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From Accounting to Actuary

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  • From Accounting to Actuary


    I wanted to know if it's possible to switch to an actuarial career after starting off in another field. I have a BS and Masters in Accounting (graduated May '12) and passed the CPA exam. I am currently working as an Enterprise Risk Consultant at Deloitte, but it feels like just a fancy title for IT audit.

    I wanted to hear any thoughts about what would be the best way to make a move into an actuarial career from someone in a familiar position. From my research I see that there will be no way for me to get the VEE credit validation without going back to school . I started looking at sample questions of Exam P and they seems doable with a little bit of studying. I want to know if I have a decent shot of making a switch, before I start putting in the time and effort into the exams.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Is it possible to make the switch? Yes. You can even get the missing VEE's (likely applied stats) without having to go back to college.

    The better question: do you really want to sit for 9-11 exams after already getting your CPA? Being able to pass Exam P isn't a problem; you can probably get through FM and the 2-3 parts of Exam 3 (whatever the letters are / will be) but after that, the road starts getting much tougher. Throw in the fact that the SOA and CAS are in a building war over exams (SOA and CAS will no longer have joint preliminary exams after 2013; SOA wants to offer a General Insurance track starting in 2014 to compete with the CAS's exams) and you could be in for a really long haul.

    I'm not saying "don't make the switch," I'm just saying "understand what you're getting into" - especially if your real complaint isn't "I don't like being an accountant" but it's really "I don't like my current job."
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.


    • #3
      Thanks, I didn't know the preliminary exams were going to be different after 2013. I want to switch careers because I don't like being an accountant (work life balance, pay, etc) I want to get a feel of what kind of work actuaries do. I read that actuaries can work as quant analysts too. That's the reason I want to pass 2 exams first, get a feel for how the work is like, before diving full-in. I don't know much but it seems like there isn't a huge difference between SOA and CAS. Which one of these two entities has people working in the finance/banking industry?


      • #4
        Actuaries are not quant analysts. Never have been, never will be.
        "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.


        • #5
          Lol. My bad. I am interested in being an actuary because I want low stress meaningful work.


          • #6
            SOA probably has more people in banking, but some banks (especially those that also cross-sell insurance) may use CAS actuaries.

            By and large, the actuarial field is low stress. Doesn't mean you won't have busy times that get stressful, just that day-to-day it's not typically like that. Consulting is probably more stressful than insurance, because of the need to create billable hours to generate revenue for the firm; also not as easy to study for exams, because study hours tend to depend on whether you're needed to work or not (if you're needed to work, that trumps study time). However, that can vary from firm to firm - and I know insurance companies where actuaries are stressed out (though that tends to be more caused by ''''py management that creates burdens for everyone underneath).
            "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

   - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.