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View Full Version : How many Exams will "guarantee" a first job?



igolyanik
March 20th 2005, 09:28 PM
Just wondering how many exams does it usually take to get a first job?

FSA
March 21st 2005, 09:37 AM
Nothing "guarantees" a first job.

In Canada, I understand that most candidates leaving school already have 4.

In the US, based on the resumes I see, it's unusual for candidates to have more than 2.

I would love to start seeing 3 exams passed on entry-level resumes.

Irish Blues
March 26th 2005, 06:18 PM
In the US, based on the resumes I see, it's unusual for candidates to have more than 2.

I would love to start seeing 3 exams passed on entry-level resumes.

I had no prior experience, and I didn't get "serious looks" from employers until I passed the 2nd exam. FWIW, I had a recruiter tell me *not* to sit for the 3rd exam until I had a job - otherwise I could end up being looked at as someone who could pass exams but couldn't do the work.

wat
March 28th 2005, 02:11 PM
I had no prior experience, and I didn't get "serious looks" from employers until I passed the 2nd exam. FWIW, I had a recruiter tell me *not* to sit for the 3rd exam until I had a job - otherwise I could end up being looked at as someone who could pass exams but couldn't do the work.

I don't know about that. I'm not saying that the recruiter didn't say that, but I don't know if that was the best advice for the recruiter to give you. Passing several tests w/out experience can be spun that way, but on the other hand, passing actuarial exams are difficult - I would spin more exams passed to reflect that the company's contributions (bonuses/exam support) will be accordingly reduced for every exam passed. I wouldn't recommend getting an ASA before getting your first job experience, but I wouldn't advise against getting a 3rd exam.

Trojan_Horse
April 3rd 2005, 09:19 PM
I passed the first exam and just got a job after three interviews. Be prepared for the interviews, be confident; if you develop a good rapport with the people, you're in good shape.

krzysio
April 9th 2005, 12:22 AM
I must say I find the comments posted here somewhat strange. All of my students who had exams have jobs, American students can get one promptly with one exam, foreign students need two or more exams. If you have an exam and can't find a job (a strange event, indeed), pass another exam, and learn all you can about using Excel and Access, and possibly SAS. But once you have one exam, start applying immediately, and unless you are really bad in everything else but exams, you should succeed soon.

Yours,
Krzys' Ostaszewski

AVB
April 9th 2005, 10:51 AM
You people are so hung up about exams, you fail to see what recruiters/companies really want.

They want a person who can do the work, interact with the other employees, and generally take care of things.

If all you do is bombard them with GPA's (is that right?) and exams passed, all you are doing is saying "I am the sum of my statistics".

Who cares about how many exams you've passed, if you can't communicate ideas in the office? Who cares how intelligent you are, if you can't work well in a team?
Do you mention these skills on your resume? Or maybe you just mention them in one or two lines below the overcrowded details of your academic credentials?

There are hundreds of unemployed people out there who have all passed actuarial exams, who are also intelligent. Passing these exams in no way distinguishes them or you from all the other thousands of job seekers. So you've got 3 exams and another guy's got 2, who gets the job. The one who can do the job best! Who is that? The one who convinced the employer that they have "other" skills.

Start thinking like they do, and not how you want them to!!!

Trojan_Horse
April 12th 2005, 09:20 AM
You are right on the money with your comment. Most of the questions I faced in my interview were not about the exam but about how I work with others. They wanted to know want kind of employee I'll be. In the interview their trying to figure out if you're someone that will fit in well with them. Make yourself likable, relax, talk about how you enjoy work, and enjoy working with others.

wat
April 12th 2005, 01:43 PM
You people are so hung up about exams, you fail to see what recruiters/companies really want.

They want a person who can do the work, interact with the other employees, and generally take care of things.

If all you do is bombard them with GPA's (is that right?) and exams passed, all you are doing is saying "I am the sum of my statistics".

Who cares about how many exams you've passed, if you can't communicate ideas in the office? Who cares how intelligent you are, if you can't work well in a team?
Do you mention these skills on your resume? Or maybe you just mention them in one or two lines below the overcrowded details of your academic credentials?

There are hundreds of unemployed people out there who have all passed actuarial exams, who are also intelligent. Passing these exams in no way distinguishes them or you from all the other thousands of job seekers. So you've got 3 exams and another guy's got 2, who gets the job. The one who can do the job best! Who is that? The one who convinced the employer that they have "other" skills.

Start thinking like they do, and not how you want them to!!!

Exams are not everything, but they are the platform you stand upon to try to get the job. Your statement above assumes the passing of several exams. Many companies like to look for number of exams passed (and speed of passing exams) because they want to invest in students that will progress towards getting their credentials. It is important that you pick up information in the company fairly quickly, and that you're capable of doing work, but as somebody once said, 90% of people with a good head on their shoulders and a fair affinity for numbers can do what an actuarial student can do. However, when you become credentialed, your tasks are a little more important than cranking out reports.

Irish Blues
April 15th 2005, 01:28 PM
You people are so hung up about exams, you fail to see what recruiters/companies really want.

They want a person who can do the work, interact with the other employees, and generally take care of things.

If all you do is bombard them with GPA's (is that right?) and exams passed, all you are doing is saying "I am the sum of my statistics".

Who cares about how many exams you've passed, if you can't communicate ideas in the office? Who cares how intelligent you are, if you can't work well in a team?
Do you mention these skills on your resume? Or maybe you just mention them in one or two lines below the overcrowded details of your academic credentials?

There are hundreds of unemployed people out there who have all passed actuarial exams, who are also intelligent. Passing these exams in no way distinguishes them or you from all the other thousands of job seekers. So you've got 3 exams and another guy's got 2, who gets the job. The one who can do the job best! Who is that? The one who convinced the employer that they have "other" skills.

Start thinking like they do, and not how you want them to!!!

QFA. Another way to look at this is to ask the question, "How much money do the Yankees have to spend to guarantee they'll win the next World Series?" There is no answer. If you have 6 exams passed but can't communicate well with the person next to you, the number of exams passed will still be irrelevant.

A better question: How many exams do I need to have passed before I can get considered for an open position? The answer: 1.

elva
August 30th 2005, 06:26 PM
Hi, I'm a grad student in cancer biology and I'm very interested in actuarial science. I've passed two SOA exams by self-learning and now preparing for the third. I'm just wondering if there will be any good chances for finding a job in this area without a degree in actuarial science.