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  #21  
Old 05-08-2017, 11:59 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by ScorchedEarthActuary View Post
I think it's a little bit conceited to say that something is "pretty easy" when only a small subset of candidates have been able to meet your criteria.
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Based on that, it doesn't seem to me that your criteria are "pretty easy", although I may be biased because I wouldn't have met those criteria at all myself.
I don't at all agree that "only a small subset of candidates have been able" to meet the criteria. If you include all STEM grads, then certainly only a small subset have met them - most STEM grads don't even know what an actuarial exam is; but that says nothing about "able". But looking at people that want to be actuaries, and who are capable of actually doing actuarial work (so we're ignoring people that couldn't pass calculus and got a degree in English lit or whatever), and ignoring the GPA question, where I am mostly assuming you just went to a very unusual school (see above): what part of the criteria I laid out is difficult? Learning Excel? Passing two exams? I mean most of the criteria listed were more-or-less a joke anyway, I mean if you're not willing to put in the effort to find a position, then obviously you didn't want a job to begin with.
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  #22  
Old 05-08-2017, 11:36 PM
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Really struggling to process this post, as it makes no sense to me. I'm guessing that if you went through full disclosure on the school maybe there's some other background that would make it make sense; but most people don't want to get too close to "outing" their personal info so understand you maybe don't want to give much more info.

Here's some info on a variety of universities and their grade trends:
http://www.gradeinflation.com

Looking at the 22 schools whose names start with A or B (wasn't going to go through the whole list), the lowest GPA (looking at most recent year) is 2.93 and there's only two other schools that are below a 3.0, so 19/22 have the average GPA above 3.0.

So, you went to a school where the average student in the actuarial program had grades *significantly* worse than the average student at the school? Seems very unusual for a major that generally attracts students that are well above average. Or, perhaps your school had a very unorthodox grading system. One of my best friends went to Rose-Hulman and graduated with a 2.5 or so, was very highly recruited - so I understand some schools have systems that don't match the norms, but since you didn't say anything like that, just kind of struggling to understand the information provided.
Alright, let's use your numbers. The article you posted puts the average GPA in the most recent measurement year at about 3.15 for public and private schools combined. Assuming approximately an even number of "good state schools" and lesser schools (leaving out Ivy schools for the time being), is it fair to say that your criteria would be around a 3.25, or a little bit above average? So maybe just under half meet the GPA requirement (say 45%)?

What % of those 45% would have 2 exams and taking a third or more than 2 exams? I'll generously say about 90%, although I think it's a lot less.

What % of candidates with the above GPA and exams would have strong technical skills in the programs you listed? Probably any that have had an internship, but I know I personally hadn't used excel more than once or twice before I graduated, so I wouldn't have met this criterion. I'll say maybe 90% again.

What % of candidates with the GPA, exams, and technical skills mentioned above have "good communication skills"? Based on my experience with students in actuarial programs, I wouldn't put this one any higher than 80%.

So who is left? Even excluding geographical/Visa limitations, that's 0.45x0.9x0.9x0.8 =~ 29%. Thats defining "candidates" as individuals enrolled in a related program and interested in or taking exams. You might not agree with my numbers, but I hope you understand the principle; even if each criterion on its own is not difficult, meeting ALL criteria can be difficult. Would you disagree?
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  #23  
Old 05-08-2017, 11:42 PM
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Good explanation of "setting a bar" but the quote was about "moving the bar", which isn't the same thing. Not sure if this was a serious misunderstanding or feigning illiteracy, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
Such a salty response. I don't expect to have to explain common expressions in such detail, but "moving the bar" refers to changing the criteria/requirements (e.g. "Raising the bar"). It's not that big a leap from the definition I gave. I suspect you already know what is meant by the expression, but who knows.
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  #24  
Old 05-09-2017, 12:27 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Such a salty response. I don't expect to have to explain common expressions in such detail, but "moving the bar" refers to changing the criteria/requirements (e.g. "Raising the bar"). It's not that big a leap from the definition I gave. I suspect you already know what is meant by the expression, but who knows.
I'm very familiar with the expression "setting the bar" and "raising the bar". He said "moving the bar", which may or may not be the same as "raising the bar". Since I stated what I think the bar is in the OP and have made no changes to it, I was hoping he would explain why he was describing it as moving. I don't think it has moved. Perhaps you could explain the move that you perceive to have happened instead of just posting your bitterness?
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:37 PM
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I'm going to go with saturated. Every time I've seen an EL opening where I've worked, we've gotten plenty of good candidates who are articulate, and have good exams and solid grades. If I needed to hire an EL right now I would have absolutely no trouble filling a position.
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Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
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  #26  
Old 05-09-2017, 12:39 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by ScorchedEarthActuary View Post
Alright, let's use your numbers. The article you posted puts the average GPA in the most recent measurement year at about 3.15 for public and private schools combined. Assuming approximately an even number of "good state schools" and lesser schools (leaving out Ivy schools for the time being), is it fair to say that your criteria would be around a 3.25, or a little bit above average? So maybe just under half meet the GPA requirement (say 45%)?
You're measuring all students (whether they graduate or not, regardless of major, etc) at all schools, and comparing that to one of higher-paid professions that is often ranked by CareerCast and JRA as one of the best professions. It's a complete mis-match. If your standard is that the average student at the average school should be able to get a job in a highly-sought-after profession, then yes you're going to conclude that it's saturated. Because you started with a really stupid way to measure it.

I think all of the criteria that I laid out are achievable by the large majority of people that should be in the profession. If you're getting a 3.2 in English Lit at Nebraska, you shouldn't be in the profession. If you're at Nebraska, and you want to be an actuary, you should take actuarial classes and talk to the actuarial advisors, who will tell you to take some exams (I hope); if you can't pass the first few exams, again, this probably isn't the profession for you. If you want to be an actuary, you should find out what it takes to get in, then do those things; if those things are extremely difficult for people to accomplish and not connected to the job itself, then that's a pretty good sign of saturation. But passing a couple exams and learning Excel just doesn't seem like much of a burden at all IMHO.
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  #27  
Old 05-09-2017, 12:51 PM
ToBeAnActuaryOrNotToBe ToBeAnActuaryOrNotToBe is offline
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I would say that the market is saturated. I had all of the thresholds listed and even more. It still took me a month and a half to get a job. Out of the 80+ applications I sent out, I only received around 6 responses for phone interviews.
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  #28  
Old 05-09-2017, 01:01 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Not sure what you have in terms of thresholds, but 80 applications for 6 phone interviews could be explained in terms of companies looking local or timing; if you were looking during prime hiring, that's a low response rate and supports the "saturated" argument.

Are you saying that you started looking and in 45 days you had accepted an offer? That's ridiculously fast by corporate standards. Doesn't indicate saturated at all. People review resumes, choose who to phone interview, arranging travel and interviewing schedules, bringing people in, various constraints and timing for hiring managers to look at all the various candidates, HR processing - 45 days is really fast if you accepted 45 days after you started looking. Tons of people are calling the field saturated and talking about 6 months or a year to find something.
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  #29  
Old 05-09-2017, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Are you saying that you started looking and in 45 days you had accepted an offer? That's ridiculously fast by corporate standards.


The snail's pace that hiring moves at is absurd. For some reason, companies don't seem to appreciate the risk that moving slowly will cause them to lose out on a candidate they wanted, if that person accepts a different job.
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  #30  
Old 05-09-2017, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kimjongfun View Post
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.
What were your credentials/what did you do to get hired.

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Originally Posted by ToBeAnActuaryOrNotToBe View Post
I would say that the market is saturated. I had all of the thresholds listed and even more. It still took me a month and a half to get a job. Out of the 80+ applications I sent out, I only received around 6 responses for phone interviews.
I agree with Westley, it seems like you had a fairly easy time getting a job.
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To answer the OP, it definitely feels like it's saturated. Although, maybe I'm just not that impressive of a person(most likely). I've been looking for about a year now, but more seriously after I passed MFE last November. I think I've heard of people who took a few years to get a job in the field, and that was after working in a different field, a couple exams under their belt, and moving far from where they lived.

It's definitely different than what I originally thought I heard: pass a few exams and offers roll in. Real life is much harder than what I thought it'd be in college.
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