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  #61  
Old 09-09-2014, 01:14 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Welcome!
Edited for length:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabulous Max View Post

I'm 26, and work as a medical technologist. I make somewhere around $70,000 per year on my full time job...

It also isn't very challenging ...

I do not hate my job at all....
, so I felt like I would try being an actuary instead. Why?

...I was quite bad at math, having never taken an advanced math course in high school or even statistics, and I took the biology major's shortcut calculus courses, leaving me unprepared ...
...My Econ GPA was about a 2.2.

Since then, I have taken the more fundamental math courses at the local community college after work, including integral calculus, ...and I've done a lot better.
I was preparing to purchase the materials for the first exam before noticing AO and reading up on what's said here.

...I do have some concerns before I commit to taking the first exam:

1. Elsewhere on this forum (perhaps here) it says to get a job right after passing the first exam. My intent was to pass all the exams and then look for an availability somewhere without pursuing an internship. Given my circumstances, is this unwise?

2. a) I've kept all of my old Finance/Money & Banking/Econometrics books from college. Should I just retake those courses somewhere, read out of the books, or just study to the exam material?

b) Does the exam make you an actuary, or is it the internship experience which counts?

3. In order to fully justify investing in a second full-time career, no matter how interesting, being an actuary would have to compare with my current profession in salary. My opportunity cost isn't actually my part-time work: I could work full-time in another city alongside my current job and make $60,000. How long would it take me to work my way toward a 60-70K salary?

Sorry, that was a little long. But yeah, any/all advice is welcome, thanks.
Comments on edited remarks prior to questions:
Depending on where you live, that seems like decent money. You would probably have to quit that job to become an actuary, which is not the same as "getting a job in an actuarial department." You still have years to go before you should consider yourself an actuary.

Not being good at math, and patting yourself on the back for learning high-school calculus are not worthy accomplishments. You're way behind the pack.

1. Yes, that is unwise. Pass an exam and get back to us. You seem to have time to study.

Many employers will pay for exam fees and materials to their actuarial students.

2. a) Just study the exam material.
b) Neither the exams nor the internship make one an "actuary." It is a profession, with professional "societies." The societies deem people as actuaries, in theory.

3. It is a high-paying job, but there are plenty of applicants. Very smart applicants. And only one of them gets each job. Without providing some rare talent that is needed by a hiring manager, you are going to struggle to find that first job.

Good luck!

Quick note: Usually, we see people dropping down to the actuarial profession from their current jobs which required extremely high math capabilities (engineers, physicists, real economists, etc.). So, you have that competition as well.
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  #62  
Old 11-02-2014, 12:10 PM
ActurialMike ActurialMike is offline
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Great thread!

First-time poster, although I have been lurking the forum for a while now. Just passed my P yesterday. Retroactive thank-you to the board because I used it as a tool in my studies. Hoping to pass the FM in February.

Question for the career changers: how did you explain your career change?

A little about me:

I graduated from an Ivy League school with a degree in molecular biology in 2011. My plan was to take two years off to work (my parents are senior citizen immigrants) and then go to medical school. I landed a job at a math learning center and fell in love with it. I always had an aptitude for numbers so it was a good fit and I realized I would rather work with numbers than sick people. Without boring you with the details, I started as a tutor and have since been promoted to finance manager of the [very small] company (no formal experience in this but I learn quickly on my own).

Anyway, I hope to use my strengths (Ivy League diploma, quantitative work experience, proficiency in Excel/SQL/etc) to outweigh my weaknesses (no formal actuary experience, graduated a few years ago, etc). I know it'll be tough, but...

1) Again, how do I go about explaining my change? Just like I did here or does that make me sound flaky? Is this something you mention on your CL or wait until you land an interview?
2) Would you suggest I look for internships or an EL job now? Both? Or wait for at least one more passed test?
3) Or should I just pursue a masters in actuarial sciences from a school in my area?

Thanks again.

PS: I know my name is misspelled. ActuarialMike was taken.
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  #63  
Old 11-02-2014, 12:16 PM
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JohnLocke JohnLocke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActurialMike View Post
Great thread!

First-time poster, although I have been lurking the forum for a while now. Just passed my P yesterday. Retroactive thank-you to the board because I used it as a tool in my studies. Hoping to pass the FM in February.

Question for the career changers: how did you explain your career change?

A little about me:

I graduated from an Ivy League school with a degree in molecular biology in 2011. My plan was to take two years off to work (my parents are senior citizen immigrants) and then go to medical school. I landed a job at a math learning center and fell in love with it. I always had an aptitude for numbers so it was a good fit and I realized I would rather work with numbers than sick people. Without boring you with the details, I started as a tutor and have since been promoted to finance manager of the [very small] company (no formal experience in this but I learn quickly on my own).

Anyway, I hope to use my strengths (Ivy League diploma, quantitative work experience, proficiency in Excel/SQL/etc) to outweigh my weaknesses (no formal actuary experience, graduated a few years ago, etc). I know it'll be tough, but...

1) Again, how do I go about explaining my change? Just like I did here or does that make me sound flaky? Is this something you mention on your CL or wait until you land an interview?
2) Would you suggest I look for internships or an EL job now? Both? Or wait for at least one more passed test?
3) Or should I just pursue a masters in actuarial sciences from a school in my area?

Thanks again.

PS: I know my name is misspelled. ActuarialMike was taken.
My advice:

1. Don't mention in CL or very briefly. Have a good story to sell it for in person. What you wrote is good enough that I wouldn't question.

2. Don't wait.

3. Master's in Act Sci isn't that useful.
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  #64  
Old 03-08-2015, 06:43 PM
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As someone who changed careers, pass two exams in a timely manner, while working another job. Make that clear on your resume.(not explicitly, but have the information available for someone who might want to know that) Then send cold emails.
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  #65  
Old 04-08-2015, 01:03 PM
Ginniv22 Ginniv22 is offline
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I am a career changer, economics major, certified financial planner, 6 years experience as a financial advisor. I have passed 3 Actuarial exams (P,FM & MFE) - all in one go. I am good with excel but I have no programming skills (educating myself on VBA now). I have no connections, moved to US about 2 years back and hv been looking for an actuarial job for about a year now. What is the best way to go about it?

Should I just keep applying online? I have not received a single response - EVER!!
Looking for entry level jobs is frustrating..No recruiter is willing to work with you. I feel directionless mostly when I reach out to the companies.

What is the best way to go about it?
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  #66  
Old 04-08-2015, 03:08 PM
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In case you missed it, here's some great advice:
Quote:
Originally Posted by abwoc View Post
Q: Should I go back to school?
A: No.
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  #67  
Old 04-08-2015, 10:25 PM
Ginniv22 Ginniv22 is offline
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I am not sure how this advice is relevant to me. Does not help!!!
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  #68  
Old 04-08-2015, 10:28 PM
Ginniv22 Ginniv22 is offline
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My education is not United States. Could that be the reason? I mean if I go by this discussion forum I believe a lot of people from different backgrounds change careers and sooner or later get a job...I am not sure if Masters is the answer - considering my background is not all that irrelevant to the actuarial field.
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  #69  
Old 05-23-2016, 12:54 PM
chsnyder36 chsnyder36 is offline
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I appreciate this thread - And I am also a prospective career changer.

I passed Exam P yesterday (in just about half the time that was given, whatever that means) and so now I'm starting to think seriously. I'll take FM in August and then hopefully MFE in November.

I've been a HS math teacher at inner-city schools for the last 9 years. I've signed a contract to teach next year at a suburban high school.

Prior to that I got a master's in economics and prior to that I worked in a sales-related finance role for a few years. I passed a few financial exams, including series 6, 7, 63 and also CFA level I (never went back to take level II).

I'm hoping to land somewhere in the SF Bay area. And the other thing is that I've started taking these exams to pave the path for an escape route from teaching. I could easily teach for 2 more years and maybe finish all 5 exams in that time. But with the teaching schedule I'm not available to take a job at first opportunity.

Anyone have any specific or general advice for me? I know I'm not asking many direct questions...

Does being a high school math teacher carry a stigma?
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  #70  
Old 05-23-2016, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chsnyder36 View Post
Does being a high school math teacher carry a stigma?
Nah - we've had a lot of success hiring high school math teachers.

Everyone here can do the math; the biggest hurdle is explaining difficult concepts to a semi-interested audience.

Once you're standing in front of a health plan board explaining why they need to improve their quality improvement expenses to avoid a future MLR rebate payment, you'll directly see the benefits of explaining algebra to high schoolers.

Getting the concepts into the heads of well-intentioned - but very busy - executives is exceptionally difficult. They need the information quickly in a way that they can use it. It's very similar to motivating students.
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