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Thread: Should I switch from BA in Psychology and start taking Actuary board exams?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Should I switch from BA in Psychology and start taking Actuary board exams?


    I've joined these forums to ask a specific question from the experts here.

    I am not happy with my career prospects with my Bachelor's in Psychology.

    I am thinking of doing Master's in Psychology (two years more studying), or spend my years getting at least two board exams to become an Actuary (US SOA).

    I know I will be competing with people with BSC finance, stats, etc degrees.
    Will they be stronger candidates than me for employment since I have a social sciences degree?
    Or are the board exams the great leveler and the only things that matter?

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    From what I've heard, the degree does not matter as long as you've demonstrated that you can pass exams.

    As for whether it's a good idea to go for the exams? That's up to how much you're willing to put into it.

    You'll need to have derivative, integral, and multivariate calculus.

    After that you can find online seminars to teach you the material for exams P/1 and FM/2.

    It's very doable in two years with some planning, though it might be tough getting started if you haven't seen any math in a while.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    S-Bar, (a very cool name)

    Thank you very much for your input especially the time-frames.

    I've decided for now to get the MA in Industrial Psychology. I opted to do that because, it's about two/three more years of studying, after which, there are many places to apply.

    If I were to invest two years in ACT SCI and have two board exams, it doesn't seem I would have as many career options and would have to start entry level. To improve my situation I would have to pass more exams which require more hours studying (and more years cooped up).

    I would rather invest two years studying Masters in Organizational Psychology and have many career options, it seems that road would give me more personal time as well than the Actuarial road. I wanted the balance of a secure career with personal life (a huge factor for me) vs. Actuary who has a secure career but much less personal time. That's my head-space for now.

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