PDA

View Full Version : Is Columbia Degree worth it? (M.S. Act. Sci.)


PaulJack
05-27-2008, 09:55 PM
Hi All,

I'm contimplating moving to New York and applying to the Columbia M.S.-Actuarial Science program.
I'm currently preparing for the first exam (P). I'd like to see if I could;

1) get an trainee job in Actuarial Science at some company in the city.
2) Apply to the Columbia Program (part time). It seems all the courses are
geared towards exam preparation, so that would make it practical.

But I'm wondering if Columbia would be worth the money. Do you make
worthwhile connections there? Since New York is a huge financial center, would those connections open important and lucrative doors.
Also, since the M.S. Actuarial Science program is offered through the
School of Continuing Education, is it looked upon as less valuable.
Could one of the graduates of the program give me some imsight?

Thanks

PaulJack

Moonlight Graham
05-28-2008, 03:20 PM
I would have entered this program, but I wound up passing Exams 1 and 2 (and will be done with my VEE's by the end of the summer), and I already have an actuarial analyst job in the area.

The program director told me that the classes are very helpful in preparing you for the first four exams and passing VEE requirements. You'll have the opportunity to connect with your fellow students, and I'm sure companies will give you an extra look because of the graduate level degree on your resume. As an added bonus, you'll get to brag about going to Columbia (which is probably the main reason I would go).

Sure it's expensive, but if you're just starting out, why not spend a few years obtaining your masters/preliminary exams and living in the best city in the world?

As a caveat, you should know that the actuarial world doesn't necessarily treat Ivy League grads with the same level of awe as other financial service industries. Nevertheless, a masters from Columbia is a pretty solid degree, and most companies won't care that your Columbia MS is through the School of Continuing Education (assuming you pass your exams while in the program).

Cloud
05-08-2009, 11:55 PM
Let's say you want major in Mathematics, most school probably has similar courses to take. Why would students study their ass off to get into top schools and pay $30-40k/year when they can go to local school for less than 10k or free.

Sure you can pass and become a fellow and make six figures but I personally believe that the experience you gain as an ivy league student is something you can be proud of yourself rest of your life, and people/hr do look up your education!

I also think that you have much higher chance of becoming successful (not only actuarial field) if you went to top schools. Well, you can become successful even if you don't have a college degree, it all depends how dedicate and passionate you are.

Anyways, if tuition is not your problem, and want to invest 1.5-2 yrs for ivy league education, why the hell not?
:popcorn:

actsciwannabe
11-04-2009, 04:11 AM
So the program is housed under school of continuing education, does that mean the admission is less competitive?
I am asking because I am an international student who is finishing college next month, and like a lot of foreign students, I don't have any job offer. My concern is that my GPA is not particularly high, though I have the first two exams passed and two VEEs. I just want to extend my stay in the US and pass more exams(and get a job, of course). Also, I don't mind getting inferior education than the traditional Columbia students and the tuition is not a burden to me.

Stanley Milgram
11-04-2009, 11:51 AM
So the program is housed under school of continuing education, does that mean the admission is less competitive?
I am asking because I am an international student who is finishing college next month, and like a lot of foreign students, I don't have any job offer. My concern is that my GPA is not particularly high, though I have the first two exams passed and two VEEs. I just want to extend my stay in the US and pass more exams(and get a job, of course). Also, I don't mind getting inferior education than the traditional Columbia students and the tuition is not a burden to me.

If your GPA isn't high you will probably have a hard time getting into Columbia unless you have something else to show them.

actsciwannabe
11-04-2009, 01:57 PM
If your GPA isn't high you will probably have a hard time getting into Columbia unless you have something else to show them.

Thank you for your reply, I will not bother applying then.

Colymbosathon ecplecticos
11-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Also, I don't mind getting inferior education than the traditional Columbia students ...

Make sure that you include this gem in your cover letter.

Brad Gile
11-06-2009, 07:12 PM
Make sure that you include this gem in your cover letter.
:notworth:

YB
04-02-2010, 09:01 AM
hi
i am an indian student and i have been accepted at columbia univ. for M.S.Actuarial Sc program. i have cleared 2 exams from institute of actuaries of india but i will not get exemptions for those subjects. is the program really worth it? also what if after completing the program i want to come back and work in india, will i get a job?

Colymbosathon ecplecticos
04-04-2010, 08:18 PM
what if after completing the program i want to come back and work in india, will i get a job?

I don't know. I just had some hand surgery, after they take the cast off, will I be able to play the piano?

itzflan11485
04-05-2010, 07:08 PM
I am currently a student in the actuarial program at Columbia and right now, international students are having a hard time finding a job in the United States, even with the degree from Columbia. Some international students have found success but these are students that have great communication skills. I'm not sure if a Columbia degree will get you noticed in India so it's up to you to find out if Columbia will get you noticed there.

Whatever decision you make, I wish the best of luck to you.

Quick Slant
04-06-2010, 07:17 PM
is the program really worth it?

i am not sure benefit > cost. but, i think a better route is math/statistics with a business minor (or some other combination). it's better to be well rounded, in case you want to pursue other interests. that's my opinion. good luck!

actsciwannabe
04-08-2010, 09:36 PM
I am currently a student in the actuarial program at Columbia and right now, international students are having a hard time finding a job in the United States, even with the degree from Columbia. Some international students have found success but these are students that have great communication skills. I'm not sure if a Columbia degree will get you noticed in India so it's up to you to find out if Columbia will get you noticed there.

Whatever decision you make, I wish the best of luck to you.

Sent u pm.

yinjt121
02-15-2012, 12:48 AM
I am currently a student in the actuarial program at Columbia and right now, international students are having a hard time finding a job in the United States, even with the degree from Columbia. Some international students have found success but these are students that have great communication skills. I'm not sure if a Columbia degree will get you noticed in India so it's up to you to find out if Columbia will get you noticed there.

Whatever decision you make, I wish the best of luck to you.

Hi, I'm considering applying to the actuarial program next year. Is the admission competitive? I'm currently a junior at U of M with 3.8 cumulative GPA. I have the first two SOA exams passed and 1560 in GRE. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

UFActuary
02-15-2012, 08:36 PM
I am amazed Columbia U would have this kind of program with a focus being on only exam
Passing. You don't need an Ivy League school for this... You need self-perseverance

However! A Columbia U actuarial program that was innovative in actuarial research, creative application of the materials, outside the box use of the concepts from the exams that go well beyond memorization....that would be something, provided your family can afford this, may be a life-changing experience for you as an individual

If the goal is to just pass exams, get a freakin ASM
Manual and forget about schooling. Columbia U is a magical experience that may or may not have a solid functional purpose in meeting concrete goals like how best to get credentialed.,, it is a want but a Good WANT, however certainly not a necessity

ysr
03-09-2012, 03:03 PM
I am amazed Columbia U would have this kind of program with a focus being on only exam
Passing. You don't need an Ivy League school for this... You need self-perseverance

However! A Columbia U actuarial program that was innovative in actuarial research, creative application of the materials, outside the box use of the concepts from the exams that go well beyond memorization....that would be something, provided your family can afford this, may be a life-changing experience for you as an individual

If the goal is to just pass exams, get a freakin ASM
Manual and forget about schooling. Columbia U is a magical experience that may or may not have a solid functional purpose in meeting concrete goals like how best to get credentialed.,, it is a want but a Good WANT, however certainly not a necessity

-If Columbia's program is really so innovative and good, why isnt it recognized as center of actuarial excellence ?
-I did approach many people(close to 80 members) personally in this forum to help me shortlist the colleges and am wondering why not even one told me that columbia's actuarial degree is worth considering.

I_am_normally_distributed
03-10-2012, 12:23 AM
Getting a masters degree for actuarial science anywhere is not worth anyone's time. It is better to work and pass exams along the way! You can get a job if you have good communication skills and a few exams... a fancy degree will not help very much.

Pirsig
03-13-2012, 01:29 PM
-If Columbia's program is really so innovative and good, why isnt it recognized as center of actuarial excellence ?
-I did approach many people(close to 80 members) personally in this forum to help me shortlist the colleges and am wondering why not even one told me that columbia's actuarial degree is worth considering.

I think you misunderstood his post. He is not saying Columbia's actuarial science program is very innovative.

All he is saying is that he is surprised that a top university like Columbia is offering a routine actuarial science program geared toward passing exams. According to him, it would make more sense if Columbia were to offer an actuarial program focused on research, creative application etc. (things other than just passing exams, for which an exam manual is sufficient). I agree with his opinion btw.

Pirsig
03-13-2012, 01:35 PM
Getting a masters degree for actuarial science anywhere is not worth anyone's time. It is better to work and pass exams along the way! You can get a job if you have good communication skills and a few exams... a fancy degree will not help very much.

The exception is when you're an international student in the US with an undegrad degree from your home country. A Masters degree from a US university helps with - 1) Immigration procedures 2) Chances of finding a job with a US employer are much better if you're physically in the US and 3) Other things like cultural assimilation etc.

guest
03-13-2012, 08:06 PM
U actuarial program that was innovative in actuarial research, creative application of the materials, outside the box use of the concepts from the exams that go well beyond memorization....
Do such grad program exist in USA?