View Full Version : Masters in Actuarial Science.........when?
02-13-2002, 01:48 PM
Well I wanted some help from you guys.
I am a CPA and pursuing the CFA Program. I have not taken any exams of CAS. To help me with the first 4 levels I was thinking of doing Masters in Actuarial Science. Does anybody know about this course offered by Waterloo University in Canada or Illinois At Urbana in the US? Is it too advanced for a beginner like me? Anyways which are good univs in US/ Canada which offer this course? Also typically as indicated on the website of these univs, they stress on the first 4 levels. So should I enroll for the course right now as a beginner or should i clear first 2/3 levels and then enroll for the course? Please help me guys...
02-13-2002, 01:58 PM
Quote: Anyways which are good univs in US/ Canada which offer this course?
The bottom of http://www.soa.org/academic/schoollist.html lists all the schools with graduate actuarial science programs, and they split it up into intro versus advanced programs.
02-13-2002, 02:21 PM
You certainly don't need a Masters in Actuarial Science to pursue an actuarial career. If you _are_ going to go to school for it, then I definitely would _not_ take any exams beforehand. Maybe the first one, but mostly just to make sure you really want to do it before you get into it.
I've personally never really liked the M.A.S. degree (I don't think that's how it's actually abbreviated - I think technically it's an M.S. in Actuarial Science), since with some schools it's more like a study program for the exams than something earned in addition to the exams you'll have to take anyway. I'm sure that's not true of all schools though.
My vote - take one exam and run for the money. Get an MBA when you're done exams instead, with the company paying to send you to night classes.
You don't need to go to graduate school. Study and pass exam 1 and try and get a job. I assume you are currently working as an accountant. You might consider getting a job as an insurance accountant and try transitioning to the actuarial side.
02-13-2002, 02:27 PM
how is CFA exam going for you?
If you have passed level one and are moving toward to CFA designation, then drop the whole actuarial profession deal because it just aren't worth it. The job secuirty may be better than CPA or CFA but it will only matter if you want to lay low when the economy is in the dumper while you wait for other venues.
The money isn't that hot (better than CPA though)and the exam is a real pain.
If you have taken a CFA exam before than double the pain of studying CFA and you will have a pretty good picture of SOA/CAS exams.
think wisely my friend before you jump in, based on your qualification, you don't seem like a young 20-something try-it-and-see-if-it-works crowd. This profession is perfect choice for many ex-teachers but it may not be the utopia for someone like yourself
If you have the resources (time, money, no family to support, etc.) to go to graduate school then I would say, it may be the best or easiest way to get FSA/ASA. That way you are just basicaly studying full-time and do not have to worry about working.
02-13-2002, 05:10 PM
I replied to you in the exams5-8 area under the happy birthday thread.
02-13-2002, 06:03 PM
I graduated from Waterloo with a bachelor of Actuarial Science. A master of Actuarial Science is useful if you are following an academic track. If you just want a job just write the actuarial exams and get on with the process. People graduated with Act Sci master's at Waterloo and we are all working at the same job and $ based upon exams and experience. Pooh Bear
02-13-2002, 08:57 PM
If it interests you, you could take a one year Masters in the UK, it is very focused on the exam material only that you get exemptions from the exams for doing well (usually 60% +) on your courses. If you get all the exemptions (there are 9 offered) then that will translate to SOA Courses 1-4.
Personally, as someone who's seen both systems I would say the UK route is significantly easier, especially if you have some math / stats background. I think the tuition is about 8000 GBP, so it's not cheap.
02-13-2002, 09:20 PM
Go do a BSc. Act. Degree at Laval U. Best actuarial program in North America, you'll get to learn French and you'll party like there's no tomorrow!
02-14-2002, 03:05 AM
Thnx to all u guys
02-14-2002, 08:05 AM
I'm going to have to disagree with anonymous and say that Waterloo is the best actuarial undergraduate program worldwide. Look at their exam statistics.
02-14-2002, 12:23 PM
Howz the Masters course in Waterloo?
Is it better than the other US Univs like Georgia State, UW-Madison, Illinois At Urbana, Boston Univ?
Jed the Humanoid
02-14-2002, 12:32 PM
I don't know if Anonymous is CAS or SOA (who ARE you?).
But on the CAS side, I've been told by a certain Mr. Simpson (not Homer), in front of Waterloo students that Laval was the best program for Casualty actuaries.
Anonymous, do I know you ? send me a PM.
02-15-2002, 05:44 AM
The Waterloo MMath differs from most other act sci Masters programs. These days we are only taking students with an act sci undergrad or equivalent, so it really is graduate level actuarial science. Most entrants have at least Courses 1-3.
We do teach beyond Course 4, (in particular we have depth in finance) but we also teach outside the syllabus -- deeper technically or more interesting practical stuff. We aren't interested in the institutional memory stuff of the later exams.
For 1-4 exam prep, UIowa and Georgia State have good reputations.
University of Waterloo
02-15-2002, 09:59 AM
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