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Old 02-13-2018, 09:15 PM
MathStatFin MathStatFin is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,703

Originally Posted by extrovertedactuary View Post
Really? Financial services is strongly represented, but it shows the names of the employers that made offers and it bolds the names of employers that actually hired graduates of the program.

The chart provided says 25% of graduates of the program work in financial services. 20% work in consulting. Even if I granted you the false assumption that 100% of those working in consulting work in financial services, still fewer than half the graduates would be working in financial services.

Did you even read the website other than the curriculum?
It shows pictures of recent graduates of the program along with their past employers, past education, new employer after graduating, new location, and new position title. And it's not just one or two. It shows this information for more than 20 recent graduates.

You're using way too much anecdotal evidence by posting one poster's Reddit comment. Although I agree with the point that more traditional degrees are more widely accepted as they've been around longer, I think you're really pushing a false narrative here.

I actually didn't disagree with your comment that there are a lot of shitty data science/analytics programs, because I agree with that. I just strongly disagree with your comment that there are only a few good masters programs in the US. Unless by a few you mean way more than I'm reading into, I think your comment is just way off.

In regard to the poster who is applying to the masters program in analytics, I think he has very little to lose in that he's applying to a very financially affordable program at a respected school and already is working as an actuary. I don't see how it can hurt him to add some analytics skills to his toolbox.

Also, I've browsed some of the recruiter websites, and a bunch of roles have mentioned that they would like an actuary who has a masters or higher in a quantitative field. Having the analytics masters could open up some of these opportunities for the poster.

I personally know a few people outside of my current company who have masters degrees in business analytics, and one works for the DoD, another for GE, and another for Apple.

If the main point of your original post was to highlight that a lot of these programs are scams, then I agree with that point 100%. However, far more than a few masters programs in the U.S. are good if by good we mean cost, career placement rates, companies that hired, and starting pay.
I was merely trying to provide a data point related to what I said. Think about this for a sec. The majority of data scientists have traditional grad degrees and learned all this "data science" stuff on their own. It's like how a non AS grad who passed exams would look down on an actuarial science grad. With time you will have more and more people with MS data science/analytics getting jobs and they will probably tend to hire people with the same credentials (just like AS grads might prefer to hire other AS grads). It's basically just history repeating itself. I expect current data scientists, the ones doing more complicated stuff, will rebrand themselves as "ML scientists" or "ML researchers" (something more granular).

Two other points I want to make:

1. I checked the student profiles for the NCSU program and I would say that at least half the students come from a non-stem background. There's even one student with a degree in theatre. A lot of people with business degrees. That's a little bit of a red flag imo.

2. Starting salaries aren't that important. It's better to focus on the long term especially when you're already an experienced actuary. these programs are teaching the hottest/latest frameworks/languages/tools which may not be as relevant in a couple of years.
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