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  #11  
Old 02-13-2018, 10:49 PM
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Other than your math background, what other relevant skills can you offer a potential employer?
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2018, 10:53 PM
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You do realize, I hope, that notwithstanding marketing puffery to the contrary, actuary is not a math job? It's a business job for the mathematically literate.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2018, 10:58 PM
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Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is offline
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Why do you want to change careers?

That's going to be your biggest obstacle after you take care of passing Exams.


As for passing Exams, how close the Exams are taken isn't going to be all that critical. Get them passed.

In the US market, you're generally "as good as your last Exam" in terms of "how long since ______". Many employers, as an initial screen, are going to look at how many you've passed and when did you last past (timing of the earlier ones won't matter too much).

Some might still look at the overall timing; but that will be more to see what sort of questions to ask you. So long as you have a good answer to the initial question posed in this post and addressing the gaps between passed Exams, you should be fairly good to go.
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2018, 12:46 AM
expatmath expatmath is offline
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These are the answers to Marcie's questions:

What happens if you break your contract?
Realistically, nothing, although I would only be able to break it after the end of a full school year. So, Summer 2019 at the earliest.

I take it your looking to move back to the States with the career change?
Yes. I am looking to re-locate to the US and have no preference as to the location as long as jobs are available.

So, you could start working an actuarial job in summer 2020, and your plan is to start looking in mid-2020?
Ideally, I would start looking in March/April 2020 with an eye on start date between May and July 2020.

Did any of the many posts you read about switching careers mention taking exams before switching?
Yes. Most mentioned taking at least two exams. I have no actuarial background, and employers are already going to be taking a risk on me compared to a new grad. The absolute least I can do is show them that I've passed the preliminary exams and that I have my VEE credits in order.

Have you read any of the many threads/posts on here about the difficulty breaking into the profession that many ELs seem to be having these days?
Also, yes. I am confident that my work history will set me apart in a positive way.

Why do you want to pursue work as an actuary?
I wanted to be an actuary after I received my B.A. in 2008. However, having already spent 6 years as a military IT contractor, I decided that moving directly into another cubicle-oriented job was not an ideal move at that point in my life. Now that I’m in my 30s, I feel differently. Moreover, I think the skills I’ve picked up as a teacher and in the military would be useful in an actuarial context. I am used to working long hours, have shown myself to be capable of learning new things extremely quickly, and have no problem doing grunt work (e.g. Excel calculations). I also have excellent communication skills from my years giving briefings to Colonels and Majors in the military and through teaching. I am also proficient with R, SQL, and Excel, although I'd have to learn the most-used actuarial functions for the latter. Big fan of pivot tables though.

Which field of actuarial work interests you most?
From everything I’ve read, P&C appeals to me more. But let’s be honest – I’m a 30-something career changer who has been out of the US for almost a decade. I will take what I can get for an entry level position and work my way up from there.

Why do you want to leave teaching?
Several reasons, but mostly because I’ve reached the pinnacle of what I feel I can offer as a teacher unless I pursue a Ph.D. This is not something I am interested in doing.

You do realize, I hope, that notwithstanding marketing puffery to the contrary, actuary is not a math job? It's a business job for the mathematically literate.
Yep! Which is perfect for me. I am currently getting my first educational startup off the ground. It’s been a trial by fire, but I’m happy with the business aspects. However, I think my math skills will come in handy for those tests, which are a necessity. If I wanted a purely math job, I'd go into financial math or academia.


Thanks for your questions, Marcie. I enjoyed answering them.

Last edited by expatmath; 02-14-2018 at 01:01 AM..
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2018, 12:52 AM
expatmath expatmath is offline
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Thanks, Vorian. I hit on why I wanted to change careers in my answer to Marcie. I have gone from an ESL teacher to a certified math teacher to department head to founding member of a community college to a college instructor in 8 years. I have no where else to go without a Ph.D and have no desire to enter academia or become an adminstrator. I do, however, enjoy both math and business and have been eyeing this particular career path for almost a decade. It's simply time.

Last edited by expatmath; 02-14-2018 at 12:59 AM..
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatmath View Post
These are the answers to Marcie's questions:

What happens if you break your contract?
Realistically, nothing, although I would only be able to break it after the end of a full school year. So, Summer 2019 at the earliest.

I take it your looking to move back to the States with the career change?
Yes. I am looking to re-locate to the US and have no preference as to the location as long as jobs are available.

So, you could start working an actuarial job in summer 2020, and your plan is to start looking in mid-2020?
Ideally, I would start looking in March/April 2020 with an eye on start date between May and July 2020.

Did any of the many posts you read about switching careers mention taking exams before switching?
Yes. Most mentioned taking at least two exams. I have no actuarial background, and employers are already going to be taking a risk on me compared to a new grad. The absolute least I can do is show them that I've passed the preliminary exams and that I have my VEE credits in order.

Have you read any of the many threads/posts on here about the difficulty breaking into the profession that many ELs seem to be having these days?
Also, yes. I am confident that my work history will set me apart in a positive way.

Why do you want to pursue work as an actuary?
I wanted to be an actuary after I received my B.A. in 2008. However, having already spent 6 years as a military IT contractor, I decided that moving directly into another cubicle-oriented job was not an ideal move at that point in my life. Now that Iím in my 30s, I feel differently. Moreover, I think the skills Iíve picked up as a teacher and in the military would be useful in an actuarial context. I am used to working long hours, have shown myself to be capable of learning new things extremely quickly, and have no problem doing grunt work (e.g. Excel calculations). I also have excellent communication skills from my years giving briefings to Colonels and Majors in the military and through teaching. I am also proficient with R, SQL, and Excel, although I'd have to learn the most-used actuarial functions for the latter. Big fan of pivot tables though.

Which field of actuarial work interests you most?
From everything Iíve read, P&C appeals to me more. But letís be honest Ė Iím a 30-something career changer who has been out of the US for almost a decade. I will take what I can get for an entry level position and work my way up from there.

Why do you want to leave teaching?
Several reasons, but mostly because Iíve reached the pinnacle of what I feel I can offer as a teacher unless I pursue a Ph.D. This is not something I am interested in doing.

You do realize, I hope, that notwithstanding marketing puffery to the contrary, actuary is not a math job? It's a business job for the mathematically literate.
Yep! Which is perfect for me. I am currently getting my first educational startup off the ground. Itís been a trial by fire, but Iím happy with the business aspects. However, I think my math skills will come in handy for those tests, which are a necessity. If I wanted a purely math job, I'd go into financial math or academia.


Thanks for your questions, Marcie. I enjoyed answering them.
Pretty good answers, exPat.

The one I'd suggest you reconsider is when to start your job search if you want to start working in summer 2020. A number of companies will do most of their hiring for summer 2020 by fall 2019. A lot of companies who hire ELs straight out of school are used to having to wait until the end of the school year for their new employees to start. Now, if you just have to wait until spring 2020 before you'd be able to start job hunting, that's okay - there will still be some jobs left for summer 2020 but the number will be more limited. So I'd recommend starting the job search next summer/fall to start working the following summer.

I hope that helps with your question in the OP.
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2018, 06:06 AM
expatmath expatmath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
Pretty good answers, exPat.

The one I'd suggest you reconsider is when to start your job search if you want to start working in summer 2020. A number of companies will do most of their hiring for summer 2020 by fall 2019. A lot of companies who hire ELs straight out of school are used to having to wait until the end of the school year for their new employees to start. Now, if you just have to wait until spring 2020 before you'd be able to start job hunting, that's okay - there will still be some jobs left for summer 2020 but the number will be more limited. So I'd recommend starting the job search next summer/fall to start working the following summer.

I hope that helps with your question in the OP.
Thank you so much! That is exactly the sort of information I'm looking for. I must say, I'm a bit surprised by how early the hiring season is - that's almost exactly the same schedule as international teaching.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:33 AM
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Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is offline
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Part of the reason for timing is to account for the budgeting process; and for college grad, you're also competing with other companies . . . early bird and all that.
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:40 AM
expatmath expatmath is offline
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Well, brilliant. That actually works out better for me, as it means I can make sure I'm hired with a company before going through an international move.
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:17 AM
angryleslieknope angryleslieknope is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatmath View Post
Have you read any of the many threads/posts on here about the difficulty breaking into the profession that many ELs seem to be having these days?
Also, yes. I am confident that my work history will set me apart in a positive way.
I wouldn't count on this. I started looking for actuarial jobs in fall 2016 after two years in a job that has a lot of overlapping skills (think analyst type thing, but outside insurance). I double majored in math and econ and have a master's in econ. I had taken two exams and had two VEEs done. And it took me like six months to even get an in person interview.

Although, admittedly, one of my issues was that I was coming off a salary that was a bit high for an EL actuary and people didn't seem to believe that I was willing to take a slight pay cut. That may not be an issue coming out of teaching.
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