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Thread: data mining and actuaries

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

    data mining and actuaries

    I got my BS in stats in 2009. Since, I have started a small business that is making me a little bit of money. But I feel like there is no room for growth so i want to do something else.
    I am highly interested in statistics. it is probably my only passion in life.

    For me, the most interesting aspect of statistics is data mining. for example, when I go to youtube and there are related videos on the side, I wonder how the bot decided these videos are related. Is it because it was uploaded by the same user? is it because most of the people that commented on video A also commented on video B (high correlation)?
    I am wondering what to do with my life. back when i was in school, I know a lot of phd students in stats ended up working for google, but I dont want to spend any more time in school.
    I want a program where i would study independently without having to do homework and the stress of meeting deadlines and doing projects. and that's how i ended up thinking about becoming an actuary, because there is no school, you just study on your own when you feel like it. I have been called boring a few times so I think it would be a good profession for me.

    so my questions:
    do actuaries do any data mining? would being an actuary be as impressive to employers as having a phd?
    what do i do with my life? Conditions: I want something stats-related, but i dont want to go back to school.

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Yes, many actuaries do data mining and some specialize in it. It is absolutely a useful skill in this field.

    Actuary or PhD? This I think varies by employer. I've heard many say that a technical Phd is harder to acheive than an actuarial designation, but there are many considerations. The actuary has years of work experience, while the phd has better theoretical knowledge. If I'm a hiring manager and have to pick only one of the 2 applicants, both are going to get strong consideration. It's going to come down to what you can do for my company.

    The study to be an actuary may be based on deadlines. Some employers require you pass exams in a certain timeframe, or you leave their program. This is still a deadline. The advantage is that it's not homework or projects, and it doesn't require going anywhere. You are boring, and that is probably great. The hours of study are considerable.

    What do you do with your life? You probably can't do something your heart is not in. You say you don't want to go back to school. I think becoming an actuary sounds like it deserves additional consideration in your case. You will know for sure by taking an exam or two. This will scare many off, and convince others that they made the right choice. Best wishes.

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