PORTSMOUTH – Originally from Chesapeake, Ohio, Franklin (Scott) Ferrell is graduating next year and majoring in Mathematical Sciences at Shawnee State University. Looking at the actuarial program, affordability of tuition, and small student-to-faculty ratio, Ferrell knew his SSU was the right choice for him. Having a great interest in mathematics in high school, he quickly learned about the advantages a mathematical science career path could offer him.
“We found that the actuarial profession ranks among the top careers in terms of work environment, job prospects and salaries,” said Ferrell, who enjoyed statistics and macroeconomics courses in high school. added to the fact that he would be working with probability, statistics and financial mathematics, which made him interested in pursuing a career as an actuary.”
Courses within the SSU Department of Mathematical Sciences provide students with an opportunity to understand the role of mathematics in everyday society. Many actuaries are found in government, banking and financial institutions as insurance companies, private companies and consultants. Ferrell enjoys being able to apply coursework in problem-solving seminars and see her progress in that area while completing her degree.
“These seminars serve not only as a refresher of the material, but also as preparation for general practice and math exams,” he said. I found it very rewarding to apply my acquired knowledge to solve real math problems and I believe these seminars were essential to pass my first two actuarial exams.”
After completing his degree next year, Ferrell plans to start working in an entry-level actuarial position. He discovered that there are many jobs and businesses in the community that need actuarial jobs.
“The insurance industry is the largest employer of actuaries, but there are other areas of specialization that actuaries can enter if companies are interested in managing financial risk,” he said. “I am particularly interested in retirement benefits, but would be more than happy to work in the field of actuarial science.”
Over the summer, Ferrell participated in undergraduate discrete and continuous analysis research experiences at Fairmont State University in Appalachia. She worked with other undergraduates and the program, which focused on calculus on time scales, was focused on introducing students to different aspects of the mathematical sciences. With this hands-on experience, Ferrell is interested in seeing how the career field of mathematical sciences continues to grow.
“It’s a really great career, and most people I talk to have never heard of it, even a surprising number of math majors,” he said, noting that a specific degree is required to become an actuary. It’s not required, but preparation will make it easier to pass the required exams. “If you have even the slightest interest in a career in mathematics, there are many advantages to becoming an actuary.”
For more information about Shawnee State University’s School of Mathematical Sciences programs, visit www.shawnee.edu/math.