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  #1  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:07 PM
data_analyst data_analyst is offline
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Question Should I stay on the actuarial track?

I’m an undergraduate student graduating in May 2018 with majors in computer science and statistics. I came into college originally wanting to be an actuary, but I found myself very interested in computer science as well. I have passed Exam P but I don’t know if it is worth it for me to continue taking exams.

I have accepted a Data Analyst job at Capital One in McLean, VA starting in August 2018. It’s an excellent job with a starting salary of $83,000 and signing bonus of $12,000. I will be promoted to Senior Data Analyst after 1 year and promoted to Principal Data Analyst after 4 years if I continue to work at the company. There is also a possibility I could change roles to something else (ex. software engineer, data scientist). Capital One does not hire actuaries to my knowledge.

I’m not sure if I should abandon the actuarial track and pursue a more technical (or business) career at Capital One… Or if I should keep studying for actuarial exams with plans to leave Capital One eventually. I believe doing this would make me a career changer. I have done some lurking and from what I understand: 1)it’s difficult to be a career changer, 2)I would have to take a salary cut, 3)I should not pass more than 3 exams without having an actuarial EL job and 4) I’ll already have gotten into another excellent quantitative field, do I really want to leave it. This is what I have gathered, but I am naïve and inexperienced so I appreciate any opinions or advice.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:15 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by data_analyst View Post
...(blah, blah)

I have accepted a Data Analyst job at Capital One in McLean, VA starting in August 2018. It’s an excellent job with a starting salary of $83,000 and signing bonus of $12,000. I will be promoted to Senior Data Analyst after 1 year and promoted to Principal Data Analyst after 4 years if I continue to work at the company. There is also a possibility I could change roles to something else (ex. software engineer, data scientist). Capital One does not hire actuaries to my knowledge.
Sounds pretty good. Looking for downsides... nothing.
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Originally Posted by data_analyst View Post
I have done some lurking and from what I understand:
1)it’s difficult to be a career changer,
2)I would have to take a salary cut,
3)I should not pass more than 3 exams without having an actuarial EL job and
4) I’ll already have gotten into another excellent quantitative field, do I really want to leave it.
5) This is what I have gathered,
6) but I am naïve and inexperienced so I appreciate any opinions or advice.
1. Yes, but not impossible. To change you'll have to really hate your job and current future. And, last I checked you have a job offer with what seems to be a pretty good future.
2. Most likely.
3. Bullshit.
4. I don't know. You haven't even started yet.
5. That is pretty much it.
6. Yes, yes you are.

Take the job. Keep looking for actuarial interviews, make a choice once you have a choice.
One thing not mentioned: do you want a career as an actuary?
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DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
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DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:51 PM
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Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by data_analyst View Post
I’m not sure if I should abandon the actuarial track and pursue a more technical (or business) career at Capital One… Or if I should keep studying for actuarial exams with plans to leave Capital One eventually. I believe doing this would make me a career changer. I have done some lurking and from what I understand: 1)it’s difficult to be a career changer, 2)I would have to take a salary cut, 3)I should not pass more than 3 exams without having an actuarial EL job and 4) I’ll already have gotten into another excellent quantitative field, do I really want to leave it. This is what I have gathered, but I am naïve and inexperienced so I appreciate any opinions or advice.
These concerns aren't too bad. Given the nature of the work, it will be easier for you to change careers in the short term than other career changers (e.g., teachers, blue collar workers).

You will probably, although not necessarily, see a pay cut if you switch to actuarial. It really depends on the company/hiring manager and how much they value your experience. If you do get a pay cut, it's something you will be able to gain back very quickly as you pass exams.

The most important issue is whether you want to do actuarial work in your career. The actuarial profession revolves around insurance (I'm just going to assume that you'd never quit your job to take a job in pensions)...is that something you want to do? is it something you're passionate about?

If you still have an interest in actuarial science, it won't hurt to pass a few more exams while you're working and then see what options are available to you after a year or two. The prelims are very doable even without company study time. At the same time, network with other professionals within and outside of your firm who work in the fields that you are interested in (data scientists, actuaries, software engineers) to see what career path is best for you.
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2018, 06:08 AM
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NattyMo NattyMo is offline
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OP, check your private messages.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2018, 07:48 AM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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I don't understand what you're so worried about.

You have a much better first job than most people could ever hope for (in terms of pay and guaranteed promotions! Gosh!) and you're thinking of abandoning ship already?

Get some experience and figure out what you want to do. Actuarial science isn't necessarily the gold mine it's touted to be.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2018, 08:49 AM
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Strider Strider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by data_analyst View Post
I’m an undergraduate student graduating in May 2018 with majors in computer science and statistics. I came into college originally wanting to be an actuary, but I found myself very interested in computer science as well. I have passed Exam P but I don’t know if it is worth it for me to continue taking exams.

I have accepted a Data Analyst job at Capital One in McLean, VA starting in August 2018. It’s an excellent job with a starting salary of $83,000 and signing bonus of $12,000. I will be promoted to Senior Data Analyst after 1 year and promoted to Principal Data Analyst after 4 years if I continue to work at the company. There is also a possibility I could change roles to something else (ex. software engineer, data scientist). Capital One does not hire actuaries to my knowledge.

I’m not sure if I should abandon the actuarial track and pursue a more technical (or business) career at Capital One… Or if I should keep studying for actuarial exams with plans to leave Capital One eventually. I believe doing this would make me a career changer. I have done some lurking and from what I understand: 1)it’s difficult to be a career changer, 2)I would have to take a salary cut, 3)I should not pass more than 3 exams without having an actuarial EL job and 4) I’ll already have gotten into another excellent quantitative field, do I really want to leave it. This is what I have gathered, but I am naïve and inexperienced so I appreciate any opinions or advice.
Since you already have a job, you should at least give it a shot. It has excellent opportunities for promotion, and the starting salary is really good.

What concerns do you have about this job that you would want to switch to actuarial?
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2018, 10:49 AM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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No response and pseudonym make me think troll.
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DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2018, 11:05 AM
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ronaldy27 ronaldy27 is offline
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Capital One is a bank and banks usually do pay more but that seems a lot of money for someone fresh out of undergraduate college and for a data analyst job.

This ain't no entry level quant/investment banking job.

Wouldn't be surprised if it's a troll.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2018, 11:26 AM
Locrian Locrian is offline
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On the off-chance it's not a troll, I'll just say that (as usual) DTNF is on point and the OP should take that advice seriously.
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2018, 11:31 AM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
On the off-chance it's not a troll, I'll just say that (as usual) DTNF is on point and the OP should take that advice seriously.
Quoted for preservation.
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DTNF's Basic Philosophy Regarding Posting: There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling! -- Jeff Albertson (CBG)
DTNF's Trademarked Standard Career Advice: "pass some exams and get back to us."
DTNF's Major advice: "Doesn't matter. Choose major that helps you with goal of Career Advice."
DTNF's Résumé Advice: Have a good and interesting answer to every item on it for the interviews.
DTNF's Law of Job Offers: You not only have to qualify for the position, but you also have to be the best candidate available for the offer.
DTNF's Work Philosophy: I am actuary. Please insert data. -- Actuary Actuarying Rodriguez.
Twitches' Advice to Crazy Women: Please just go buy your 30 cats already.
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