PDA

View Full Version : FSA + MBA


A Student
12-17-2001, 05:33 PM
Hello,

I was wondering if there were any thoughts about actuaries obtaining an MBA to further their opportunities? I'm nearing the end of the exams, and am pondering whether a MBA would be a significant improvement or just two+ more years of studying. I'm in the life side of the business.
Thanks.

Mr. Grim
12-17-2001, 05:44 PM
My view on MBA is get into one of the top ten programs or don't go. It really is a signalling device used by companies, if you get an MBA from one of the top ten, you are basically guaranteed a good job in a lucrative field. if you can't get into the top ten, I don't think it is worth the price of admission unless you want to use it as impetus for switching careers.

WWSituation
12-18-2001, 09:23 AM
I used to agree with the above poster, however, I have seen many times in this field that an MBA can make the difference between being just a consultant, and being a upper level manager with operations responsibilities.

The top 10 thing is true if your goal is to be in the world of high finance and make real money.

Pub Guy
12-18-2001, 02:27 PM
I have the MBA/FSA combo and I totally agree with Grim. My MBA is from a nowhere school and accordingly nobody recruited from there. My advice is to find out what kind of companies (for what kind of positions) regularly recruit from the school, which can easily be found from the Career Development center of any school. As far as learning is concerned, you'll pick up at least 50% (if not more) of the material that will be covered in B school in your SOA exams.

FYI - DTNF in the "Which is Better..." thread in this same topic posted a good link for MBA program rankings.

Dr T Non-Fan
12-18-2001, 03:16 PM
Thanks, PG, for the credit.

DW Simpson
03-22-2007, 11:18 AM
I was wondering if there were any thoughts about actuaries obtaining an MBA to further their opportunities? I'm nearing the end of the exams, and am pondering whether a MBA would be a significant improvement or just two+ more years of studying. I'm in the life side of the business.
Thanks.

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showpost.php?p=838994&postcount=18

BondGirl
03-22-2007, 11:39 AM
My view on MBA is get into one of the top ten programs or don't go. It really is a signalling device used by companies, if you get an MBA from one of the top ten, you are basically guaranteed a good job in a lucrative field. if you can't get into the top ten, I don't think it is worth the price of admission unless you want to use it as impetus for switching careers.



Just out of curiosity, what are the top 10 business schools? I would guess U-Penn, NYU, and Columbia, right? Do you have a link to this list?

DW Simpson
03-22-2007, 11:41 AM
Just out of curiosity, what are the top 10 business schools? I would guess U-Penn, NYU, and Columbia, right? Do you have a link to this list?

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/mba/brief/mbarank_brief.php

A Student
03-22-2007, 01:09 PM
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showpost.php?p=838994&postcount=18

You dug up a 5+ year old thread so that you could respond with a link?? I hate to say it Claude, but you've either been really busy for 5 years, or have way way too much time now ;)

sundwarf
03-22-2007, 03:53 PM
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/mba/brief/mbarank_brief.php

FYI, new rankings for 2008 will be up next week.

DW Simpson
03-22-2007, 04:03 PM
FYI, new rankings for 2008 will be up next week.

Sweet, I'll post those in 2013.

Emily
03-22-2007, 04:07 PM
Just out of curiosity, what are the top 10 business schools? I would guess U-Penn, NYU, and Columbia, right? Do you have a link to this list?
NYU? Are you joking? They're 13th. Don't go there. Or don't listen to Mr. Grim.

ReddEye
03-22-2007, 04:21 PM
NYU? Are you joking? They're 13th. Don't go there. Or don't listen to Mr. Grim.

Please stop smoking crack! NYU-Stern is an amazing MBA program, if nothing else because of its proximity and ties to Wall Street.

Emily
03-22-2007, 04:29 PM
Why are you picking on me? Why don't you say this?
My view on MBA is get into one of the top ten programs or don't go. It really is a signalling device used by companies, if you get an MBA from one of the top ten, you are basically guaranteed a good job in a lucrative field. if you can't get into the top ten, I don't think it is worth the price of admission unless you want to use it as impetus for switching careers.

Please stop smoking crack! NYU-Stern is an amazing MBA program, if nothing else because of its proximity and ties to Wall Street, and it is tied for 13th.

KeanuSRN
03-22-2007, 04:39 PM
True, you have to consider that although NYU might not be in the top 10, it puts you right in the middle of the financial capital of the world, so I would rank it along with those. NYU is also ranked pretty low, in the 30's in undergrad rankings but alot of stern undergrads end up getting management consulting or ibanking jobs based on the internships and experience they are able to easily secure during school. Looking at this years rankings, I'd say top 15 will get you a top job.

ReddEye
03-22-2007, 04:46 PM
Why are you picking on me? Why don't you say this?


Please stop smoking crack! NYU-Stern is an amazing MBA program, if nothing else because of its proximity and ties to Wall Street, and it is tied for 13th.


Fair enough. For full disclosure, I graduated from a program that is consistently ranked 15-20 and, in retrospect, it was a complete waste of time and money (of course I went too young, my pre-MBA experience was worthless, the labor market was rough at the time, yada yada). I would just like to emphasize that there are NO guarantees in terms of job placement, regardless of the predigree of your MBA.

sundwarf
03-22-2007, 04:49 PM
Redd, sorry if I ask too much here. How old do you mean by too young?

ReddEye
03-22-2007, 05:06 PM
I don't know if MBA admission still works this way but when I did it, the average accepted applicant at your better programs would be around 30 with about 6 years of experience. I had barely four and was 26.

I take full ownership of my situation, but I just want everyone to know that an MBA (even from a top school) is no longer a golden ticket into the corporate elite.

As an aside, I think that the stats about starting salaries and placement percentages are carefully managed by a school's career placement department for marketing purposes (not like they are audited). For example, us "losers" (no amazing job prospects at graduation) are disgruntled and don't bother completing the survey. So the results automatically have a selection bias.

WWSituation
03-22-2007, 06:07 PM
Nobody who graduates from Stern with good marks has any worries. It doesn't really matter where in the top 10 or 15 they fall as long as they are there.

HobKnob
03-22-2007, 08:47 PM
I'm not entirely sure that getting an MBA, especially full time with two years of lost salary and heavy tuition, is a great investment if you intend to return to more or less the same actuarial industry/postion after graduation. I'm heading off to get my MBA next fall, but am not likely coming back... pension work probably won't have much to return to anyway. If you are thinking of switching careers, an MBA is a good way to get access to other fields that may otherwise be closed to entry.


With all respect, I'm going to qoute Claude from a post 2 years ago because I think he made a good point:

"I don't really have an opinion about the best way to go about attaining an MBA, except to say that I wouldn't expect a big increase in compensation, or possibly even any increase in pay, for getting your MBA. So taking two years off will leave you without two years of actuarial pay + MBA tuition. When investment banking and marketing people return to work after getting their MBA, they expect to see a big jump in their pay. Actuaries don't see generally see that and, further, some employers may not consider someone who has been away for two years. Other employers might love the additional education, though, especially those looking for product managers with actuarial backgrounds.

"Unless you're going to a management consulting firm (and maybe even then, too), employers that mention MBA aren't suggesting that it has to be a top-20 program. They're saying that an MBA would be a nice additional credential to have, and that it would help the candidate get the job, but they're not generally looking for a Harvard-grad. It's similar to the meritocracy of blowing through exams, it doesn't matter where you went to school undergrad usually, either, as long as you can prove you can do the work and can think about things from different angles."

WWSituation
03-22-2007, 09:06 PM
Getting a top tier MBA to return to the actuarial profession makes zero sense. Graduates of top tier programs usually end up in investment banks, consulting firms (doing strategic consulting - not actuarial), hedge funds, private equity firms, etc. I guess some end up in corporate treasury departments as well.

DW Simpson
03-22-2007, 09:28 PM
I'm not entirely sure that getting an MBA, especially full time with two years of lost salary and heavy tuition, is a great investment if you intend to return to more or less the same actuarial industry/postion after graduation. I'm heading off to get my MBA next fall, but am not likely coming back... pension work probably won't have much to return to anyway. If you are thinking of switching careers, an MBA is a good way to get access to other fields that may otherwise be closed to entry.


With all respect, I'm going to qoute Claude from a post 2 years ago because I think he made a good point:

"I don't really have an opinion about the best way to go about attaining an MBA, except to say that I wouldn't expect a big increase in compensation, or possibly even any increase in pay, for getting your MBA. So taking two years off will leave you without two years of actuarial pay + MBA tuition. When investment banking and marketing people return to work after getting their MBA, they expect to see a big jump in their pay. Actuaries don't see generally see that and, further, some employers may not consider someone who has been away for two years. Other employers might love the additional education, though, especially those looking for product managers with actuarial backgrounds.

"Unless you're going to a management consulting firm [as an actuary] (and maybe even then, too), [actuarial] employers that mention MBA aren't suggesting that it has to be a top-20 program. They're saying that an MBA would be a nice additional credential to have, and that it would help the candidate get the job, but they're not generally looking for a Harvard-grad. It's similar to the meritocracy of blowing through exams, it doesn't matter where you went to school undergrad usually, either, as long as you can prove you can do the work and can think about things from different angles."

Here's the entire context: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?p=838965&highlight=harvard#post838965

Note that the above was in an actuarial context.

WWSituation
03-23-2007, 08:27 AM
The point is that there is already a training program for actuaries. The actuarial profession doesn't have enough of an upside to make the big MBA worthwhile (on an expected value basis).

Morrison
03-23-2007, 09:00 AM
I'm an Actuary(8-exam) / MBA combo as well. My intention behind getting my MBA was to switch to consulting (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc..) but that didn't work out and now I'm back to being an Actuary.

I agree with previous posters that the MBA is pretty superfluous if you already have an actuarial background and plan to go back into insurance. You will already know a lot of the material (or can self-learn it easily) and the MBA doesn't carry much weight in the Actuarial Field. I think that if you're going to stay in insurance a law degree is a better complement to an Actuarial background. With insurance being so heavily regulated and the laws and their interpretations varying so much from state to state, I think a law degree would be a pretty valuable addition to an Actuarial background (at least in P&C).

anon0720
03-23-2007, 11:20 AM
[QUOTE=Morrison;2017202]I'm an Actuary(8-exam) / MBA combo as well. My intention behind getting my MBA was to switch to consulting (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc..) but that didn't work out and now I'm back to being an Actuary.

I'm curious...why didn't it work out?

SirVLCIV
03-23-2007, 11:24 AM
I'm an Actuary(8-exam) / MBA combo as well. My intention behind getting my MBA was to switch to consulting (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc..) but that didn't work out and now I'm back to being an Actuary.

I'm curious...why didn't it work out?

My random guess - those can be somewhat demanding shops (difficult to get in).

PennyLess
03-24-2007, 12:42 AM
I know of an ASA currently working in a life insurance company, has a CFA charter, and is currently doing her part time MBA in NYU Stern. (By the way, NYU Stern has the best part time MBA program in the nation, for those who don't want to give up two years of work). She's doing alot of investments related work in her company therefore I expect her to go into the financial industry after her MBA.

Also, NYU Stern is a really good school for an MBA, with good career prospects. It might rank 13th or something (don't know wat kind of ranking you are looking at, but financial times ranks it #8 in the world, which is #7 in the US), but its finance program is ranked top three on MBA level. If you want to work in finance, you might care more about a school's rank for its finance program than its overall ranking.

Morrison
03-25-2007, 11:28 AM
SirVLCIV nailed it. Those shops are always difficult to land jobs at and it was even more so the case when I was interviewing in 2002-2003.

No bitterness though. It was a calculated risk that just didn't work out.

Aquick
03-25-2007, 11:30 PM
I used to agree with the above poster, however, I have seen many times in this field that an MBA can make the difference between being just a consultant, and being a upper level manager with operations responsibilities.

The top 10 thing is true if your goal is to be in the world of high finance and make real money.

I am a bit curious about this.

Is there a significant difference in salary between being FSA and being a top ten MBA ?

DW Simpson
03-25-2007, 11:43 PM
I am a bit curious about this.

Is there a significant difference in salary between being FSA and being a top ten MBA ?

http://business.library.emory.edu/info/career/basics/mba_salaries.html

http://www.dwsimpson.com/salary.html

WWSituation
03-26-2007, 07:08 AM
I am a bit curious about this.

Is there a significant difference in salary between being FSA and being a top ten MBA ?

The MBA has a much larger tail, and they don't have to become CEO of a company to get it either. They just have to get the job to begin with and then make money at it.

Sales people and traders on strong trading desks and successful portfolio managers can easily see bonuses of over 1 mill. I don't know how many FSAs that aren't CEOs of >$5B companies that pulled in a bonus like that.

The exam process and the field is just not about making money on that level. It is about slow and steady, risk management, buy for $1, sell for $1.05. There is good money to be made as an actuary, especially considering the lifestyle (typically, little travel and predictable hours). But know that investment banks are about making money - period.

People generally choose actuary because of the lifestyle choice (but there are several workaholics in the field - it is a choice, not a requirement).

Mr. Grim
03-26-2007, 07:16 AM
True, you have to consider that although NYU might not be in the top 10, it puts you right in the middle of the financial capital of the world, so I would rank it along with those. NYU is also ranked pretty low, in the 30's in undergrad rankings but alot of stern undergrads end up getting management consulting or ibanking jobs based on the internships and experience they are able to easily secure during school. Looking at this years rankings, I'd say top 15 will get you a top job.



NYU is definitely top 10 for finance in my view. Overall, they rank lower, in general management etc...but if finance is where you want to be, they are one of the best.

GoBolts
04-25-2007, 07:58 PM
Just out of curiosity, what are the top 10 business schools? I would guess U-Penn, NYU, and Columbia, right? Do you have a link to this list?

How much does having an ASA/FSA/EA help in top tier MBA admissions? What other factors other than a good GMAT, undergrad and experience are there? (other than the schmooze factor)

WWSituation
04-25-2007, 09:34 PM
How much does having an ASA/FSA/EA help in top tier MBA admissions? What other factors other than a good GMAT, undergrad and experience are there? (other than the schmooze factor)

I'd say that the EA adds nothing and the ASA's value depends on whether or not the admissions officers know what it is. I've been told that it doesn't really mean much at a top school such that it would make up for a bad GMAT.

HobKnob
04-26-2007, 05:47 PM
Having an ASA/FSA can certainly be valuable to admissions (though better if they know about it, which most admissions directors I've talked with had an vague understanding - mostly thinking of it as a mix between CPA and CFA). It really depends on how you spin/sell it. The most important things they look at, in no particular order, are:

- GMAT
- Combination of Undergrad School and GPA
- Leadership and Work Experience (both quality and quantity)
- Essays (clearly and strongly showing why you want an MBA from their program and why they should want you)
- A differentiator from the other 5,000 applicants (being an actuary can fall into this group)
- Quality of interview

One of these things alone will not get you into a top teir school, but any obvious weakness should be offset by a obvious strength.