Originally Posted by jominican
It's way faster to become credentialed in the UK because you get so many exams waived from just taking classes in university. Here in the US, you can't waive a single exam by college courses. The only thing you can waive is your VEEs, which doesn't add much time to becoming credentialed anyways.
That's also why there's a HUGE advantage in being in an actuarial program in UK universities than someone who majored in something else or is a career changer. Here, actuaries can be of any background and still "catch up" to those with actuarial educational background.
I'll take the other side of the argument here.
If you want to compare, it should be apples to apples. UK actuarial programs (bachelors, not the masters) can provide exemptions for CT1 to CT8. This is roughly equivalent to the prelims. If you do an actuarial degree in the US, you would have learned the content for the prelims as well. I know in practice this doesn't mean US actuarial graduates have all the prelims cleared, but the international students do it constantly so it is definitely possible.
I think travel time for SOA and IFOA are pretty similar, assuming a fresh graduate with all prelims cleared as the starting point (CAS is a different beast altogether). But that's a different debate.