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Math PhD: am I too old/overqualified?

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  • Math PhD: am I too old/overqualified?

    Hi Folks,

    I'm almost done with a PhD in pure math and am contemplating an actuarial career. From all the sources I've looked at it seems that the usual path is to start a job right after college with 2-3 exams. So I was wondering if I'll look too weird applying for an entry level job at age 27. Another q: will it hurt if I pass too many exams? Elsewhere on this forum people talked about how having too many exams may send the wrong signal to employers, but at my stage I feel like I need them to show I'm serious about it.

    Thanks for your input.

  • #2
    I am a firm believer that it is a bad idea to pass more than 4 exams with no work experience.

    Your path isn't that odd, there are lots of career changers. You're going to have to answer why, after putting in so much time and effort to get a doctorate, you're abandoning that for entry-level actuarial work which can often be quite tedious.

    It is possible to find the "right" answer to that question, though; I recently hired a PhD with only teaching experience, who had 0 exams at the time of hire, and he's working out quite well so far. Our typical hire for entry level, though, is as you say: right out of college with 2-3 exams.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by FSA
      I am a firm believer that it is a bad idea to pass more than 4 exams with no work experience.
      Not to mention that after the first four exams, your modules/exam costs will be through the roof.
      Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

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      • #4
        not too old

        i am 29 and am changing careers from teaching to become an actuary. i had a phone interview and am set for a face to face and my age has not come up, but the reason i am changing careers has been asked. 27 to me is very young still and you have a great advantage with the amount of education you have. good luck with everything

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ken
          Not to mention that after the first four exams, your modules/exam costs will be through the roof.
          Yeah, I was talking with some of my students about that. We came to the solution that the SOA was trying to limit the supply of ASAs with no work experience.

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