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  #11  
Old 01-04-2018, 01:02 PM
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Maine-iac Maine-iac is offline
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Assuming non-troll:

You have a good offer that seems interesting to you. So . . . .
Take the job and suspend the actuarial exam process. After you've been in the job for awhile, if you decide it's not what you really want, then take another exam or two and start looking for actuarial work. No need to do this now.

As others have said, there are enough desirable skills in the job you are taking that you won't really be much of a career changer if you make the switch in a year or two, so don't sweat it.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2018, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by clarinetist View Post
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.
These are very legitimate concerns for people who have options. The better students want to make the right choices, just like everyone else does. Dismissing them just because regular people don't have these options doesn't do either you or the OP any favors - for the most part, you've faced the same types of choices at various points in your career.
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Last edited by Colonel Smoothie; 01-04-2018 at 01:25 PM..
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2018, 01:43 PM
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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 naÔve and inexperienced so I appreciate any opinions or advice.
This position sounds better than actuarial in the short term - both financially and in terms of the actual work.

What does the long term career trajectory look like and how does it compare to actuarial?

I’m in the camp that the actuarial track is severely overrated compared to other white collar jobs. If you were to go down this route I would recommend abandoning the actuarial track entirely. Definitely a waste of time to continue taking exams. Abandoning your 1 passed exam is a low sunk cost anyway.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2018, 02:11 PM
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OP, what is it about actuarial that you like so much that you are willing to take a salary cut and have to spend a majority of your free time studying instead of having fun for the next 5-10 years to continue to pursue the field?

Data analysts have a lot of growth potential, especially from a bank, if I had that offer and a typical actuarial offer when I first started, I'd definitely take the data analyst job.

You only have 1 exam and it's the easiest one so if this is about sunk cost, forget about it!
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2018, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Masked Avenger View Post
This position sounds better than actuarial in the short term - both financially and in terms of the actual work.

What does the long term career trajectory look like and how does it compare to actuarial?

Iím in the camp that the actuarial track is severely overrated compared to other white collar jobs. If you were to go down this route I would recommend abandoning the actuarial track entirely. Definitely a waste of time to continue taking exams. Abandoning your 1 passed exam is a low sunk cost anyway.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2018, 03:25 PM
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I have no idea why actuarial is even a consideration given the numbers in the OP unless this is a 70+ hour/week burn and churn operation. Even if he burns out in a few years, the opportunity cost of studying for exams is way too high compared to studying things that will help with his actual job.
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2018, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyz002 View Post
OP, what is it about actuarial that you like so much that you are willing to take a salary cut and have to spend a majority of your free time studying instead of having fun for the next 5-10 years to continue to pursue the field?

Data analysts have a lot of growth potential, especially from a bank, if I had that offer and a typical actuarial offer when I first started, I'd definitely take the data analyst job.

You only have 1 exam and it's the easiest one so if this is about sunk cost, forget about it!
Also assuming not a troll (I think EL data science jobs pay 60-70k, not sure if the company would promise promotion in the first place). I completely agree with you.

My friend has a master degree in statistics. She is pretty good at R and SQL. She passed 6 CAS exams 4 years after graduation and is working in a big consulting firm.
She quit last month after finding a data science job.
1. She thinks data science job is more interesting.
2. why not having fun instead of taking exams in the coming 4-5 years?

I think the OP should pick up more programming languages and hone whatever programming skills he/she knows. I would take a on-year break not thinking about the actuarial exams.

I am not sure if the SOA realizes that there is competition from other occupations that attract the talented people. Maybe it doesn't matter, there is oversupply of actuary anyway.

Last edited by econfkw; 01-04-2018 at 03:48 PM..
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2018, 04:46 PM
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check your PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2018, 04:52 PM
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Hi everyone, not a troll here. I posted this thread last night didn't have time to respond sooner. Sorry about that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
One thing not mentioned: do you want a career as an actuary?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
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?
I thought I wanted to be an actuary, but this other amazing job with opportunities landed in my lap. Being a data analyst would match my skillsets as well, and I can't say which one I would like better without starting work. I was disappointed to discover there weren't actuaries at this company. I still don't want to let go of wanting to be an actuary, but if I am ever going to be an actuary then I have to leave this amazing company and the opportunities that it holds...

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Originally Posted by clarinetist View Post
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.
I wanted someone experienced to give me a straight-forward answer like this. Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Strider View Post
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?
You're right, I can't even come up with valid concerns right now without starting the job first.
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  #20  
Old 01-04-2018, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
These are very legitimate concerns for people who have options. The better students want to make the right choices, just like everyone else does. Dismissing them just because regular people don't have these options doesn't do either you or the OP any favors - for the most part, you've faced the same types of choices at various points in your career.
Unfortunately, with the possible exception of one job hop I've made (bit of a stretch), I've always been forced into a decision of having to hop, so no - I think it's false to equate any of my job decisions with the one OP is making.

Also, I've never worked for a company that has had a promotional structure.
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