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  #11  
Old 05-18-2002, 09:53 PM
Davo Davo is offline
 
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"This survey definitely considers only insurance actuaries. There is absolutely no way that a pension actuary could possibly be rated #2"

I am in agreement with this statement. As I understand the survey it was based on certain key considerations:

1) Pay scale
2) Job stress
3) Hour worked per week

While the consulting actuaries pay scale is good (on average better than the insurance actuary), the job stress and hours worked (I work 50+ hours per week and often on Saturdays) should easily knock the consulting actuary out of the number two slot.

I also agree that the exam/credentialing process must not have been considered very carefully. It doesn't take an actuary to figure out that if I pass the exams at the prevailing rate, it will take me more than 10 years to pass the 8 exams. So, I'll spend 8-10 months a year studying and neglecting my wife and family for the opportunity to fail another exam. Granted this is a 'glass half empty' point of view...but how can you not feel this way when only 33%-40% pass each sitting.
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  #12  
Old 05-20-2002, 09:18 AM
Need_A_New_Career Need_A_New_Career is offline
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Every year, I wonder whom in the world they send these surveys to. I haven't had a consistent 40-45 hour workweek since my first job out of college at a sleepy little mutual company. Since then, all I've encountered is deadline-related stress and longer than average hours (per the survey). And that's at three different employers.

Anyone else view these surveys skeptically? Although we get paid pretty well for being actuaries, I truly believe that there are more interesting, dynamic, and respected jobs out there that pay equivalently (if not better), offer similar work environments, and take a whole lot less time to train for than the actuarial exams demand.
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  #13  
Old 05-20-2002, 11:52 AM
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Elisha Elisha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need_A_New_Career
...I truly believe that there are more interesting, dynamic, and respected jobs out there that pay equivalently (if not better), offer similar work environments, and take a whole lot less time to train for than the actuarial exams demand.
Possibly, but I seriously doubt the equivalent (career) exists with the same demand/job security of the actuarial profession.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2002, 12:19 PM
Need_A_New_Career Need_A_New_Career is offline
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I'd agree with you on the demand for actuaries being high, but maybe not on the job security. I've almost been laid off twice in my 8 year career -- once due to a company-wide expense reduction plan dictating that one person needed to be laid-off from the product development area (I had the least seniority) (I avoided the axe solely because another student failed out of the program before the end of the year) and once due to consolidation following a merger/acquisition.

Granted, actuaries experience far less volatility than recently suffered by bankers, traders & analysts in NYC. However, I do expect actuarial job security to decrease severely as the financial services industry continues to consolidate. The days of mutual company lifetime employment are over, or will be by the end of this decade.
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2002, 01:40 PM
42 42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo
I also agree that the exam/credentialing process must not have been considered very carefully. It doesn't take an actuary to figure out that if I pass the exams at the prevailing rate, it will take me more than 10 years to pass the 8 exams. So, I'll spend 8-10 months a year studying and neglecting my wife and family for the opportunity to fail another exam. Granted this is a 'glass half empty' point of view...but how can you not feel this way when only 33%-40% pass each sitting.
I have always been very pleased by how much money companies are willing to pay me to do something that I really enjoy. But I agree that the survey must be talking about people who have already gotten their Fellowships, and doesn't reflect what it took to get there. And it's that much harder if you don't start exams until later in life when you're already married and have children. OTOH, if you go to a good actuarial school and can graduate with 4 exams while you're studying in college anyway, get some study time from your company so that you pass 50% of the exams on the first try, and really hunker down on any second attempts, you really only have 2 years of sacrifice instead of 10+. Then it's not so bad.
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2002, 01:54 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is online now
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Davo, do you consider yourself average?
I hope not, since the average candidate will not become a designated actuary.
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2002, 02:00 PM
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this study comes out every year. Actuaries have been #1 before. I assume it means FSA's (possibly & ASA's) only.

as for now we'll just try harder
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2002, 02:48 PM
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companies need us non-threatened and relatively comfortable .... we make our most money for the people who employ us when we synthesize new concepts into existence. In my opinion, any actuary who does not bring new concepts into existence is not worth their salt.
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  #19  
Old 05-20-2002, 04:43 PM
Actuaress Actuaress is offline
 
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I'm never sure why people are so skeptical of these surveys. The placement of actuaries on the Jobs Rated Almanac list was one of the first things that attracted me to the career. Now after working as an actuary, I think the survey's assessment of the job is pretty accurate.

I work as a consultant. I rarely work more than 45 hours in a week. My work hours are very flexible. Sometimes the work is stressful, but if I plan my time well it is usually not. I like working with very bright people. I like the job security. I love having a job where I use my brain on a regular basis. Getting through exams was tough, but I don't feel like I gave up my life for it.

It's interesting to read how other actuaries feel about all of this. I'd be interested in what effect the survey has on new students just getting into the career.
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2002, 05:09 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is online now
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The main effect of the survey is that it lowers the exam pass rates, due to more less-competent candidates' attempts.

More significant than the #2 ranking this year is the consistency of the career in the top five/ten over the past 10+ years.
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