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Thread: New at this...need information please!

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Question New at this...need information please!

    My daughter is a high school senior, attending a small college-prep high school in the central Ohio (Lancaster) area. She is interested in a career in actuary science. She will be taking her fourth year of math...and likes dealing with probability and statistics and problem solving. One of the colleges she is looking at is Otterbein College in Westerville, Oh, which has an actuary science department. I was wondering what realistic opportunities are there for someone as an actuary in the central Ohio area? How many actuary exams would she have to pass before she is considered "marketable" in this career? Does being an actuary lend itself to part-time employment, if raising a family enters into the picture? We are planning on visiting the Otterbein campus and talking to instructors, but I would like some "unbiased" answers from professionals rather than from college recruiters. Please answer at your earliest convenience.

    Signed...Annie D.

  2. #2
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    Job prospects in Ohio:
    Mellon, Mercer, Ohio National Financial Services and Western Southern Life in Cincinnati. Hewitt, Mellon, Mercer, Watson Wyatt in ''''''and. Aon and Mercer in Columbus.

    You are marketable after passing one exam, but two is always better than one.

    I've never heard of part-time actuaries. This would be extremely rare before attaining your credentials.

    Let us know if you or your daughter have any questions. Good luck.

  3. #3
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Also add: Progressive (yes, they have a few - not many, but a few), State-Auto Insurance (I think it is), and Nationwide Insurance. Ken had a list of all actuarial employers posted here, maybe someone broke it all down by state. I also know the SOA had a list on their site at one point, I don't know if it's still up or what happened to it.

    There are part-time actuaries ... but not at entry-level. Generally it's someone who (A) is credentialed and (B) knows their area so well that the company can't afford to find someone else to take over very easily. I wouldn't count on it happening except in really rare circumstances.

    As T_H said, 2 exams = marketable. There have been discussions about how many exams is too many in several places and there are varying opinions on this; no one suggests getting more than 4 exams before getting that first job. Without any internships, I wouldn't go above 2 exams; with one internship, getting the 3rd might not be so bad; with 2 or more, 4 exams should be fine. The point a lot of people miss is that exams do go hand-in-hand with work experience - it's possible to have too many exams and not enough work experience, and if someone gets into that situation they make it difficult to get hired and difficult on the employer if they do get hired.

    Does that help?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues
    As T_H said, 2 exams = marketable. There have been discussions about how many exams is too many in several places and there are varying opinions on this; no one suggests getting more than 4 exams before getting that first job. Without any internships, I wouldn't go above 2 exams; with one internship, getting the 3rd might not be so bad; with 2 or more, 4 exams should be fine. The point a lot of people miss is that exams do go hand-in-hand with work experience - it's possible to have too many exams and not enough work experience, and if someone gets into that situation they make it difficult to get hired and difficult on the employer if they do get hired.
    Add on question: So if I'm going to graduate college, but plan to sit for the 3rd exam the end of May (a couple weeks after I graduate) will that look OK? I'm hoping to have a job lined up after I graduate, and I will hopefully have 2 exams passed at this time.

  5. #5
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    Oh yeah. Hopefully you'll be employed and will get a nice raise when you get your results in July. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Highmark Inc, Mellon, and Mercer.

    Check out http://atp.soa.org/actuarial_training_program.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues
    Also add: Progressive (yes, they have a few - not many, but a few), State-Auto Insurance (I think it is), and Nationwide Insurance. Ken had a list of all actuarial employers posted here, maybe someone broke it all down by state. I also know the SOA had a list on their site at one point, I don't know if it's still up or what happened to it.

    There are part-time actuaries ... but not at entry-level. Generally it's someone who (A) is credentialed and (B) knows their area so well that the company can't afford to find someone else to take over very easily. I wouldn't count on it happening except in really rare circumstances.

    As T_H said, 2 exams = marketable. There have been discussions about how many exams is too many in several places and there are varying opinions on this; no one suggests getting more than 4 exams before getting that first job. Without any internships, I wouldn't go above 2 exams; with one internship, getting the 3rd might not be so bad; with 2 or more, 4 exams should be fine. The point a lot of people miss is that exams do go hand-in-hand with work experience - it's possible to have too many exams and not enough work experience, and if someone gets into that situation they make it difficult to get hired and difficult on the employer if they do get hired.

    Does that help?
    I have one internship but its not actuarial, its in sales, cold calling basically. And I passed the first two exams - P and FM. Would taking and hopefully passing M be good for my job prospects when I graduate in one year?

  8. #8
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Peavy
    Do you know of companies with job prospects in Pittsburgh?
    http://atp.soa.org/actuarial_training_program.php. Not a complete list by any means, but it's a start. Keep in mind that while some of these companies do hire CAS students, it's primarily an SOA-oriented list and not every location listed may hire P&C students.

    Quote Originally Posted by bork
    I have one internship but its not actuarial, its in sales, cold calling basically. And I passed the first two exams - P and FM. Would taking and hopefully passing M be good for my job prospects when I graduate in one year?
    IMO I'd focus on getting that internship in the actuarial field. The only reason I'd take M right now is to avoid having to take it in '07 when they redesign the syllabus and it's a 2-part thing with more material on it, and after that I would not take C until you have a job in the field.
    Last edited by Irish Blues; July 19th 2006 at 10:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie D.
    One of the colleges she is looking at is Otterbein College in Westerville, Oh, which has an actuary science department.
    My opinion is that you shouldn't feel too obligated to have her go to a college with an actuarial science department. Many actuaries have degrees in Math. If you get a bachelors in Math and make sure to take some statistics courses and a few courses in economics, finance, accounting, and/or computer programming, you will likely be more attractive than average to actuarial employers assuming you can pass the exams. You would also have the benefit of a degree that is argueably more versatile than Actuarial Science.
    Of course, if she is sure she wants to go into the actuarial field then an Actuarial Science degree is probably a good choice. But also keep in mind that many colleges have Actuarial Science degrees that are basically made up mostly of the Math degree plus extra course I mentioned above anyway.

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