Like many students entering college, Kyle Fredrickson was not sure about his major. He knew it would be something in the STEM field, so he chose physics and minored in math at Edgewood College.
After graduating from Edgewood in spring 2020, Fredrickson began to explore the meteorology and engineering certificate and master’s programs at UW–Madison. But actuarial science had always lingered in the back of his mind, so he enrolled in the Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science, which landed him an internship then a job in the field.
“Everything about the Capstone Program pulled me in that direction,” Fredrickson says. “The accelerated learning, interesting course descriptions and abundance of career development opportunities were perfect for a recent college graduate like myself.”
Preparation for career success
Actuarial science is consistently rated a top career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the actuarial job outlook is estimated to grow by 24 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science is a fast-paced program designed for individuals interested in math and statistics who want to quickly launch their careers. UW–Madison’s program helps students succeed in their profession as it prepares them to pass both preliminary actuarial exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA) in as little as nine months.
It was the perfect fit for Fredrickson because it helped him pass three actuarial exams while interning for WPS Health Solutions.
“I can quite honestly say this program helped me get my foot in the door of the actuarial profession,” he says. “I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in actuarial science, data analytics or a related field. Its flexible nature and emphasis on career development is certain to help you succeed in your profession.”
The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science helped Fredrickson land a full-time job with WPS after his internship. His career goal is to become an associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) in five years, and to explore different areas of health, life and property insurance to find his actuarial niche.
Promising future in actuarial science
The actuarial science program is offered by the Wisconsin School of Business, providing students with access to industry experts, co-curricular learning board events, actuarial club events and career fairs. In addition to these resources, students can network with people in risk management and insurance industries, as well as other students.
“I started the program online, which made it a little more difficult to make connections,” Fredrickson says. “However, the students were a pleasure to work with during group projects and I was able to form some virtual friendships thanks to our collaboration.”
Fredrickson took the program online due to COVID-19, but the Actuarial Science Capstone Certificate currently does not have an online option.
Students have two semesters of full-time study on campus to complete the certificate, as well as the opportunity to take courses that fulfill the Validation by Educational Experience requirements of the CAS/SOA. These components make the program fast-paced and career-oriented.
“The instructors were very knowledgeable and professional. Also, many of the class sizes were small, so they were always available to help if I had questions,” says Fredrickson.
With a promising future, Fredrickson is grateful to Gordon Enderle, the director of the Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science, for all his guidance throughout his time at UW–Madison.
“My capstone experience quite literally started and ended with him,” says Fredrickson. “His professional advice and recommendations have been invaluable to my development as an aspiring actuary.”
Learn more about UW–Madison’s Capstone Certificate Program in Actuarial Science.