Isn’t it amazing when someone else does all the analysis for you! You could browse multiple sites, visit multiple forums and put together the information yourself, but why bother! Someone else can do it for you!
Last week we saw a post on Actuarial Reddit about a survey of around 4000 college graduates in the actuarial field by S.C. International – “An executive search firm for actuaries specializing in Employee Benefits and Insurance marketplaces”.
Let’s dive right in, shall we:
You can see a wide variety of majors, represented in the survey. This goes to show that you don’t necessarily have to dedicate your Bachelors solely to Actuarial Science. In fact, the wider your knowledge about the business world in general the better! Other applied fields can be a big asset to you in your exam studying! Having a solid math and statistics knowledge is useful, but what is more useful in our opinion is a broad knowledge in economics, commerce/finance and some soft skills.
Another interesting factoid is the number of exams passed before graduation. Bear in mind that the survey was conducted among North American candidates (the company who published the survey confirmed it), who need 5 exams (plus VEE, FAP and APC) to attain the Associate level. So you can see that around 2% of the candidates were very close to becoming Associates when they graduated! An interesting item was pointed out on the Actuarial Reddit thread is that the large number of those surveyed have no exams by the time they graduate. Unless they have stellar internships (hard to believe, with no exams that is), it would be very hard for them to find that first entry level job upon graduation.
We do not necessarily advise you pass all the exams before graduation either!
Starting salaries vary anywhere from $40K to over $60K, the latter likely being in large metropolitan areas with higher costs of living. If you are interested in some more actuarial salary surveys, check out DW Simpson and Ezra Penland.
It is hard to get the job right after the first interview. However, if you had more than 6 of them, do not despair, around 19% of the respondents were in the same boat!
It is hard to figure out which area you want to work in before you had any exposure to the actuarial field. Most of the times the area selected depends on where people get their first job, however here is the chart with some interesting information on where people tend to focus on, straight out of college:
The most valuable part of the survey lies in the last few pages, where a selection of advice from the respondents is collated. You can find the whole document here (SurveyResults_InterviewingForFirstJob), so scroll down to page 3 and read on!
Source: The survey was reposted with permission from SC International, Ltd.