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Thread: Where to start for a non-traditional actuary

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Unhappy Where to start for a non-traditional actuary

    Hello,

    I'm interested in starting a career as a non-tradition actuary (outside of insurance and pensions) and was looking to go for that new CERA credential which appears to be the SOA's way of addressing this trend (increasing demand for actuarial skills outside of insurance). Traditionally, one takes a preliminary exam and if they can pass it, they can get a job as an actuarial student and companies typically support the whole credentialing process. I've looked up jobs for people that have passed 1-2 exams and they are almost entirely in insurance and pensions. There is almost no information on a career track in the actual job market to a CERA, just speculation on the SOA website of things it could lead to (director of operational risk, CFO, etc.).

    A little background on me. I'm a psychology and mathematics double major, a chemistry minor, and have about 6 going on 7 certificates in business management. After college I looked into being an actuary but at that time (in 2005) it appeared to be primarily geared towards insurance and I had little interest in pursuing a career in that industry since I'm very entrepreneurial and idea oriented. So I've primarily pursued experience in sales and entrepreneurship. I was thinking about the best ways I could move my career at this point seeing as my advanced mathematical skills are now completely neglected so thought I could move take the first test, move into an actuarial consulting role, and get experience in those skills in this way. I was pretty excited to see (on the SOA website) increasing trends in non-traditional actuarial roles, and them even mentioning using actuaries in sales and marketing and investments. I had thought this field has branched out a lot more since I graduated from college. However, I'm at a loss as to where to actually go to get skills in these domains. Off the speculations on the SOA website, I have found 0 opportunities for a non-traditional career tracks.

    This is very important because I thought it could be a way to integrate actuarial skills into being a business manager in new industries and add to the profession in this way. Going into insurance for 3-4 years first may lead to a credential but if I'm looking to say use these skills in something like the medical device industry in a management role at that point all that work experience isn't going to be worth much in where I want to go with it.

    Any help, references to help, people, headhunters for these roles, referrals, pretty much anything is greatly appreciated. In studying for the P exam, this material definitely be extremely useful (and a rare and valuable skill) in non-traditional roles and it is a little disappointing how little I've found so far on it. Thanks

    Brad

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnome View Post
    Hello,

    I'm interested in starting a career as a non-tradition actuary (outside of insurance and pensions) and was looking to go for that new CERA credential which appears to be the SOA's way of addressing this trend (increasing demand for actuarial skills outside of insurance). Traditionally, one takes a preliminary exam and if they can pass it, they can get a job as an actuarial student and companies typically support the whole credentialing process. I've looked up jobs for people that have passed 1-2 exams and they are almost entirely in insurance and pensions. There is almost no information on a career track in the actual job market to a CERA, just speculation on the SOA website of things it could lead to (director of operational risk, CFO, etc.).

    A little background on me. I'm a psychology and mathematics double major, a chemistry minor, and have about 6 going on 7 certificates in business management. After college I looked into being an actuary but at that time (in 2005) it appeared to be primarily geared towards insurance and I had little interest in pursuing a career in that industry since I'm very entrepreneurial and idea oriented. So I've primarily pursued experience in sales and entrepreneurship. I was thinking about the best ways I could move my career at this point seeing as my advanced mathematical skills are now completely neglected so thought I could move take the first test, move into an actuarial consulting role, and get experience in those skills in this way. I was pretty excited to see (on the SOA website) increasing trends in non-traditional actuarial roles, and them even mentioning using actuaries in sales and marketing and investments. I had thought this field has branched out a lot more since I graduated from college. However, I'm at a loss as to where to actually go to get skills in these domains. Off the speculations on the SOA website, I have found 0 opportunities for a non-traditional career tracks.

    This is very important because I thought it could be a way to integrate actuarial skills into being a business manager in new industries and add to the profession in this way. Going into insurance for 3-4 years first may lead to a credential but if I'm looking to say use these skills in something like the medical device industry in a management role at that point all that work experience isn't going to be worth much in where I want to go with it.

    Any help, references to help, people, headhunters for these roles, referrals, pretty much anything is greatly appreciated. In studying for the P exam, this material definitely be extremely useful (and a rare and valuable skill) in non-traditional roles and it is a little disappointing how little I've found so far on it. Thanks

    Brad
    What kind of non-traditional actuarial roles are you interested in?

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Cool P

    Quote Originally Posted by BeanCounter View Post
    What kind of non-traditional actuarial roles are you interested in?

    Enterprise risk management

    So career pathways to the CERA credential, from 1 test to the whole credential. Wentt to CERAanalyst.org to see and it just refers you to a million ambiguous "actuarial student" positions with no mention of CERA. It is a different credential in that you learn to model enterprise risk instead of apply the skills to insurance pricing. There are links for recruiters and employers to click to promote the credential but virtually no info on a career track for someone interested In going for a CERA from the ground up.

    Probably because it's new, 3 years old I think. Think I saw integrating CERA with industry as aan action item for SOA. Im just wondering what to do myself in a couple months after passing exam P and thought I might get some insight here as to where to go. Consulting firms like Mercer and Delloitte seem like a good starting place; get in the door with them and tell them that I want to do the CERA track.

    There is no info on this so anyone that knows, any insight would be helpful

    B

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
    Join Date
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    195
    Quote Originally Posted by Cnome View Post
    Enterprise risk management

    So career pathways to the CERA credential, from 1 test to the whole credential. Wentt to CERAanalyst.org to see and it just refers you to a million ambiguous "actuarial student" positions with no mention of CERA. It is a different credential in that you learn to model enterprise risk instead of apply the skills to insurance pricing. There are links for recruiters and employers to click to promote the credential but virtually no info on a career track for someone interested In going for a CERA from the ground up.

    Probably because it's new, 3 years old I think. Think I saw integrating CERA with industry as aan action item for SOA. Im just wondering what to do myself in a couple months after passing exam P and thought I might get some insight here as to where to go. Consulting firms like Mercer and Delloitte seem like a good starting place; get in the door with them and tell them that I want to do the CERA track.

    There is no info on this so anyone that knows, any insight would be helpful

    B
    I think the most easiest way is to work in consultant companies and then to network. If you would like to use these skills in medical device industry, go to health field so you know people from this field.

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