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  #31  
Old 05-01-2018, 05:04 PM
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What are "they" "doing" to effect this change?

I would suggest "one-and-done" in college. That might lower the age of successful Fellows. Or, just straight out of high school.

But seriously, only three ways to lower the age:
1. Make it easier to get the Fellowship.
2. Hire smarter, on average, people than were hired before, who can pass the exams more swiftly.
3. Hire people more likely to be quitters, who won't muck up the average with a high age at Fellowship, because they will quit the process.

And only one of those do the Societies have any real control over.
It seems like the actuarial career has become more popular over the past 15 or so years. It could be that stronger students are going the actuarial path where in the past they would have done something else (MBA haha).
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  #32  
Old 05-01-2018, 05:57 PM
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It seems like the actuarial career has become more popular over the past 15 or so years. It could be that stronger students are going the actuarial path where in the past they would have done something else (MBA haha).
I think the increase in prospective actuaries is slanted towards DTNF's category 3. JMO, of course.
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  #33  
Old 05-01-2018, 06:03 PM
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what do you think the modules are meant to accomplish then?
Meant to accomplish and actually accomplish are very different things
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  #34  
Old 05-01-2018, 06:16 PM
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I think the increase in prospective actuaries is slanted towards DTNF's category 3. JMO, of course.
Millennials amirite???
(red, in case it's not obvious.)
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  #35  
Old 05-01-2018, 09:35 PM
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3, FSA exams force you to develop perseverance and teach you the life lesson that "hard work pays off".
I’d like to believe that the FSA exams have substantive value and don’t solely exist to produce gritty actuaries.
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  #36  
Old 05-02-2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
What are "they" "doing" to effect this change?

I would suggest "one-and-done" in college. That might lower the age of successful Fellows. Or, just straight out of high school.

But seriously, only three ways to lower the age:
1. Make it easier to get the Fellowship.
2. Hire smarter, on average, people than were hired before, who can pass the exams more swiftly.
3. Hire people more likely to be quitters, who won't muck up the average with a high age at Fellowship, because they will quit the process.

And only one of those do the Societies have any real control over.
I think the SOA has done a LOT to help people get through faster without decreasing the rigor. Compare to the 2000 system, the one with which I am most familiar:

Exams / Rigor
2000: 7 exams (1-6, 8) plus Course 7 pre-test & seminar, PD, APC, and FAC

Current: 8 exams (P, FM, MFE, MLC, C, FSA Core, FSA Advanced, 3rd FSA Exam) plus VEE, FAP, FSA modules, DMAC, APC, and FAC

Rigor seems roughly comparable or maybe even slightly harder now. More exams, roughly same number of exam hours, plus all the other stuff (VEE, FAP, FSA modules). Quantity of material slightly higher under new system, I think, and increasing in a few months with the new Predictive Analytics thingamabob (I'm not very familiar with that so I'm mostly leaving it out of the comparison).

More shorter exams probably helps too as there's slightly less material to digest for each exam making mastery of each one slightly more doable. I'm guessing passing percentages are up slightly.

Frequency
2000: Exams 1-4 offered twice a year, exams 5, 6, and 8 offered once a year. Course 7 pre-test & PD on demand but with substantial pre-requisites, Course 7 seminar, APC, and FAC offered roughly monthly throughout the year. Space was sometimes unavailable. If you were down to just Course 8 & PD and you failed Course 8, you had to wait a full year before you could attempt it again and progress toward FSA was impossible during the interim. If you were down to just Course 5, Course 8, and PD, God help you.

Current: Exams P, FM, MFE, and C offered 3-4x per year, MLC, FSA exams offered 2x per year. VEE, FAP, FSA modules on demand with no pre-requisites, DMAC on demand with substantial prerequisite. Longest gap between possible attempts is 6 months... half as long as prior system. VEE, FAP, FSA modules offer something to squeeze in between sittings, or work on when work or personal circumstances dictate that you are unable to prepare for a full exam but still want to make progress. APC & FAC less likely to fill.

The structural changes allow much more flexibility where candidates can customize their progress to fit their circumstances. This flexibility should reasonably allow the average candidate to get through quicker.
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  #37  
Old 05-02-2018, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by twig93 View Post
I think the SOA has done a LOT to help people get through faster without decreasing the rigor. Compare to the 2000 system, the one with which I am most familiar:

Exams / Rigor
2000: 7 exams (1-6, 8) plus Course 7 pre-test & seminar, PD, APC, and FAC

Current: 8 exams (P, FM, MFE, MLC, C, FSA Core, FSA Advanced, 3rd FSA Exam) plus VEE, FAP, FSA modules, DMAC, APC, and FAC

Rigor seems roughly comparable or maybe even slightly harder now. More exams, roughly same number of exam hours, plus all the other stuff (VEE, FAP, FSA modules). Quantity of material slightly higher under new system, I think, and increasing in a few months with the new Predictive Analytics thingamabob (I'm not very familiar with that so I'm mostly leaving it out of the comparison).

More shorter exams probably helps too as there's slightly less material to digest for each exam making mastery of each one slightly more doable. I'm guessing passing percentages are up slightly.

Frequency
2000: Exams 1-4 offered twice a year, exams 5, 6, and 8 offered once a year. Course 7 pre-test & PD on demand but with substantial pre-requisites, Course 7 seminar, APC, and FAC offered roughly monthly throughout the year. Space was sometimes unavailable. If you were down to just Course 8 & PD and you failed Course 8, you had to wait a full year before you could attempt it again and progress toward FSA was impossible during the interim. If you were down to just Course 5, Course 8, and PD, God help you.

Current: Exams P, FM, MFE, and C offered 3-4x per year, MLC, FSA exams offered 2x per year. VEE, FAP, FSA modules on demand with no pre-requisites, DMAC on demand with substantial prerequisite. Longest gap between possible attempts is 6 months... half as long as prior system. VEE, FAP, FSA modules offer something to squeeze in between sittings, or work on when work or personal circumstances dictate that you are unable to prepare for a full exam but still want to make progress. APC & FAC less likely to fill.

The structural changes allow much more flexibility where candidates can customize their progress to fit their circumstances. This flexibility should reasonably allow the average candidate to get through quicker.
Minor correction, P/FM are offered 6 times a year.

I agree with the conclusion that the new structure is more flexible which may have contributed to the decrease in travel time and average age of new FSAs.

I also agree with sjb554's view that the field itself is getting more popular which led to a highly saturated entry-level job market.

whether popularity is positively correlated with competitiveness, I am unsure, but I feel that the correlation is positive up to a point, under reasonable assumptions.

people who have been doing actuarial recruiting over the past 10~15 years should comment regarding: are the job candidates becoming more and more competitive?
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  #38  
Old 05-02-2018, 11:12 AM
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what do you think the modules are meant to accomplish then?
A few things

1) Reduce travel time
2) How not to design a spreadsheet. They were mostly awful.
3) Define the Problem, Design the Solution, Monitor Results. Lather, rinse, repeat.
4) Give pre-ASAs a broad exposure to the various disciplines.
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  #39  
Old 05-02-2018, 11:23 AM
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A few things

1) Reduce travel time
2) How not to design a spreadsheet. They were mostly awful.
3) Define the Problem, Design the Solution, Monitor Results. Lather, rinse, repeat.
4) Give pre-ASAs a broad exposure to the various disciplines.
Is #2 having any effect?
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My latest favorite quotes, updated Apr 5, 2018.

Spoiler:
I should keep these four permanently.
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JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
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This. And everything else JMO wrote.
And this all purpose permanent quote:
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Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Yup, it is always someone else's fault.
MORE:
All purpose response for careers forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorNo View Post
Depends upon the employer and the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
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  #40  
Old 05-02-2018, 11:26 AM
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...
people who have been doing actuarial recruiting over the past 10~15 years should comment regarding: are the job candidates becoming more and more competitive?
Yes, absolutely. Although they are also somewhat more uniform and less interesting. We used to have a much greater diversity of backgrounds and personality types, imo.
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