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  #71  
Old 06-17-2019, 08:50 PM
Academic Actuary Academic Actuary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porter View Post
True. You have to be sharp. I think I am sharp, Iíll give myself that. But I can name 50 actuaries who impress the hell out me who donít have the shiny school on the resume so that is definitely not a requirement.

More than pedigree I think you have to be relentless with the studying. It sucks a lot for a few years. But worth it.
It's not the school but what you need to get in. I assume you had a Math SAT of at least 750. I have found SATs to be a good indicator of potential and amount of effort necessary to pass, at least the preliminary exams.

While people with Mat SATs between 600 and 700 can pass at least the first two, the likelihood of getting beyond these is significantly lower than if you are in the 700 to 800 range.

Now lets say we have someone in their mid 30's, whose mathematics is limited to Calc 1, fifteen years ago and who has lets say a 650 level math score. Is it realistic to tell them if you just work hard you can become an actuary?
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  #72  
Old 06-18-2019, 12:50 AM
Just Annoyed Just Annoyed is offline
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SAT can tell you if a student has good ability, but it doesn't always tell when a student doesn't. I know a guy that was a slacker with slacker parents. He paid for his SAT out of money he earned working fast food. He only took it because he heard his friends talking about taking it. No preparation, working 30 hours a week in high school, partying his balls off in college with mediocre grades. But that guy is now a fine actuary and a respected contributor to his department.

So to the original poster, pass some exams, and pass them quickly. If you have the natural ability and do the work, actuaries will catch on and hire you. But you have to learn how to impress people with your actions and accomplishments and still come across with enough humility.
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  #73  
Old 06-18-2019, 01:49 AM
Academic Actuary Academic Actuary is offline
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Originally Posted by Just Annoyed View Post
SAT can tell you if a student has good ability, but it doesn't always tell when a student doesn't. I know a guy that was a slacker with slacker parents. He paid for his SAT out of money he earned working fast food. He only took it because he heard his friends talking about taking it. No preparation, working 30 hours a week in high school, partying his balls off in college with mediocre grades. But that guy is now a fine actuary and a respected contributor to his department.

So to the original poster, pass some exams, and pass them quickly. If you have the natural ability and do the work, actuaries will catch on and hire you. But you have to learn how to impress people with your actions and accomplishments and still come across with enough humility.
Did he start taking exams in his mid 30s? I am just being realistic. I have probably had discussions with at over 20 individuals in similar circumstances who come to me for a path to becoming an actuary. I tell them take Calc I and get back to me. I am not aware of anyone who has even gotten to the first exam.

Once I had a woman in her mid thirties with an English degree. She had received a divorce settlement and was able to go back to university full time for three years, first doing math core and VEEs and then a Masters. She passed a couple of exams and got a job with an insurer. I don't think she ever got past those two exams.
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  #74  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:12 AM
bsanders33 bsanders33 is offline
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Originally Posted by Academic Actuary View Post
Did he start taking exams in his mid 30s? I am just being realistic. I have probably had discussions with at over 20 individuals in similar circumstances who come to me for a path to becoming an actuary. I tell them take Calc I and get back to me. I am not aware of anyone who has even gotten to the first exam.

Once I had a woman in her mid thirties with an English degree. She had received a divorce settlement and was able to go back to university full time for three years, first doing math core and VEEs and then a Masters. She passed a couple of exams and got a job with an insurer. I don't think she ever got past those two exams.
I agree with you, and I also think I’m just being realistic. But I should probably stay off these career changer threads because I’m just a Debbie Downer.

I haven’t had 20 individuals approach me about a career change, but I’ve had a fair number. Age 35 to 40 or more, and the common theme is that they are unhappy with the pay and stress in their current job, and they have seen an article about the high pay / low stress actuarial profession and think “that’s what I want”.

Many will play devils advocate with me, but I honestly feel that most employers are going to vastly prefer to pick from the over saturated ranks of fresh faced actuarial grads over a 40 yo. Even if the 40 yo can has passed a couple of exams and a certificate in python.

Also, I don’t think it’s impossible for a 40 yo guy who has worked as a cop or a retail manager or a spreadsheet guy at Nissan (all dudes who have approached me about a career change), and who maybe even have kids/older parents/family responsibilities, to get to ASA or even fellowship...at least if they have some college level math/stats at some point in their past. But honestly I think it’s damn unlikely.
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