The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects math occupations to grow 27% between 2019-2029, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. The increasingly heavy role that big data plays in business, media, healthcare, and several other industries likely underlies the faster-than-average growth rate for math occupations. Several mathematics-based occupations, such as actuary and data scientist, use tools to analyze and interpret big data. You can tailor your coursework leading to a successful career as an actuarial analyst, a data analyst or a math teacher.

We train students in the areas of

(1) Actuarial science to assess risk in insurance, and finance, and other industries,

(2) Data Analytics for predictive modelling, analyzing data, and supporting decision-making,

(3) Mathematics to learn mathematical proofs and application of mathematics, and

(4) Statistics to learn modeling, forecasting, interpreting, and analyzing data.




1. Actuarial Path

 

Actuarial

What is an actuary?

“Through their knowledge of statistics, finance, and business, actuaries assess the risk of events occurring and help create policies that minimize risk and its financial impact on companies and clients. One of the main functions of actuaries is to help businesses assess the risk of certain events occurring and formulate policies that minimize the cost of that risk.” – Bureau of Labor Statistics

Actuaries measure risk and discover ways for people and organizations to stay secure.

  • In 2018 almost 72% of actuary jobs were in the insurance industry, 17% in the consulting field and about 9% were in corporate management.
  • Actuary job growth between 2018-2028 is expected to be about 20%, with a median salary of $102,880 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Actuary jobs were rated in 2019 in the top 10 jobs in the United States by Careercast and have continually placed near or at the top of the rankings for the past 10 years.

Requirements to become an actuary

For an entry-level position, you need to pass the first two actuarial exams (probability and financial math) and obtain validation by educational experience (VEE) in economics, accounting and finance, and mathematical statistics. We will prepare you to pass the exams and to automatically obtain the VEE. 

How do I add the Minor in Actuarial Science to my degree plan?

  1. Fill out the DOM form (leave the sections “primary” and “secondary” blank)
  2. Send the form to Dr. Bani-Yaghoub (baniyaghoubm@umkc.edu)

Who can earn the minor?

The minor is open to UMKC undergraduate students in all majors, though it is most beneficial if the student is a mathematics, business, accounting or economics major due to the courses required for the minor. To add the minor in your degree plan, please contact Dr. Bani-Yaghoub (baniyaghoubm@umkc.edu)

What are the benefits of completing the minor?

Some of the courses in the minor prepare the students for the first four actuarial exams. Most companies that hire actuaries would like to see that the students have passed at least the first two exams before graduation. KC Companies that actively recruit include Mercer, Aetna, GEICO, Anthem and Lockton. Some courses in the minor meet the Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements. Taking these courses while at UMKC means that you won’t have to take them somewhere else after you graduate.

Course requirements for the Minor in Actuarial Science

View catalog

The student must complete the following courses (25 credits):

Mathematics
Math 220 Calculus II (4 credit hour)


Economics
ECON 201 Introduction to Economics I (Macroeconomics, 3 chr, Needs grade B- or higher for VEE)
ECON 202 Introduction to Economics II (Microeconomics, 3 chr, Needs grade B- or higher for VEE)


Accounting
ACCTNG 210 Introduction To Financial Accounting (3 chr)


Finance
FIN 325 Financial Management (3 chr, Needs grade B- or higher for VEE)
FIN 345 Investments (3 chr, Prepares students for Exam 2(FM), Financial Mathematics )


Statistics
Stat 436 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I (3 chr, Prepares the students for Probability Exam 1(P) Note: Some problems of Exam 1(P) needs knowledge of Stat 235 -Elementary Statistics)

Also, take an elective course from the following list: 

Stat 441 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II (3 chr, Prepares the students for Exam 4(C)– Part I, Construction of Actuarial Models, currently known as Exam STAM: Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics)
Stat 496 Internship (Must be related to actuarial science, More information)
Stat 480 Statistical Models in Actuarial Science (3 chr, Prepares the students for Exam 4(C)– Part II, Construction of Actuarial Models, currently known as Exam STAM: Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics)
Stat 482 Statistical Models for Life Contingencies (3 chr, Prepares the students for Exam 3 (MLC)– Part I, Models for Life Contingencies, currently known as  Exam LTAM: Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics)
Stat 484 Actuarial Theory of Pensions and Social Security (3 chr, Prepares the students for Exam 3 (MLC)– Part II, Models for Life Contingencies)

Prerequisite Trees:

Math 210         →   Math 220         →   Stat 436           →   Stat 441.

Stat 436           →   Stat 480.

Stat 436           →   Stat 482           →   Stat 484.

 

Acctng 210      →   Fin 325            →   Fin 345.

Econ 201       → Econ 202

 

Plan of Study

Case 1) Student starts in fall

Fall Math 210, ACCTNG 210, ECON 201
Spring Math 220, ECON 202
(Summer) (Math 250 recommended)
Fall FIN 325, Stat 436
Spring FIN 345, Stat 441 (Stat 480 recommended*)

* Stat 480 prepares for Actuarial Exam 4(C)

 

 Case 2) Student starts in spring

Spring Math 210, ACCTNG 210, ECON 201
Summer Math 220, ECON 202
Fall FIN 325, Stat 436 (Math 250 recommended)
Spring FIN 345, Stat 441 (Stat 480 recommended*)

* Stat 480 prepares for Actuarial Exam 4(C)

  

Case 3) Student starts in spring and does not take summer classes

Spring Math 210, ACCTNG 210
Fall Math 220, ECON 201
Spring ECON 202, FIN 325, (Math 250 recommended)
Fall Stat 436, FIN 345
Spring Stat 441, (Stat 480 recommended)

 

2. Data Analytics Path

Data Analytics

Data analysts retrieve and gather data, organize it and use it to reach meaningful conclusions. Math majors are needed for a variety of careers in data analysis.

  • Accounting analyst
  • Budget analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Credit analyst
  • Cost analyst
  • Crypt analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Forensic analyst
  • Inventory analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Rate analyst
  • Project analyst
  • Program analyst
  • Quality assurance analyst
  • Risk management analyst
  • Securities analyst

Requirements to become a data analyst

A bachelor’s degree in mathematics or a related field is needed for most entry-level jobs, and a master’s degree in statistics or a related field is needed for many upper-level jobs.

UMKC major map

We have created a major map for those who are interested in becoming a data analyst.

First semester

  • COMP-SCI 101 Problem Solving and Programming I (3 credit hours)
  • COMP-SCI 101L Problem Solving & Programming I Lab (1 credit hour)
  • STAT 235 Elementary Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • COMP-SCI 191 Discrete Structures I (3 credit hours) or Math 301 Sets and Proof (3 credit hours)

Second semester

  • COMP-SCI 201 Problem Solving and Programming II (3 credit hours)
  • COMP-SCI 201L Problem Solving & Programming II Lab (1 credit hour)
  • STAT 340/ Math 490 Introduction to Data Visualization (offered in fall, 1 credit hour)
  • Math 314/Math 490 Graph Theory with Applications (offered in fall, 3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 444 Spatial Data Analysis (offered in fall, 4 credit hours)

Third semester

  • STAT 355/Math 490 Introduction to Diagnostic Analytics (offered in spring, 1 credit hour)
  • STAT 360/Math 490 Introduction to Predictive Analytics (offered in spring, 1 credit hour)
  • DSOM 311 Business Analytics II (3 credit hours)

Additional courses

  • MKT 390 Customer Data Analytics (3 credit hours)
  • ECON 425 Intermediate Economic Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • COMP-SCI 394R Applied Probability (3 credit hours)
  • MATH 434 Scientific Computing (offered in fall, 3 credit hours)
  • STAT 496 Internship/Practical Training in Mathematics or Statistics (1-3 credit hours)
  • STAT 436 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I (offered in fall, 3 credit hours)
  • STAT 441 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II (offered in spring, 3 credit hours)

Advanced courses designed for senior or graduate students

  • STAT 5501/Math 490 Statistical Design Of Experiments (offered in fall, 3 credit hours)
  • STAT 5551/Math 490 Applied Statistical Analysis (offered in fall, 3 credit hours)
  • Math 5545/Math 490 Math Methods in Data Science (offered in spring, 3 credit hours)

For more information, contact Majid Bani-Yaghoub.

3. Math Teacher Path

teacher

  • Teaching math is a stable career for those who enjoy math. Currently, there is a shortage of math teachers in several states.
  • The median annual wage for high school teachers was $61,660 in May 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow four percent from 2019 to 2029.

Requirements to become a math teacher

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics, while taking these education courses.
    • TCH-ED 160 Introduction to Teaching (Fall or Spring)
    • TCH-ED 403 Educational Psychology (Fall, Spring or Summer)
    • TCH-ED 420 Adolescent Development and the School (Fall)
    • TCH-ED 312 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Education (Fall - may be able to add Spring or Summer)
    • TCH-ED 404 Education of the Exceptional Child (Fall, Spring or Summer)
    • TCH-ED 314 Teaching English Language Learners (Fall)
  • Earn a master's degree in teaching - takes one year
  • Complete teacher certification

Questions? Contact School of Education academic advisor Kyle Morehead.

Students interested in teaching can apply to the Institute of Urban Education (IUE) at any time during their undergraduate studies or upon completion of their undergraduate degree. Students receive a Master of Arts in Teaching, which can be completed in three to four semesters. 

Contact Bradley Poos at IUE for more information.

Grants and scholarships for future teachers

The School of Education offers several grants and scholarships, along with other financial aid, for students who are choose to pursue a career in teaching.

View financial aid, scholarships and grants