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AcademicGround >> Anyone here an actuary?


9/28/08 8:14 PM
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El Maquina
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What kind of education and experience did you have when you landed your first job in the field? I have a business degree but that's only the first step to becoming an actuary right?
9/30/08 12:09 PM
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fanat
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I used to be an actuary and still work with many actuaries. What you need is to start taking exams.

Exams is the most important thing that counts. Go to the http://www.casact.org/admissions/syllabus/ or
www.beanactuary.com and read up on exams.

The fist exam is probability the second exam is financial mathematics. If you study hard and pass one exam, it will show to the potential employer that you are very serious and I'm sure you will not have any problems finding a job. The demand is pretty good.

You could also try to get an internship in the insurance industry.

As far as the jobs, there are essentially 2 path - life/health and property/casualty. I think that life/health is very very boring and property is a little better but that will depend on what you want to do and where you will get a job.

Oh and most important - the job is extremely boring. Sort of like accounting but pay is MUCH better. So if you are up for that the go for it.
10/1/08 9:44 AM
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El Maquina
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fanat,

Thanks for responding. The problem is that I've been out of school for 9 years now and probably need to brush up on my math skills. While in school, I did well up until calculus. Any books you can recommend to get me back on track?
10/1/08 10:56 AM
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fanat
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To be honest I don't remember exactly what books I've used for the first exam. Plus, they changed the exams a little bit over time.
They have syllabus and suggested reading for each exam on the first link that I gave you.

For example, this is the information for exam 1.

http://www.casact.org/admissions/syllabus/exam1.pdf

So, if you get a good probability and statistics book from their list you should be ok.

You should concentrate on one exam at a time. Study the book and I think they have some sample and past exams on their website. Definitely go over their questions and past exams to see how difficult the questions are. The amount of study time required for each exam is MASSIVE!
10/2/08 6:38 AM
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El Maquina
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Thanks again. After checking out the suggested texts on amazon, I can already tell I'm not ready for this material. It looks like a refresher course in algebra all the way up to calculus would only be a start. Anything else I would need to prepare for these books?
10/2/08 9:20 AM
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fanat
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Well, do what you have to do to study the material. Get books in algebra and calculus. You could look into taking a college course in math or getting like a tutor.
10/11/08 11:20 PM
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big fatso
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Hey,

I just found this thread. I work as an actuary currently. I majored in Mathematics. A business, economics, finance, accounting, or similar background will do just fine.

To get an entry level opportunity, the most important thing is passing exams!! I worked in pensions and am moving into health. I considered the Property/Casualty route: The problem is, most of the insurance companies that had spots are located in areas that to me were less than desirable.

The first exam is designed to weed people out. Historically, the passing rate has been around 36% range. You HAVE to know up to at least calculus II and be very comfortable manipulating variables and summations.

The standard place to get study materials is Actex. For the first course, I highly recommend these 2 books:

Main study manual: Actex Study Manual for Exam 1/P

as a supplement: The Probability Tutoring Book

You can take a look at sample problems at beanactuary.org.

If you feel you need to brush up on your mathematics a lot, you should try the Schaum's outline manuals if you've already taken Calc so you can brush up.

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