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Thread: Is Passing 2 or 3 Exams Enough To Get A Job?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Is Passing 2 or 3 Exams Enough To Get A Job?

    Hello. I'm 40 and in the midst of a career change. B.A. in Stats from Berkeley (1998). Since then I've been a s/w eng and recently a professional online poker player.

    I've read horror stories about actuary jobs being very difficult to obtain due to impaction in the field.

    Is passing 2 or 3 of the actuary exams enough to find a job, particularly in CA?

    Side note: Is it to your benefit to pass the exams on the first try, or does it not matter how many times you take an exam, so long as you eventually pass it?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Posting Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesAA View Post
    Hello. I'm 40 and in the midst of a career change. B.A. in Stats from Berkeley (1998). Since then I've been a s/w eng and recently a professional online poker player.

    I've read horror stories about actuary jobs being very difficult to obtain due to impaction in the field.

    Is passing 2 or 3 of the actuary exams enough to find a job, particularly in CA?

    Side note: Is it to your benefit to pass the exams on the first try, or does it not matter how many times you take an exam, so long as you eventually pass it?

    Thanks
    I can't speak to CA field specifically but...2-3 exams is probably average currently which means you need to set yourself apart during the interview.

    Aside from dazzling them with your technical skills, you should also aim to demonstrate that you can communicate effectively and can "fit in".

    The first requirement is because the days of actuaries sitting in the back room crunching numbers are long gone, especially as you progress in your career.

    The second part is also important but obviously is a lot harder to show during an interview so I'm afraid I don't have too many tips there. Best I can help is to tell you not to come off as an arrogant...person. Talk about your life outside of work and possibly show involvement in various hobbies you have but don't concentrate on any one specific activity and talk non-stop about it.

    As far as passing exams on your first try... fairly important. During an interview, the employer won't know if you sat for an exam in April and January (making up dates here) and passed only in January. They can ask and I would suggest being honest but they have no way of verifying when you failed, though obviously they can ask for proof that you passed. That being said, most study programs have a "1 in 3, 2 in 5" rule and if you don't meet those requirements, you're out of the study program (though not necessarily fired). Obviously the employer wants you to pass exams as quickly as possibly so you can 1) stop taking time off to study and 2) become credentialed and sign off on things.

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