Graduates’ Use of Spreadsheet Tools in Learning and Applying Financial Mathematics

Timothy Kyng, Paul Taylor


We investigate, using questionnaires, the use of spreadsheet software in the financial sector workplace by recent graduates and the benefits of spreadsheets in the teaching and learning of actuarial and financial mathematics at postgraduate level. This study investigates the nexus between learning and work in order to modify the university curriculum. We aim to equip graduates with skills applicable in the workplace and to improve the learning of actuarial and financial theory.
The results indicate that the use of spreadsheets in the workplace is ubiquitous and that graduates find them relatively easy to learn, easy to use and very useful for their work. Spreadsheet skills are considered very valuable. Little or no formal training had been provided during their university studies and graduates mostly learned on the job. The surveys of postgraduate students and of employers support the conclusions reached from the graduates’ survey. There is considerable justification for university courses to include training in the use of spreadsheets.

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