Tom Dukatz ’16, Eagan, Minn., hasn’t graduated yet, but he’s well on his way to becoming a credentialed actuary. He already has passed four of 10 actuarial exams.
This is a considerable achievement considering that each exam requires at least 300 hours of independent study.
Typically, most undergraduates interested in becoming an actuary complete one or two exams by the time they graduate, says Dr. Doug Anderson, chair of the mathematics department. Most pass their exams after entering the profession because companies pay them to study during working hours.
Dukatz accomplished his success in addition to completing his traditional coursework, playing trombone in The Concordia Band, serving as an Orientation Leader and tutoring other mathematics students.
“It’s an extremely rare and difficult feat,” Anderson says.
Dukatz, who is majoring in mathematics and minoring in data analytics, says his achievement is just part of being a Cobber.
“All Concordia students are busy and learn how to delegate their hours to the things that matter most to them,” he says.
He devoted two hours a day to studying for the exams, which require students to be sophisticated problem solvers and communicators. The exams test knowledge of finance, economics, mathematics, probability, statistics and risk management – and become increasingly more difficult.
Pass rates range from 30 percent to 45 percent.
Dukatz was interested in math when he started at Concordia. He especially enjoyed applying his knowledge to better predict the future. Dr. John Reber, associate professor of mathematics, encouraged him to look into becoming an actuary.
“It’s all about quantifying the completely uncertain,” Dukatz says. “People who are actuaries have a curiosity that is infectious. I like that.”
Between his sophomore and junior year, Dukatz interned at Allianz Life, a life insurance company. He and two other Concordia students were offered a job with the company, but Dukatz decided to wait.
He interned with Travelers insurance company in St. Paul, Minn., the summer before his senior year and was offered a full-time job. He’ll join the company’s Actuarial and Analytics Leadership Development Program in June.