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  #1  
Old 04-23-2010, 12:12 PM
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Default UK candidates should sit for exams if they intend to apply for jobs in North America

The reason I bring this up is that we annually receive several dozen CVs from the UK and Ireland that list university credit. University credit is a complete non-starter at my company, and those CVs that indicate exemptions are given no consideration whatsoever. I imagine that this is the norm at other companies.

I'll admit that the likelihood of securing a position is remote unless you're a truly standout candidate, but there is absolutely no chance if you haven't sat for some sort of actuarial exam (Institute or otherwise).
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:11 PM
UKstudent UKstudent is offline
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Is there a reason for this policy at your company?

There is simply no reason why any student in the UK would take an actuarial exam by the Institute when they are getting exemptions from their university for the same exam. To go further ahead with the exams than the CT exams without any experience would be similar to having say 5 or 6 exams in the US but not having any experience and I question whether you would also hire such a person.

It would sound to me like you are unfairly discriminating against students from the UK. What is the difference between a student from the UK with exemptions due to a degree and a US student with a degree that has done the first 4 exams?

Last edited by UKstudent; 12-11-2010 at 02:53 AM..
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by UKstudent View Post
It would sound to me like you are unfairly discriminating against student from the UK. What is the difference between a UK student with exemptions due to a degree and a US student with a degree that has done the first 4 exams?
Objective validation of knowledge. Sadly something you can trust teachers to do.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2010, 04:22 PM
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What is the difference between a UK student with exemptions due to a degree and a US student with a degree that has done the first 4 exams?
1. Only one of the above has demonstrated an ability to pass actuarial exams.
2. Only one of the above has earned credit towards a U.S. designation, which of course is important in the U.S.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:35 AM
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It would sound to me like you are unfairly discriminating against student[s] from the UK.
Why is it unfair?
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2010, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by UKstudent View Post
Is there a reason for this policy at your company?

There is simply no reason why any student in the UK would take an actuarial exam by the Institute when they are getting exemptions from their university for the same exam. To go further ahead with the exams than the CT exams without any experience would be similar to having say 5 or 6 exams in the US but not having any experience and I question whether you would also hire such a person.

It would sound to me like you are unfairly discriminating against student from the UK. What is the difference between a UK student with exemptions due to a degree and a US student with a degree that has done the first 4 exams?
In the US, actuarial students typically work at actuarial jobs while taking exams. Hence to have passed a certain number of exams implies a certain amount of work experience and work-acquired practical skills. Job recruitment and advancement in the US similarly focus on the exams one has passed as a measure of both knowledge and work experience. UK students who have been granted exam credit for university courses wouldn't have the same work experience. And, as you point out, hiring such a person would be questionable, especially when there are US students who have work experience along with exam progress.

It's part of an ongoing debate in the actuarial communities in the US and Canada. You can find details of both sides' positions and the history behind the debate if you look for threads with the term 'FEM' in the title.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:01 PM
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Why is it unfair?
The reason why I would say that it is unfair as a student from the UK would never have had the opportunity to do the exams where as a student from the US would have had this opportunity.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The bums will always lose View Post
1. Only one of the above has demonstrated an ability to pass actuarial exams.
2. Only one of the above has earned credit towards a U.S. designation, which of course is important in the U.S.
On point 1 it is worth noting that actuarial exams at universities are similar to the exams that the institute sets and are also moderated by them to ensure that standards are maintained.

On point 2 the CT exams can be converted to credits in the US system due to mutual recognition agreements.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Enough Exams Already View Post
In the US, actuarial students typically work at actuarial jobs while taking exams. Hence to have passed a certain number of exams implies a certain amount of work experience and work-acquired practical skills. Job recruitment and advancement in the US similarly focus on the exams one has passed as a measure of both knowledge and work experience. UK students who have been granted exam credit for university courses wouldn't have the same work experience. And, as you point out, hiring such a person would be questionable, especially when there are US students who have work experience along with exam progress.

It's part of an ongoing debate in the actuarial communities in the US and Canada. You can find details of both sides' positions and the history behind the debate if you look for threads with the term 'FEM' in the title.
I took the initial post to be relating to graduates who were coming out of university with no work experience and the only difference being exemptions verses exam passes and my comments were designed to reflect this.

I agree that a student with work experience and exam passes is more valuable than one with just exam passes or exemptions. Getting students to do some work experience is a valuable thing at university and something that North America does a lot better than the UK.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:20 AM
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The reason why I would say that it is unfair as a student from the UK would never have had the opportunity to do the exams where as a student from the US would have had this opportunity.
Pencil and Paper Exams are given in Croydon. The SOA website isn't easy to search, but special exam centers can be arranged. In Nov 2008, the only list of special centers I found, one exam was given in Belfast and another in Birmingham.

There are 8 cities in the UK where Exam P is given by CBT. I didn't check, but most of those probably offer the other CBT exams.

Most students from the UK may have little reason to take SOA exams, but they have the opportunity.
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