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Thread: ASA but no Actuarial experience

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    ASA without any work experience

    Hi,

    I am currently working in the IT industry and trying to switch career to be an actuary. Like to request help/clarification on two questions:

    1) Will it be possible to be an ASA without any work experience? Understand that some other designations like CFA require work experience.

    2) Will employers look at an ASA without any work experience as "entry-level" or as "experienced"?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    You can become an ASA with no work experience. You will be viewed as just that though when you apply for a job. One of the reasons actuaries are allowed to work before being fully accredited is that there is so much to learn that you can only learn through experience. Companies hiring ASAs are looking for more than someone who has passed the exams; they are looking an experienced professional.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    ASA with no experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan_Horse
    You can become an ASA with no work experience. You will be viewed as just that though when you apply for a job. One of the reasons actuaries are allowed to work before being fully accredited is that there is so much to learn that you can only learn through experience. Companies hiring ASAs are looking for more than someone who has passed the exams; they are looking an experienced professional.
    Thanks for advice!

    So does it mean that I will not gain an edge over other candidates seeking an entry-level job?

    I also read in some posts that actuaries get paid according to exams passed, so is that only valid when a person is already in the profession?

  4. #4
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    You can get your ASA without experience. For that matter, you can get your FSA without any experience

    You will not get paid like a normal ASA unless you have experience, and if anything you may find it harder to get a job because employers may see you as someone who's great at passing exams but doesn't have the skills necessary to do the job. In the vast majority of cases, it will be a bigger problem than it is a selling point.

    If you do find a job as an ASA without experience, you'll very likely get paid no more than what someone who has 4 exams and no experience would get, and won't get paid what a normal ASA would until you have 5-7 years of experience.

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    ASA with no experience

    Technically you can be an ASA without any working experience. However, it would be very very hard for you to find a job in that situation. I doubt any employer will want to do that.

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster
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    With the current exam structure as it is now, I'm not sure why'd you want to spend upwards of $2,500 to get your ASA (the approximate cost of the modules, assuming you've already paid for and passed the preliminary exams and VEEs) when you can find a job and have an employer pay it for you.

  7. #7
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    ASA but no Actuarial experience

    Hi,
    I am not working in Actuarial field and have no actuary experience. I passed courses 1 to 3 and going to write course 4. I am just wondering that does it help to get a entry level actuarial job with an ASA qualification? or it is over qualified?
    I am working as a statistician in healthcare research field in a University, my working hours is quite flexible and I have more time to study SOA exam which I would not have if I were working in Actuary field.

    THanks,
    Ben

  8. #8
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by wongben4 View Post
    Hi,
    I am not working in Actuarial field and have no actuary experience. I passed courses 1 to 3 and going to write course 4. I am just wondering that does it help to get a entry level actuarial job with an ASA qualification? or it is over qualified?
    I am working as a statistician in healthcare research field in a University, my working hours is quite flexible and I have more time to study SOA exam which I would not have if I were working in Actuary field.

    THanks,
    Ben
    It seems to me that you're already at the ideal point to attempt a career switch. I only had 1 exam under my belt when I switched from an IT career to being an actuary. Since I've been working in the actuarial field, I've learned a lot more than I ever would have studying for exams alone. As far as getting an ASA making you over-qualified, I'm not too sure. Although I'd wager that there has to be a point where the potential employer says, "gee, he's great at taking exams, but where's the experience." My two-cents, if you're serious about making the switch, just give it a try. Three exams should be more than sufficient to get you in the door for an interview.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster PAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wongben4 View Post
    Hi,
    I am not working in Actuarial field and have no actuary experience. I passed courses 1 to 3 and going to write course 4. I am just wondering that does it help to get a entry level actuarial job with an ASA qualification? or it is over qualified?
    I am working as a statistician in healthcare research field in a University, my working hours is quite flexible and I have more time to study SOA exam which I would not have if I were working in Actuary field.

    THanks,
    Ben
    Your current situation is perfect to look for an entry-level position. If you get your ASA, you are probably over-qualified or you will have to accept a lower-salary (because you cannot get much salary increase based on passing exams).
    Eddy Chan FSA, CERA, MAAA

    www.pakstudymanual.com
    PAK Study Manual Packages/Seminars for CFE/ERM/ILA/QFI Fall 2013

    Should you have any questions (e.g. which exam to take first, how to take the exam, exam restructuring, etc), please feel free to send me an email.

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