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  #61  
Old 08-19-2016, 08:42 AM
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Back to the OP:
I think it also matters what your undergraduate degree is in.

If your bachelor's degree is in math/stats/AS, then I would think a masters degree in stats is going to provide very little additional value.

If your bachelor's degree is in art history, then I think that a masters in statistics will do much to convince a hiring manager that you have the mathematical aptitude to pass the exams that you haven't passed yet.

BS art history < BS stats = BS art history + MS stats = BS stats + MS stats < BS art history + 2 exams < BS stats + 2 exams = BS art history + MS stats + 2 exams = BS stats + MS stats + 2 exams

IMO.

You could argue that the "=" should really be "<", but the difference would be very small.
Personally I think BS stats + MS Stats > BS stats + 2 exams. The MS opens doors and makes the candidate so much more competitive.
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  #62  
Old 08-19-2016, 09:49 AM
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Personally I think BS stats + MS Stats > BS stats + 2 exams. The MS opens doors and makes the candidate so much more competitive.
For any random job requiring knowledge of stats, sure.

For an EL actuarial job, most companies will automatically require 1 exam and in this day and age of EL candidates being a dime a dozen they will go ahead & reject anyone with fewer than 2 just because they can and they need some way to whittle down the pile of 87 resumes they got for a single job opening.

At least that's been my experience.

My inequality was assuming that the goal was to get an EL actuarial position.
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  #63  
Old 08-19-2016, 10:38 AM
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I'm fairly new and would imagine this question has been asked thousands of times, but I did not find a sticky.
No, it will not help. Your time and money are better spent studying for actuarial exams and holding some kind of non-actuarial job till you find an actuarial job.
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  #64  
Old 08-19-2016, 12:41 PM
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My inequality was assuming that the goal was to get an EL actuarial position.
In accordance with the title of this thread.
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  #65  
Old 08-20-2016, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by twig93 View Post
For any random job requiring knowledge of stats, sure.

For an EL actuarial job, most companies will automatically require 1 exam and in this day and age of EL candidates being a dime a dozen they will go ahead & reject anyone with fewer than 2 just because they can and they need some way to whittle down the pile of 87 resumes they got for a single job opening.

At least that's been my experience.

My inequality was assuming that the goal was to get an EL actuarial position.
Ah, I see. I was assuming that those with MS Stats degrees can pass exams P and FM quite easily. (I'd be very surprised if they cannot pass those.) But I understand that employers always look for the exams regardless.

So let's suppose that the candidate already meets the minimum requirements (i.e. Bachelor's + 2 exams). Then, would we still say that the value of 2 additional exams is greater than the value of a Master's? In other words, is BS Stats + 4 exams > BS Stats + MS Stats + 2 exams ? I don't think so, but I can see both sides of the argument.

On one hand, actuarial employers probably want you to finish the exams quickly and while you're still young. On the other hand, once they pass all of the exams, the MS grad will ultimately have the higher credential than the BS grad, which brings marginal value (perhaps small) to the company.

There are EL actuarial jobs out there that do require the stats knowledge, especially in our current push towards predictive analytics. I wouldn't dismiss the value of the MS.
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  #66  
Old 08-22-2016, 10:06 AM
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Ah, I see. I was assuming that those with MS Stats degrees can pass exams P and FM quite easily. (I'd be very surprised if they cannot pass those.) But I understand that employers always look for the exams regardless.
It's dangerous to assume. I personally know someone with a masters degree in mathematics who failed the old Course 1 four times and gave up hope of becoming an actuary. Course 1 was 75% Calculus and 25% probability so it shouldn't have been an insurmountable obstacle for someone with a masters in mathematics.

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So let's suppose that the candidate already meets the minimum requirements (i.e. Bachelor's + 2 exams). Then, would we still say that the value of 2 additional exams is greater than the value of a Master's? In other words, is BS Stats + 4 exams > BS Stats + MS Stats + 2 exams ? I don't think so, but I can see both sides of the argument.
Probably depends on experience, and different hiring managers will view that differently I think. Definitely not the scenario I was envisioning.

4 exams and no experience and some companies don't have a job title for you. A flexible company might think that's fantastic: fewer exams for which they must provide support. A rigid company might have a hiring manager that thinks you're probably fantastic, but he's going to have to go through 6 months of work with HR to create a newly defined position for you at tremendous cost to his own productivity... or he could pick from the remaining 86 candidates whose experience / exams already fits into one of the pre-existing job titles.
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  #67  
Old 08-22-2016, 10:10 AM
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It's dangerous to assume. I personally know someone with a masters degree in mathematics who failed the old Course 1 four times and gave up hope of becoming an actuary. Course 1 was 75% Calculus and 25% probability.
Maybe I'm overfitting or a curmudgeon or something, but to me an MS in mathematics is much stranger than an MS in statistics. Unless the MS in mathematics came from a PhD dropout who left for a good opportunity I would wonder about anyone with an MS in mathematics in ways I don't necessarily wonder about someone with an MS in statistics. And if someone is doing exam P after an MS in math, it's unlikely they left for a better opportunity...
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  #68  
Old 08-22-2016, 10:23 AM
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Maybe I'm overfitting or a curmudgeon or something, but to me an MS in mathematics is much stranger than an MS in statistics. Unless the MS in mathematics came from a PhD dropout who left for a good opportunity I would wonder about anyone with an MS in mathematics in ways I don't necessarily wonder about someone with an MS in statistics. And if someone is doing exam P after an MS in math, it's unlikely they left for a better opportunity...
You make a reasonable point... I don't know why this person got a masters.

In addition to dropping out of a PhD program for a better opportunity, there's also dropping out of a PhD program because you either can't hack it, or just don't want to hack it any more.
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  #69  
Old 08-22-2016, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by twig93 View Post
It's dangerous to assume. I personally know someone with a masters degree in mathematics who failed the old Course 1 four times and gave up hope of becoming an actuary. Course 1 was 75% Calculus and 25% probability so it shouldn't have been an insurmountable obstacle for someone with a masters in mathematics.
What kind of institution would give someone a math master's that didn't even have the ability to pass P? (or what would effectively be P)
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  #70  
Old 08-22-2016, 10:59 AM
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What kind of institution would give someone a math master's that didn't even have the ability to pass P? (or what would effectively be P)
As I explained in a different thread:

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Oh, and if you do end up with choosing the pure math degree, please don't develop this attitude I've seen in a lot of pure math majors - i.e., uncertainty is bad. I've seen pure math majors go deep into analysis or algebra, and then they develop this attitude toward probability and statistics that they're just made-up sciences that have a bunch of uncertainty to them, and that analysis and algebra are better because there are solid, straight answers.

When I was a math major, I was told there are two types of students: the theoretical ones (the pure/applied math people) and the computational types (statistics, actuarial science people). Don't let people tell you that you have to be one or the other. It's an artificial separation that I still see, even in grad school.
I can definitely see math majors just avoiding probability entirely.
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