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Should I major in Computer Science or Statistics?

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  • Should I major in Computer Science or Statistics?

    Hi, I know the answer is probably going to be statistics, but I was wondering how much more of an advantage stat majors will have compared to comp sci majors?

    Is there a disparity in the first few exams? Later exams? I was just curious, since I am interested in both software development and actuarial work, and had a hard time deciding on one. Thanks.

  • #2
    I took actuarial science in my degree program. If I am given a chance to choose I again, I WILL NEVER choose actuarial science or statistic.
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    Provides study manuals and questions banks for exam P/1, FM/2 and MFE/3F

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    • #3
      Statistics does help to some extent; computer science equips you in other ways. For the former, it helps a bit in actuarial exams; for the latter, you've to be really committed in that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sohpmalvin View Post
        If I am given a chance to choose I again, I WILL NEVER choose actuarial science or statistic.
        Can you elaborate on that?
        Actuaries do it with models!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sinjin View Post
          Can you elaborate on that?
          sohpmalvin is an aggressive one. He studies for all the actuarial exams before the campus subjects.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sinjin View Post
            Can you elaborate on that?
            Because for actuarial science, what we need is not only the exams. We can prepare for the exams ourselves, and then take degree of other sort like computer science, or some other field to make ourselves equipped in more aspects.

            Well, this is just my opinion. I don't think university courses help, because they are slow. If you are serious in actuarial career, you have to take exam as soon as possible. If you want to take exams as soon as possible, you have to do your self study. If you want to do self study, why take actuarial degree? Go for something else.
            A&J Study Materials (anjstudymanual.com)

            Provides study manuals and questions banks for exam P/1, FM/2 and MFE/3F

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            • #7
              So how much does a statistics degree prepare you for the exam(s)? How many exams can you take usually by being a stat major?

              Also, would you say that a lot of the material provided by a statistics degree goes beyond what you would need for the exams? (it just seems like this to me, but please correct me if i'm wrong)
              Last edited by ggggbbb0; July 19 2009, 01:00 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ggggbbb0 View Post
                So how much does a statistics degree prepare you for the exam(s)? How many exams can you take usually by being a stat major?

                Also, would you say that a lot of the material provided by a statistics degree goes beyond what you would need for the exams? (it just seems like this to me, but please correct me if i'm wrong)
                Of course a stats degree (a good one) will go beyond what actuarial exams cover. The point of stats or math degree or ...etc. is to broaden your horizons and teach you how to think. There are only so many exams, a good part of being a good actuary is coming up with quick ways to do ad-hoc requests.

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                • #9
                  There are a lot of valid points about actuarial programs. I think it does depend on what you think will work best for you. In my mind, I would go for an actuarial science major just because structure might help if you pick the right college (Illinois State for me). It would be easiest to start in AS instead of switching over though.

                  If you can self study and discipline yourself right off the bat then maybe your college degree should be your plan B, in case you don't get that job. If you are serious and set on an AS career, you shouldn't worry about a plan B. You should do everything to excel beyond the people that have to worry about plan Bs. If you have a schedule for yourself and set-up your college courses so that you prepare for one exam each semester or at least one a year and work with the department and local companies for internships, you can get way ahead of the game. Some interns get offers for employment with that company, too.

                  I wish more high schools would offer more available advanced math tracks. It is very possible for a high school student to have Calculus I thru III completed before entering college. I did it myself, but only a few students in my school were able to do it or even knew about it. More available programs would help college students be able to jump right into exams instead of taking Calculus at college and not starting exams until sophomore or junior year.

                  The way I see it, you get jobs from experience (internships), you get internships from passing exams, and you need basic math skills to pass these exams. If you get ahead on those, then even though there are no guarantees, focusing on AS has a good chance of paying off.
                  My thoughts may be scrambled, but I hope you get something out of this :dull:

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                  • #10
                    One would argue if high schools started offering classes beyond calc. 2 that they should offer real analysis before calc. 3. A lot of kids coming out of a high school program do not understand calculus. And a lot of people will argue that to really understand calculus 3, you need linear algebra and some analysis/topology. In any case, most advanced math students will go on to major in math (at least from what I've seen) and they would benefit more from Real Analysis than trying to understand calc. 3.

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                    • #11
                      ^Also, isn't it true that you can get a computer job with just about any degree?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NoMoreExams View Post
                        Of course a stats degree (a good one) will go beyond what actuarial exams cover. The point of stats or math degree or ...etc. is to broaden your horizons and teach you how to think. There are only so many exams, a good part of being a good actuary is coming up with quick ways to do ad-hoc requests.
                        The only positive aspect of attainig a stats degree, as it applies to actuarial science, is that it will hopefully expose the student to SAS, which is important for Health & P&C
                        work. If you are looking for a major that will teach you to think, I would put physics at the top of the list. As far as the stats material covered on the exams, anyone with half a brain can learn it on his own.

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                        • #13
                          ..........
                          Last edited by R_T; February 10 2010, 04:26 PM. Reason: deleted

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NoMoreExams View Post
                            One would argue if high schools started offering classes beyond calc. 2 that they should offer real analysis before calc. 3. A lot of kids coming out of a high school program do not understand calculus. And a lot of people will argue that to really understand calculus 3, you need linear algebra and some analysis/topology. In any case, most advanced math students will go on to major in math (at least from what I've seen) and they would benefit more from Real Analysis than trying to understand calc. 3.
                            Most high school (and some college) students can't even handle calc 1.
                            Moreover, most high school teachers aren't even qualified to teach real analysis! What country are you living in?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by R_T View Post
                              Most high school (and some college) students can't even handle calc 1.
                              Moreover, most high school teachers aren't even qualified to teach real analysis! What country are you living in?
                              And those kids probably won't end up working as actuaries. Obviously we are talking about a specific sample.

                              And most high schools won't teach calc3 there, that's why kids go to a nearby college to do that... I took calc3 and vector calc my senior year at a university not too far from my high school.

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