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  #11  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:51 PM
Helena Lake Helena Lake is offline
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Pass as many as you can as soon as you can. You probably will not pass them all on your first attempt, so it's not all that likely that you will have accumulated an excessive number before trying to join the work force.
I got the impression that the OP was talking about a five to seven year time frame before entering the workforce. Does your approach still hold if it's that far out?
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:17 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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I agree with everything else you said, but I think these two might vary by practice. I know that my employers have been very leery of hiring people with a lot of exams passed and no work experience. The actuarial department at both my last and my current employer will absolutely not hire an ASA or near-ASA without practical experience.

That might be something limited to health though. There's a lot of the pre-ASA exam material that is more applicable to life/pension than to health, and a lot of the stuff that is directly applicable to health doesn't show up until the FSA exams. I mean, as health actuary, I pretty much never use any of the actuarial mathematics that I had to learn pre-ASA, nor have I used ruin models or pension valuations, or annuity pricing. The appropriate type of reserving, evaluating the impact of intervention programs, and well/loosely managed systems, network impact on pricing etc. doesn't come up until the FSA exams.

At least, that's how it was when I took exams. Maybe it's changed.
Those work places suck.
Please make a note of it.

No one said they have to compensate for exams passed without experience. Offer them EL. Promote them faster / give them more responsibility if they deserve it. And don't do those things if they don't deserve it.

Sounds like too rigid of a philosophy. Need to untwist their panties imo
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:18 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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I got the impression that the OP was talking about a five to seven year time frame before entering the workforce. Does your approach still hold if it's that far out?
I'd be more impressed with someone who couldn't help but pass exams while raising small children than someone who didn't pass exams out of fear that they'd pass too many and be "priced out of the market" by a few companies unwilling to make exceptions to anyone.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:29 PM
Helena Lake Helena Lake is offline
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Those work places suck.
Please make a note of it.
I don't think they sucked. Both are quite excellent places to work as an actuary.

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Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
No one said they have to compensate for exams passed without experience. Offer them EL. Promote them faster / give them more responsibility if they deserve it. And don't do those things if they don't deserve it.

Sounds like too rigid of a philosophy. Need to untwist their panties imo
Meh. Historically, I've seen people with ASAs expect ASA salaries, and I've run into several people with very little experience who were unwilling to take an EL compensation package, or who made ASA shortly after being hired, and expected an ASA level compensation despite having little to no experience.

Like I said, it might be a quirk with the places I've worked, and it might be something that is fairly particular to Health.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:33 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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They can expect all they want. Maybe they'll get it, and maybe they won't. It's not really a concern of the company who won't pay them. There are 10 other candidates good enough to offer the job to.

Not all candidates are alike, and not all companies are alike. If companies are assuming something about a candidate ("oh, too many exams and she'll be expecting too high a salry; pass") without asking more questions, I'd consider that a sucky company.
Similarly, if a candidate is assuming something ("someone told me that no company will hire me with too many exams, so I won't even try to pass exams") about every company without getting more information, that would be a sucky candidate.
No one or company has to be sucky, though.

OP will already be behind enough on the learning curve. No need to pile on exam stuff, too. Get them done when you can. OP will already be in a special situation where she won't get to negotiate salary too much.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:56 AM
Helena Lake Helena Lake is offline
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OP will already be behind enough on the learning curve. No need to pile on exam stuff, too. Get them done when you can. OP will already be in a special situation where she won't get to negotiate salary too much.
I agree. And if OP is talking about a multi-year path before getting into the workforce, I personally think that not trying to cram in a ton of exams while raising kids is a fine idea. Keep up with the field, read periodicals, etc. And when they're about a year or two out from planning to enter, start taking exams again and pass a couple.

It demonstrates current knowledge and exam passage, and a break to have and raise kids is a reasonable reason for a break between exams.

There are lots of possible pathways. I would say that two to three exams, with at least one of them being recently passed when you get into the field is plenty. Once you're hired, take more exams... that way the employer is footing the bill for the materials and exam fees, rather than doing that on your own.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:59 AM
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PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
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Whereas I think that studying for and passing exams is a fine way to stay current. I would plan to pass one exam shortly before entering the workforce, but I see absolutely no downside to working on them now. And a major upside is that it will give you a very realistic idea of what you will need to do once you enter the field, at least in terms of the rest of your exams.
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