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masters in statistics or actuary?

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  • masters in statistics or actuary?

    Hi guys
    I got my bachelors in stats a while ago...Then I started working in various fields, didn't really know what I wanted to do. I took a lot of science classes and thought I wanted to go to med school, then I worked with some doctors and i found patient care extremely boring. I didn't hate it, I wasn't disgusted, I just found it boring. Like as a doctor, you don't get to be creative. the way medicine is practiced today is the same way it was 60 years ago and it will be the same 60 years from now. It's just too slow for me. I have told my parents this but they don't understand what I mean. I am sure some of you know what I mean.
    I also started my own business and I made a little money, but not nearly enough to support myself.

    Now I am trying to decide between going for my masters in stats or becoming an actuary.
    The most important thing for me is being able to own my own business. I do not want to work for someone else for the rest of my life.
    which one would allow me to be my own boss?
    It is my understanding that with the actuary, you have no chance of being your own boss because you have to work for an insurance company, is this true?
    Another problem with actuary is I am only interested in the stats part of it, but it seems that you have to know a lot of other stuff like stock market, economics, bonds, etc. which I find extremely boring.
    again, I have not studied this field, but these are just things i have heard.
    Masters in stats also has the same problem, I mean what kind of business can I start?
    so my main questions: which one would give me a better opportunity to make good money? which one will allow me to be my own boss?
    Last edited by batista_123; May 25 2012, 12:45 AM.

  • #2
    There are self-employed actuaries and self-employed statistical consultants. If your main interest is statistics, my advice would be to pursue an advanced
    degree in statistics, but by "advanced degree" I mean Ph.D. I don't know that you would be taken seriously as a statistician if you have just a master's
    degree.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by batista_123 View Post
      Like as a doctor, you don't get to be creative. the way medicine is practiced today is the same way it was 60 years ago and it will be the same 60 years from now.
      If you really think patient care in 2012 is the same as it was in 1952, either you have no concept of what patient care was in 1952 or you have incredibly unrealistic expectations of what patient care should be. If you're looking for creativity in the medical field, you should be focusing on research ... but that in no way means that you shouldn't understand patient care.

      Originally posted by batista_123 View Post
      It's just too slow for me. I have told my parents this but they don't understand what I mean. I am sure some of you know what I mean.
      "Too slow" can mean many things; it might help if you expanded on this. That said, if you think the actuarial field is going to be a daily whirlwind of excitement, you might want to temper your expectations dramatically.

      Originally posted by batista_123 View Post
      Now I am trying to decide between going for my masters in stats or becoming an actuary.
      See above on the "exciting daily life" of an actuary.

      Originally posted by batista_123 View Post
      The most important thing for me is being able to own my own business. I do not want to work for someone else for the rest of my life.
      which one would allow me to be my own boss?
      Eventually, you could be an actuary with your own business - though it would (A) almost certainly be in consulting, and (B) almost certainly come after years of learning from someone else who is a credentialed actuary. Hanging up a sign above the door that says "I'm a actuary" and advertising such with little to no real experience [especially if you're not a credentialed actuary], ... well, one mistake and you could get yourself into a ton of trouble very quickly - both professionally and legally.

      Originally posted by batista_123 View Post
      It is my understanding that with the actuary, you have no chance of being your own boss because you have to work for an insurance company, is this true?
      See above.

      Originally posted by batista_123 View Post
      Another problem with actuary is I am only interested in the stats part of it, but it seems that you have to know a lot of other stuff like stock market, economics, bonds, etc. which I find extremely boring.
      Then the actuarial field is probably not for you; if you don't understand those concepts and how they relate to actuarial work, you're probably going to struggle to do a satisfactory job ... which means that if you ever decide to "go on your own" you're probably going to ''''' up a job someone has asked you to do for them ... which can carry serious professional and legal ramifications [as noted above].
      "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.

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      • #4
        I am not talking about the politics side of medicine, that has changed, a lot. I am talking about taking care of your patients. That is too slow for me. It never changes. The doctor that I used to go to when I was a kid is still in the same office, doing the exact same thing. His secretary is still the same woman. The pictures on his walls still the same. Nothing changes, too slow.

        If you look at Google's algorithm, it changes every day. The Google that we are using today is not the same that we used a month ago. That's what I need, creativity and change.

        You are right that I can be more creative in research, but I have tried working in a lab and I hated it.

        If I get a phd in stats, what kind of business can I operate? I have heard of statistical consulting companies like "The Analysis Group" so is that pretty much what I will be doing?

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        • #5
          I would suggest visiting the websites of graduate programs in statistics. Many of them keep track of their Ph.D. graduates' current affiliations.

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