professional courses like CFA and FRM. In quantitative finance, the course covers financial engineering, enterprise risk management, investment management. In actuarial science, the course covers pricing and reserving of life insurance products, statistical and risk modeling. Placement Cell facility will also be provided to students of this course.

This is the curriculum of the courses at length.

Why do the course?

From the perspective of a student pursuing Actuarial Science,

Both the courses are recognized by the University of Mumbai. 60%-70% of faculty members of both courses are working professionals. This course is designed by industry professionals so it would encompass the skills and knowledge they expect in us. Since the person teaching me could be someone who would be working in the company apply-in in future, the opportunity of interaction  I  get in three years will be added advantage. I personally believe learning and working with these professionals in college is great.

Being an Actuarial science student, I had faced the dilemma of choosing a bachelors course and ended up with B.Com. This Bachelor’s course complements Actuarial Science perfectly. You no more have to worry about doing B.Com. , B.B.I. or B.Sc. in Stats or worry about the recognition and acceptance of Degree. You have finally got a course complementing Actuarial Science and Quantitative Finance courses like CFA and FRM.

The program also includes topics that help in competitive exams and exposes students to Data Science. Students registered for Actuarial exams at IFOA usually face exams from the University of Mumbai and IFOA exam at the same time, making it difficult to ace both. They won’t have to face this issue in the Actuarial paper from either IFOA or IAI as of now. In B.Sc. program, in the span of three years, topics of  Actuarial papers CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2 will be covered.

The program includes project work on real-world problems which prove very useful at the time of employment. Since the internship is compulsory for every student and which will be provided by the placement cell, students get the much-needed work experience before graduating. The B.Sc. program opens up doors to various fields for graduates like Data Science, financial engineering, Actuarial Science, MBA in finance, higher studies in economics, finance.

As far as M.Sc. program is concerned, it will be suitable for individuals who found their interest in Actuarial Science after graduating or maybe while working. It can also be opted by B.Com graduates who want to explore careers in these fields. The wonderful thing about the programs is that these do not certificate courses but a full-time university degree.

For registering for the course, you can check the website https://iaqs.in

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