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Thread: Is it too late at 37 to pursue BS in accounting with goal of becoming an actuary?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Is it too late at 37 to pursue BS in accounting with goal of becoming an actuary?

    I thought I might find some relatable posts but either due to bad searches or what, but didn’t find any good information so ended up creating this thread.

    I entered college back in 1994 and it was a total disaster from an academic standpoint. Long story short, after 5 years of being lost, I was dismissed from my school without being anywhere close to getting a degree. Serendipitously around that time, the startup I was interning for offered me a fulltime position. I started working as a web developer and was able to make a nice living for myself without a degree. I still do the same line of work and after a recent pay cut, make about 90K/yr.

    From my personal experience and my colleagues, I feel the life span of a web developer is relatively short lived. So here I am at 37 years old, married and with a 6 months old baby, and I feel like my career train is nearing the final stop. So I am faced with the option of trying to stay relevant with the never ending new technologies and try to look more appealing than recent college grads or transitioning into a different career.

    After weighing my options, I am leaning a bit towards a new career, and pursing an Accounting degree was top on the list. Not only because it opens things up to so many different career options, I am also looking for a career that has longevity, where experience and age doesn’t negatively impact employment chances. Plus I always liked finance and don’t mind the proverbial number crunching. If I do go down this path, then I intend to become an actuary. Main reason being that I can just take the exams rather than needing to go to graduate school and incur more debt.

    Needless to say I am a totally different person from my first stint at college and am laser focused. Regardless of my drive, I am 37 and will be almost 20 years older than the typical 1st year college student. Do you think it makes sense for me to pursue this option?
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    Didn't you post a similar question on Actuarial Outpost?

    Pursuing an accounting degree will divert the focus you need for attaining an actuarial background. The number crunching that accounting entails is very different from that used in actuary; same comment applies to finance. An actuary may have to work with accounting ratios and such, but he/she uses them for different purposes. I doubt that immersing into an accounting program will give you much leverage in an actuarial career.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    yes i did post on AO. Posted here as well to get as much feedback as possible. accounting degree was what i was thinking could be a safety net but i sounds like i would be better served going more towards a more mathy degree. would you consider computer science as a major that would help? you need some high level math but not sure if it is enough for actuarial career.

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    It won't be enough and it will be different. For example, in a CS program you'll have to learn discrete math (digital systems, cryptography, maybe number theory) that is never used in actuary.

    Any degree (with its projects, homework, tests and deadlines) will distract your efforts towards the actuarial exams. If what you want is to get into actuary, just study for the actuarial exams. These exams are not easy, and I infer -though I might be wrong- that you haven't picked up a math book in a while. You shouldn't try combining these exams with any other academic commitments.

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Is it too late at 37 to pursue BS in accounting with goal of becoming an actuary?

    Few points:
    1. You are youngest today, you will ever be again so if you have to make a career change make it fast. Clearing 1 /2 papers will help you get an job in the field, though there might be some salary cut, but it seems better to make a fresh move early.
    2. please do not divert your energy with accounting and then actuary as the game plan.

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