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Thread: What is the best path for me to take in school?

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Question What is the best path for me to take in school?

    Sorry for the long read, i tried to make it as short as i could

    Im having trouble deciding how I want to major in school. Im very interested in becoming an actuary. I love math, statistics, and economics and it just seemed like a great fit. i just finished my associates degree and im transferring to a 4 yr school soon.I was hoping some people here with more experience could give me some advice since im stuck between two choices. thanks

    option 1 - major in actuary science and double major (or maybe minor) in economics.

    pros for me - only about 2 years of schooling to complete and majoring specifically in actuary sciences may help me for exams and when looking for a job

    cons for me - since this degree is specifically for AS, i feel like my job choices will be limited and this may be a problem if i cant get a job in the AS field

    option 2 - major in "applied math and statistics" and major/minor in economics. then go for a doctorate in applied math and science

    pros for me - i am a very ambitious person so getting a doctorate is appealing to me. i also feel like i will have a lot more job opportunities with it as well opposed to majoring in just act science. this school is also close to my house and has a very highly rated math program

    cons for me - will take probably like 6 or 7 years to finish this path. i personally dont mind being in school that long however being 27 years old and still living with my mom doesnt sound that great lol. if i had money to live by myself id probablt take option 2 with in a heartbeat though.

    Ive read a couple threads here before and a lot of you guys say that the exams are the most important thing and that majoring in actuary science is a smart choice because they prepare you specifically for the exams. if going for a doctorate in math and stats wont significantly increase my chances in becoming an actuary compared to just a bachelors in AS then would it be a better idea to just major in AS?

    All help is appreciated, thanks

  2. #2
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    With Option 1, getting the degree in actuarial science will be nice but not necessary; your bigger problem will be if you have a degree in AS but no exams passed [or even only 1 exam passed] - in which case, the first question you're going to get is "why don't you have any exams passed?" You're right about job choices likely being limited with such a specialized degree.

    With Option 2, you have a better plan up until "... and I want to get a doctorate." Racking up a ton of debt to get a doctorate and then still having to pass a few exams to get into the actuarial field is really taking the long way around; even if you manage to get college paid for without taking out student loans, you're still burning 4-5 years in school that you could instead spend getting actual work experience and passing exams ... and that would put you further ahead in the long run. Don't get hung up on needing a double degree; a minor isn't even necessary but will probably help with knocking out VEE's and understanding some of the financial aspects that affect the actuarial field.

    So yes ... exams are the most important thing, and you really don't need a master's degree or a doctorate. The only question is "what should I major in?" and for that, I'll refer you to this thread: http://www.actuary.com/actuarial-discussion-forum/showthread.php?1569. If you're really ambitious, you can get a non-AS degree and still pass exams.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    ok thanks, and good thread link

    so if i go with option 2 you would recommend everything up to a bachelors. the major/minor in economics thing is more for me since i just really enjoy the subject.

    also when should i start taking exams? as soon as possible (ill be a junior my next semester) since you say you should be applying in early senior yr for jobs? any preparation books you would recommend?

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Sydney australia
    Difficult choice! I may choice the option 2, no matter, for your heart!

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