Lebanese American University


LAU launches an executive master’s degree in Actuarial Science

MarCom speaks to Samer Abi Ghanem, program coordinator for the Executive M.A. in Actuarial Science, about LAU’s latest offering.

MarCom speaks to Samer Abi Ghanem, program coordinator for the Executive M.A. in Actuarial Science, about LAU’s latest offering.

MarCom: For those who don’t know what it is, can you briefly explain actuarial science?

Samer Abi Ghanem: Actuaries are risk management professionals, who work across a wide range of fields such as insurance, banking, pension, healthcare or investment firms. They specialize in predicting the likelihood of risk, and offer ways to manage and minimize risk to companies. This is done through a combination of mathematics, probability, statistics and financial theory.

MarCom: Why did LAU decide to introduce this new discipline? Is there a gap in the market with respect to demand?

Samer Abi Ghanem: There is definitely a gap in the market. While actuaries play a very critical role in the insurance industry, the Arab world has very few actuarial degree programs. In recent years this need has increased given the new insurance laws and regulations in the region which are now on par with Western standards. These  policies stress the major role of the actuary in ensuring a safe and sound insurance industry. In other words, such legislative developments have paved the way for increased opportunities for actuaries. Thanks to a generous donation from MEDGULF, LAU was able to launch the program on May 15.

MarCom: Is a career in actuarial science promising?

Samer Abi Ghanem: Certainly, in fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that employment opportunities for actuaries is expected to grow at a faster rate than any other occupation in the U.S. Similar optimism is also anticipated for the MENA region.

MarCom: How does the program at LAU prepare students for the market?

Samer Abi Ghanem: Our curriculum is rigorous and serves two major goals. On the professional level, our courses are designed in line with the statutory role of actuaries and prepare students for success in the different lines of insurance in terms of product design, pricing and reserving for life, health, property and casualty insurance. Additionally, our courses also prepare the students to take the professional qualification exams with the Society of Actuaries. The foundation courses cover the theoretical exams of the society. Moreover, our courses meet the Validation by Educational Experience requirement for actuarial qualification. These courses are taught by high-profile professionals and academics with long and widely varied international experience.

MarCom: Who does the program cater to?

Samer Abi Ghanem: It is tailored to appeal to professionals working in the insurance industry but it will benefit anyone looking to advance their knowledge of risk analysis and statistics.

The Executive M.A. in Actuarial Science classes will be held in the heart of Beirut’s financial capital at LAU’s Solidere Executive Center.


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