View Full Version : MS Actuarial Science 'ISU or GSU' ?????

04-15-2002, 07:26 AM
Hi guys!!

I am pursuing an MS in Actuarial Science beginning this Fall (coz I am an international student and given the job scene right now it is not very easy to get an employer to sponsor an H1B for me.) I am facing a small dilemma and would appreciate any help!!

I have got and admission from Illinois State Univ and Georgia State Univ. Both are offering me an assistantship but I am getting a much better deal with ISU.

Anyone who knows how the two Univs rank with respect to each other for their Actuarial Program ?

Both programs look equally good.I have compared their plcaement records and I find that GSU is slightly better than ISU in that respect. Also GSU has its program around for a longer time and I think ISU is relatively new. The biggest advantage that ISU offers , however, is that I dont have to spend anything from my own pocket except my airfare (I am an international student) and a few sundry expenses for my Grad studies.

If I am able to complete all papers upto say Associateship (or more optimistically upto Fellowship ) while pursuing MS would it make much difference which Univ I go to??Some recruiters have told me that the job market will be wider when I am in the US as opposed to when I am in my own country looking for a job in the US. In our career as Actuaries employers will look at our SOA/CAS exam progress rather than the Univ from where I have done my MS . Am I right?

Please let me know.

Thanks a lot in advance for all your help..


04-15-2002, 09:26 AM

04-15-2002, 10:31 AM
If I am able to complete all papers upto say Associateship (or more optimistically upto Fellowship ) while pursuing MS would it make much difference which Univ I go to??Most employers view the number of exams you have passed as being infinitely more important than which university you attended.

04-15-2002, 10:49 AM
Ditto on 42's response. My boss's boss told me the same thing a while ago. Acording to your self-described situation:

ISU: less cost, closer proximately to Chicago (i.e. jobs), rural (i.e. better environment to have no life and concentrate on exam passing).

GSU: more $ out of your pocket, better program, more activities to do (Atlanta location).

Take your pick; either sound good.

04-16-2002, 05:14 AM
But GSU has a lot more actuaries and insurance specialists. If you actually want to learn something about insurance and actuarial science, GSU will be much more helpful. As far as I can see ISU has only one tenured/tenure track faculty member with any interest in actuarial science.

Gordon Shumway
04-16-2002, 08:09 AM
Is Illinois State in southern part of Illionios?

Depends on what you mean by "southern". It's a couple hours drive south from Chicago, but well north of the more aggressively rural portions of the state.

04-18-2002, 09:39 AM
I agree with 42, but GSU graduates are always highly sought after by companies in the south. But a word of caution to you about finishing the program with your ASA or FSA. Letters without experience normally hinder your getting a job. Do you have any of the SOA exams passed yet? TPF&C strikes me as being a leader in sponsoring people for a green card.

Roasted Almond
04-21-2002, 03:52 AM
I guess she possess atleast 2 SoA/CAS exams under her belt.

To Aniasat:

Being a Fresh-Graduate & an Asian Foreigner, I also enquired GSU a year ago (after passing exams 1-4), as a prospective MS (Actuarial)student and were being told by their Head Of Dept
(who is also an FSA) that MS actuarial might not be the best choice for me. He encouraged me to apply for assistanceship & look at their MBA(Actuarial program) though. Also, they were giving some exemptions ((for MBA(actuarial))for the subjects i've already studied in passing SoA/CAS exams.

Just My two cents:

1)Consider MBA program in addition to MS(actuarial).You may find
it more beneficial for your career than having an MS.

2)Why don't you first try to gain some experience in a country
(other than U.S and your native country) possessing much less immigration problems & get your letters(ASA/ACAS atleast) there?

You can then come to U.S on a Visit Visa(immigration problems will be much less, if you tell the embassy that you are visitng for having a SoA "C7" seminar or a professionalism course to get your letters).You can search for a job in U.S at that time and will be a strong candidate for getting your H-1B(work permit) processed by your employer, than your current situation.

Good Luck !