Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Careers - Employment
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

Salary Surveys
Property & Casualty, Life, Health & Pension

Health Actuary Jobs
Insurance & Consulting jobs for Students, Associates & Fellows

Actuarial Recruitment
Visit DW Simpson's website for more info.
www.dwsimpson.com/about

Casualty Jobs
Property & Casualty jobs for Students, Associates & Fellows


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-11-2018, 04:46 PM
danielpst danielpst is offline
SOA
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 6
Default *recent* success stories of actuary -> data scientist?

Just curious to see if anyone can share their experience transitioning from the actuarial industry into data science without an advanced degree. I am an ASA with 2ish years of experience on the health consulting side. I am comfortable building machine learning models using Python and SQL, familiar with the statistical concepts behind these techniques, and I have done some personal projects that I'm ready to talk about during the interviews. With two B.S. (stats and engineering) and a 3.9 GPA from a top 20 university in the US, I am still having trouble getting an interview for an entry level position in the Bay Area.

According to LinkedIn, about 80% of the entry level applicants have an advanced degree (~55% MS/MBA, ~25% PhD) and a lot of them are coming from Berkeley or one of the Ivy's. I know one of the recent posts on AO talked about this.

I will start Kaggling in the next week or two, but it would be great if anyone has any advice to share in the meantime.

Lastly, to address why I am going for the career change: over 90% (or more?) of the companies in San Francisco are hiring data scientists, but the career options are relatively limited for actuaries here. I am not opposed to coming back to the actuarial industry one day if the opportunity arises, but I do think that improving my machine learning skills and having related work experience would be helpful for me in the long run

Last edited by danielpst; 01-11-2018 at 05:21 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-11-2018, 05:35 PM
jas66Kent jas66Kent is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: London
Favorite beer: Corona :)
Posts: 22,630
Default

Without an advanced degree, your chances of breaking into the field are negligible.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-11-2018, 08:08 PM
pinguino's Avatar
pinguino pinguino is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 904
Default

It's happened before, but I agree that it's more difficult without the graduate degree. I would recommend that you look internally for data science or analytics roles in your company. If there are no such roles in your company, then continue to look within the health insurance or related industries. At least you would have the domain expertise needed to help you do well.

Working on Kaggle is fine, but IME it's much more important to have relevant work experience to talk about in the interview.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:13 AM
sndesai sndesai is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 57
Default

i know an asa with a few years experience who moved to the bay last year to do one of those bootcamps (galvanize, metis, etc.) and is now working as a data scientist

there's obviously opportunity cost to not having a job plus spending another 20k+ to take classes and live in sf for 3 months, but it'll get you interviews
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:14 AM
extrovertedactuary extrovertedactuary is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: West of Nowhere
College: State
Posts: 1,271
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jas66Kent View Post
Without an advanced degree, your chances of breaking into the field are negligible.
Is a masters degree sufficient for most postings in your experience?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:17 AM
whoanonstop's Avatar
whoanonstop whoanonstop is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Studying for Spark / Scala
College: College of William and Mary
Favorite beer: Orange Juice
Posts: 5,845
Blog Entries: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jas66Kent View Post
Without an advanced degree, your chances of breaking into the field are negligible.
I think he would have a chance for a "Data Science" job in Des Moines, Iowa. SF jobs are going to require a lot more skill to pass up MS/PhD candidates.

If OP cares more about doing "Data Science" it is probably worthwhile for him to open up his geographic options. If they care more about living in SF, well... something about cake eating and having it too.

I don't think it is impossible, but the amount of knowledge a BS would have to communicate through their resume and interview is far higher than someone with a loftier degree.

If you're comfortable, OP, you can send me your resume and I'll give you a harsh and cynical evaluation.

-Riley
__________________

Last edited by whoanonstop; 01-12-2018 at 12:21 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:25 AM
whoanonstop's Avatar
whoanonstop whoanonstop is offline
Member
Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Studying for Spark / Scala
College: College of William and Mary
Favorite beer: Orange Juice
Posts: 5,845
Blog Entries: 1
Default

Oh wait... All you have to do is get this credential..

https://thecasinstitute.org/credenti...-data-science/

...and you shouldn't have a problem getting hired!!!1!1!!

-Riley
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:56 AM
extrovertedactuary extrovertedactuary is offline
Member
CAS SOA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: West of Nowhere
College: State
Posts: 1,271
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoanonstop View Post
Oh wait... All you have to do is get this credential..

https://thecasinstitute.org/credenti...-data-science/

...and you shouldn't have a problem getting hired!!!1!1!!

-Riley
CAS credentials are popping up like Pokémon.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-12-2018, 01:31 AM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 47,815
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoanonstop View Post
I think he would have a chance for a "Data Science" job in Des Moines, Iowa. SF jobs are going to require a lot more skill to pass up MS/PhD candidates.

If OP cares more about doing "Data Science" it is probably worthwhile for him to open up his geographic options. If they care more about living in SF, well... something about cake eating and having it too.

I don't think it is impossible, but the amount of knowledge a BS would have to communicate through their resume and interview is far higher than someone with a loftier degree.

If you're comfortable, OP, you can send me your resume and I'll give you a harsh and cynical evaluation.

-Riley
I always thought the term "data scientist" was silly to begin with. Rather than developing hard and fast rules for who is and isn't a data scientist, I think we should just recognize that there is a diverse spectrum of data analysts, some of whom are more competent (and better compensated) than others.

A lot of people are on the spectrum, it just so happens that some of those people are more severe than others.
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-12-2018, 01:33 AM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 47,815
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sndesai View Post
i know an asa with a few years experience who moved to the bay last year to do one of those bootcamps (galvanize, metis, etc.) and is now working as a data scientist

there's obviously opportunity cost to not having a job plus spending another 20k+ to take classes and live in sf for 3 months, but it'll get you interviews
Ah, so that means it's not expensive at all. That's like 6k in Midwest dollars.
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.25672 seconds with 9 queries