Hello everyone i just started this thread to ask for some imformation.
I'm a grade 11 student (High School) in Canada and i want to go into the actuarial field. I've tried finding information on it and what i must do to become an actuary but it all seems really confusing. Right now all i understand is that you have to pass 9(i think) exams to become a fully certified actuary. But i have to idea as to how you prepare to pass for those exams, and how long it would take. Also i've heard that people have passed the acturial exams even with an unrelated degree from university. So does this mean the actuarial degree is not that important?
Also to get the actuarial degree i can either go to the University of toronto or Waterloo. I live in toronto so it would be more convienent for me to go to toronto, unless waterloo the degree from waterloo is considered better by employers or gives a more in-depth coverage of the actuarial exam topics. So does it?
Don't think so far ahead. Take the exam process one step at a time. If you want to pass the first one, exam P, study probability. The second one, exam FM, is interest theory. The relevant text books are listed on the SOA website. I think the recommended study time is 100 hours per exam hours so 300 hours for the first exam and 200 hours for the second exam. An actuarial science degree becomes less stressed if you are able to show that you can pass exams.
I don't know what kind of courses are given at either university, but I think Waterloo's co-op program is one of the best.
You're thinking ahead early and that's great. You should be taking some sort of Calculus in High School, don't blow it off; learn it well. Take any probability and/or statistics courses as soon as you can. Once you're solid in calculus, study the probability on your own if you have to (I recommend Probability and Statistical Inference by Hogg and Tanis, just the first 6 chapters). Then work on some problems from past exams. Depending on where you are in this process, set a goal to take Exam P. It doesn't matter if you fail the first time, it's good experience; but certainly try to pass. If you prepare now and begin studying there's no reason not to have at least 3 exams passed and an intership completed when you graduate college.
As far as the two colleges, it doesn't really matter. If Toronto is more convenient for you and that means you will have fewer stresses (job, schedule, travel, etc) then go there so you can focus more on your studies. Right now though I would set a goal to pass exam P as soon as you can, then focus on the next exam and so on. If you've passed a couple of exams before your Junior year in college and have a good personality, you'll be able to choose your intership.