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Thread: Actuary vs Accountant

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Actuary vs Accountant ?

    Hello,
    I am a CUNY Baruch student and I have to choose my major by this end of
    spring 2008. I have two options, Accountant or Actuary. These are some good things about both jobs.

    ---------Accountant----------------

    1. Needs only college degree, and CPA exam.

    2. Easy to get jobs and interns in big firms if I have above 3.0 gpa.

    3. accounting is much easier than actuarial science? (from my view)

    4. good salary(starting salary up to 55k in big 4 companies)

    bad things

    1. boring

    2. too many courses for graudation.

    3. its all about memorizing (from my view)


    -------------Actuary----------

    1. High salary

    2. Less classes requirement for graduation.

    3. solving problem

    bad things

    1. there are many exams.

    2. bad job outlook compared to accountant? (from my view)




    I dont know...
    What would you choose? accounting or acturial science?
    Please help me to choose.
    Last edited by jk086027; January 4th 2008 at 06:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster dmbfan41's Avatar
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    i don't think an actuary has a bad job outlook at all. far from it, based on what i've been told/seen. get a few exams and a few years' experience and you basically will be able to work anywhere you want.
    "i find it hard
    to explain
    how i got here"

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    I agree with dmbfan41, the job outlook for actuaries is very good. The demand for actuaries continues to rise, but the number of people going into the field as stayed level over the past decade.

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    I've given a lot of thought to this, and I ended up wasting a good chunk of time when I decided to follow accounting for a while. I think the most important considerations you should look at are 1: how BORING accounting is going to be and 2:how painful the actuarial exams are going to be. I've been exposed to both jobs and accounting is just painfully boring. If you feel like you can pass exams then go for actuarial.

    Another thing to consider is that if you go the actuarial route, where you can live/work is severely limited in relation to accounting.

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannyjoe View Post
    I've given a lot of thought to this, and I ended up wasting a good chunk of time when I decided to follow accounting for a while. I think the most important considerations you should look at are 1: how BORING accounting is going to be and 2:how painful the actuarial exams are going to be. I've been exposed to both jobs and accounting is just painfully boring. If you feel like you can pass exams then go for actuarial.

    Another thing to consider is that if you go the actuarial route, where you can live/work is severely limited in relation to accounting.
    Thank you for your reply. So you ended up with actuarial field or accounting field? Which one do you like it better? and which one do you think its easier?

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Easier? What kind of question is that? It you're looking for an easy job, go work at Mcdonalds. Neither is easy. If you can pass the actuarial exams, you should be an actuary. It may be more "difficult", but it's certainly more interesting. There's a reason why accountants make so little compared to actuaries. Both deal with numbers, but that's where it stops. Actuaries actually make decisions. There's very little interpretation as an accountant. Don't just think about the easiest route, really consider where you'll be happy down the road. Of course, if you don't want much responsibility, and just want to play with numbers, maybe you'll be happier as an accountant.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Accounting is easier of course. From what I've seen of accountants, if you have the ability to be a decent actuary you can seem like a genius in the accounting world. THis is just a generalization of course so no one jump down my throat, it's just the feeling I've gotten from being around actuaries and accountants.

    I think you could do interesting or boring work in either field, but it's easier to do interesting work in actuarial. I've encountered many people who would probably be considered successful in their accounting careers, being that they were the controllers of some company or other, but who I still saw doing a lot of boring humdrum work like creating financial statements and coding this money to that account, blah blah etc.

    Anyways, I'm sticking with actuarial, it's just more fun and you get more money, but yes, I think much harder.

  8. #8
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    accounting vs actuary?

    To be competitive in the accounting market (which is relatively flooded from what I understand) a college degree isn't necessarily enough - I know very few "new" accountants without an MBA of sorts.

    My opinion - if you can hack the exams, actuary is definitely a better option!

  9. #9
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    Actuary vs Accountant

    Hi,

    I'm a second year in college that is interested in both the actuarial and accounting industries, so I was wondering if you guys could help me decide, based on what follows, which could be a better career for me:

    What I look For In A Job:
    -Something that is challenging and doesn't feel like I'm performing a random, repetitive.
    -Something that allows me to work with numbers (doesn't have to be complex math), and is in the business industry.
    -Something that allows me to be successful even though I'm slightly introverted, and doesn't require me to sell anything. Basically, I don't want to have a job that DEMANDS a super type A personality, such as an investment banker.
    -Something that allows me the flexibility to work in most MAJOR CITIES. I by no means need to be able to work in some small town in Alabama, but I'd like to not be confined to NYC, Boston, and Chicago like most finance jobs demand. I'd love to work in Austin, San Antonio, Seattle or other decent-sized city, but I hate how almost all fields in business restrict you to NYC practically.
    -Something that pays well (for me, since "pays well" is relative, I'd like to eventually be in the 150-200k range after working for 10-15 years to be happy)

    So based on this, which would be a better profession for me?

  10. #10
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster nostalgiajesskang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paperchaser88 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a second year in college that is interested in both the actuarial and accounting industries, so I was wondering if you guys could help me decide, based on what follows, which could be a better career for me:

    What I look For In A Job:
    -Something that is challenging and doesn't feel like I'm performing a random, repetitive.
    -Something that allows me to work with numbers (doesn't have to be complex math), and is in the business industry.
    -Something that allows me to be successful even though I'm slightly introverted, and doesn't require me to sell anything. Basically, I don't want to have a job that DEMANDS a super type A personality, such as an investment banker.
    -Something that allows me the flexibility to work in most MAJOR CITIES. I by no means need to be able to work in some small town in Alabama, but I'd like to not be confined to NYC, Boston, and Chicago like most finance jobs demand. I'd love to work in Austin, San Antonio, Seattle or other decent-sized city, but I hate how almost all fields in business restrict you to NYC practically.
    -Something that pays well (for me, since "pays well" is relative, I'd like to eventually be in the 150-200k range after working for 10-15 years to be happy)

    So based on this, which would be a better profession for me?
    Accountant suits you more.
    - At earlier stage, actuarial work is repetitive, whereas at more advanced stage, the work is random.
    - Both accountant and actuary are in business world.
    - Both accountant and actuary do not need to be super Type A and are well paid as you get the designation and a few years of working experience.
    - Both are needed in many big companies and they domicile in many big cities.
    - "The more you are paid, the more '''' you eat" This is the maxim.

    IMHO, I think accountant is a better choice for you.

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