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  #1  
Old 05-05-2017, 01:35 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Default The EL market IS SATURATED

Wanted to have a little discussion on this if people are willing. This has been discussed recently in a few threads, including
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=321857
and
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=321442


I'm mostly looking for people to argue that the market is saturated in this thread, and especially to provide evidence/support. Not sure what exactly that would mean, but at some point I assume people will cite that economist study, which I think is flawed (see other thread), which is not to say it's worthless or anything.

What I'm most interested in is probably more anecdotal, like info from candidates who feel like they are well-prepared and can do a good job as an actuary but are not able to get a position. Or hiring managers that are turning away people that they view as strong because there's just so many good candidates. For this discussion, I view a strong candidates as somebody who possesses all of

Solid GPA and school*
At least two exams passed and working on a third
Good communication skills
Reasonable data skills (Excel and at least some experience with one of SAS, R, SQL)
No visa issues
Open to variety of positions (not, for example, limiting yourself to only looking for Health jobs in Utah)
Has put in some effort at finding a position - for example, sent out a decent number of resumes, attended campus career fair or other networking options through SOA, CAS, ASNY, etc; and took the time to learn how to interview well.

*Let's say this is anybody from an Ivy or similar, at least a 3.0 from a good state school (Illinois, Utah, Tennessee, schools like that), or a 3.5+ from a lesser school.

If people like that are not able to find an EL job, then I consider the market to be saturated (I do not currently believe that to be the case, but am interested in discussing it and open to changing my view).


If anybody wants to claim that they are well-qualified and cannot find a position, would be interested in hearing about where they fit on the criteria above. If anybody wants to post their own story, but not attach it to their AO ID, you are welcome to PM me and I will post that info anonymously.

Separate thread to discuss and provide evidence that the market IS NOT SATURATED:
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=322030

Really hoping to have some legit answers. Don't be surprised if clown comments disappear if it gets too ridic.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2017, 03:44 PM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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Here's an anecdote.

Coming out of college, here were my credentials:
  • GPA >= 3.5
  • Math (stats emphasis) major
  • Music minor
  • State school, not a well-known one
  • 3 exams
  • One housing internship for data work: used Excel and Access to create an inventory system
  • Contract for about a half-year with an actuarial study company
  • University tutoring, TAing, research projects, etc.
  • Classes in Python, VBA
  • No extracurriculars (other than Scrabble Club President, but who gives a care?)
  • Active in Actuarial Club
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Good communication skills (positive reviews of interviews - on-site recruiters who told my profs)
  • No actuarial internship
  • Attended ~3 career fairs a year
  • Desired to remain in Midwest (MN, WI)

Tried applying for internships and jobs in MN for ~2 years, turned out terrible. My communication skills were fine, but little things I said during the internship interviews in MN probably removed me from consideration for an internship (e.g., mentioning Obamacare for a P&C company... yeah... about that). By senior year, I had learned from my mistakes already, but since I didn't have an actuarial internship, that's likely why I was removed from any consideration for a full-time position (MN is quite competitive). I seem to recall in my senior year that I was having a difficult time getting any interviews, despite positive resume reviews on the AO.

I moved to Des Moines and got an actuarial analyst position within 3 months. Needless to say, I'm doing other things these days, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

FTR: I was born and raised in MN, and my resume had my home address on there. I've never been able to obtain a job in MN, actuarial or non-actuarial. Furthermore, I'm quite certain that when I applied for a leadership position with the Actuarial Club that most people saw me as intimidating, arrogant, or some mix of the two. Definitely not the "popular" type, and I got a vibe that my interests (reading math books, I'm a musician, etc.) just wasn't compatible with the people who were interviewing me. I'm not into baseball, hockey, etc..* Trying to act like someone who I wasn't was one reason why I quit trying so hard to impress people in the field.

* Most people whom I know obtained internships very easily told me that most of their interview was fixated on some type of sports that the interviewees were involved in.
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Last edited by clarinetist; 05-05-2017 at 04:13 PM..
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2017, 03:51 PM
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Meepo Meepo is offline
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Seems accurate. Don't know anyone from college who fit those criteria and didn't get a job.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:17 PM
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mathmajor mathmajor is offline
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You're describing a small subset of college graduates. STEM graduates. People in general. Of course they're all going to get jobs. Surprising they don't get better jobs than $60k EL actuarial student. Maybe in a previous time that'd be true.

We're just moving the bar aren't we?

The tragedy is that rough around the edges candidates like me who turned out to be decent aren't considered because they require investment, some risk, and an atypical hiring outlook.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:29 PM
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ScorchedEarthActuary ScorchedEarthActuary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathmajor View Post
You're describing a small subset of college graduates. STEM graduates. People in general. Of course they're all going to get jobs. Surprising they don't get better jobs than $60k EL actuarial student. Maybe in a previous time that'd be true.

We're just moving the bar aren't we?

The tragedy is that rough around the edges candidates like me who turned out to be decent aren't considered because they require investment, some risk, and an atypical hiring outlook.
This.

Of course, in any field, you can come up with a set of criteria that define a "strong candidate" and by definition those candidates would generally have little trouble finding a job. I didn't go to a top school and I was told consistently that the average GPA in the actuarial program was around a B- (2.7). There were some 3.5's for sure, not all of which had strong technical skills, and not all of which had exams. I would guess that only about 10%-20% of my class would have met these requirements, and a couple of them that would fall into this category weren't able to find actuarial work.

The fact that the bar needs to be set so high indicates to me that the market is saturated.
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2017, 05:11 PM
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TrollMaster TrollMaster is offline
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Here's my anecdote:

Non traditional student: I was older when I graduated college.

-Smaller State School
-BS Mathematics and Actuarial Science (Double Major)
-3.29 GPA
-1 Exam at the time (FM only)
-1 Internship at Life Company(Actually got my internship with no exams through networking, Note this company also asked if I was interested in a job when one came up about 6 months after I was already working at my P&C gig.)

When I graduated ended up getting two offers right at graduation time. One health and one P&C. Also had an open ended internship offer with a consulting firm had nothing else panned out, which was comforting to know.
This was in 2012 and I was limited geographically, so I was only looking in my area.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:13 PM
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TrollMaster TrollMaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollMaster View Post
Here's my anecdote:

Non traditional student: I was older when I graduated college.

-Smaller State School
-BS Mathematics and Actuarial Science (Double Major)
-3.29 GPA
-1 Exam at the time (FM only)
-1 Internship at Life Company(Actually got my internship with no exams through networking, Note this company also asked if I was interested in a job when one came up about 6 months after I was already working at my P&C gig.)

When I graduated ended up getting two offers right at graduation time. One health and one P&C. Also had an open ended internship offer with a consulting firm had nothing else panned out, which was comforting to know.
This was in 2012 and I was limited geographically, so I was only looking in my area.
Oh sh*t I posted in the wrong thread!!!!!
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2017, 05:14 PM
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TrollMaster TrollMaster is offline
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I am so used to challenging what Clarinetist says, I felt like I needed a counter point after he posted
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2017, 05:49 PM
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mathmajor mathmajor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScorchedEarthActuary View Post
This.

Of course, in any field, you can come up with a set of criteria that define a "strong candidate" and by definition those candidates would generally have little trouble finding a job. I didn't go to a top school and I was told consistently that the average GPA in the actuarial program was around a B- (2.7). There were some 3.5's for sure, not all of which had strong technical skills, and not all of which had exams. I would guess that only about 10%-20% of my class would have met these requirements, and a couple of them that would fall into this category weren't able to find actuarial work.

The fact that the bar needs to be set so high indicates to me that the market is saturated.
Right, that's what I was getting at. 21-year-olds with drive and the business savvy to conduct themselves professionally and have a meaningful, differentiating interview.

Sure.

I didn't learn that stuff until a few years in.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2017, 05:58 PM
kimjongfun kimjongfun is offline
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Having gone through the application process a year ago as an EL I can say it certainly feels saturated when you're applying. I got 0 offers for a long time and then a few offers all at once, but later than a lot of students I knew from my internship. It seems maybe there are levels of students that get picked and then once that is exhausted the market shifts and keeps going like that until you either made the cut or didn't. And if you didn't it's quite a difficult and non-traditional path to get back in.
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