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  #1  
Old 10-02-2018, 04:43 AM
HC1994 HC1994 is offline
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Lightbulb Looking for Advice: SOA vs. IFoA, Path of Least Resistance?

Hi all,

A little background first. I went to school in Canada and naturally I followed the SOA system and I have completed all Prelims but the Predictive Analytics exam. I have yet to do any of the FSA exams and modules. I’ve just started working in the UK since February and because there are credits/waivers between the two systems, I am also considering writing exams with the IFoA and get credit for SOA or even just do the Fellow entirely with IFoA.
I am trying to figure out the easiest/fastest path to become qualified.

I believe I have two options here,
  1. Going with IFoA. Get all of the credit from SOA exams transferred to IFoA, and I think I’ll just need to write the 2 SP and the 1 TA exams under the new system, which are equivalent to the three FSA exams, https://www.actuaries.org.uk/documen...lum-2019-guide

    However, with this option, I have to have 3 years of work experience due to the “Personal and Professional Development” requirement from the IFoA. So even if I finish all the exam requirements, I still need to wait for 3 full years to get officially qualified.

  2. Going with SOA. Since I am planning to do Life(ILA), I can write the equivalent two exams from IFoA (since I can get more resources here in the UK) to get credit for SOA, and write the specialist exam. For this option, I will still need to write the Predictive Analytics exam and all of the modules required. But it seems SOA does have work experience requirement. I can qualify as soon as I finish all of the requirement, which by my estimation should be faster than option 1 given I write an exam every 4 months and don’t fail too many.

What do you guys think about this? Are my understanding/assumption of the 2 paths reasonable? It essentially seems like option 1 is easier, but has a longer wait time, and option 2 is faster, but require writing the PA exam and the modules.


SOA’s Waiver Rule with IFoA
https://www.soa.org/education/genera...r-faculty.aspx

IFoA’s Wavier Rule with SoA
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...aries-students

Thanks so much for reading this!!

Last edited by HC1994; 10-02-2018 at 05:01 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2018, 05:48 AM
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GargoyleWaiting GargoyleWaiting is online now
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First point is, check with your employer and the different bodies before committing to anything.

My understanding is that you need to join one body and do their exams, so if you are going with SOA you need to be sitting the SOA exams. I imagine this is doable in the UK, but I've no idea about the practicalities or potential employer support.
If you're planning on staying in the UK for the next 3 years, then it would seem easiest to join the IFoA then, if you need to go back to SOA, you can do a straight mutual recognition of Fellows. If the UK is a short term thing, you probably want to stick with the SOA, all else being equal.


I have no idea if one set of exams is easier than the other, I assume they're pretty similar.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:02 AM
HC1994 HC1994 is offline
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Thanks for your reply.

I think only for the IFoA you are required to be a member in order to write the exams, which is a fairly straight forward process. For the SOA there is no such requirement.

I would consider joining the IFoA but the requirement of 3 year working experience seems so long… I think I could get the Fellowship in 2 years if I stick with SOA. Plus I am not 100% certain that I will remain in the UK for that long.

Lastly on to exams. It’s a strange one. The Fellow exams are all just 3 hours long for IFoA, whereas the SOA are 5 hours and a 2 hour. So it seems like it’s a no brainer to do the IFoA one? The syllabus naturally seems smaller for the IFoA one compared to the SOA one.


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Originally Posted by GargoyleWaiting View Post
First point is, check with your employer and the different bodies before committing to anything.

My understanding is that you need to join one body and do their exams, so if you are going with SOA you need to be sitting the SOA exams. I imagine this is doable in the UK, but I've no idea about the practicalities or potential employer support.
If you're planning on staying in the UK for the next 3 years, then it would seem easiest to join the IFoA then, if you need to go back to SOA, you can do a straight mutual recognition of Fellows. If the UK is a short term thing, you probably want to stick with the SOA, all else being equal.


I have no idea if one set of exams is easier than the other, I assume they're pretty similar.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:14 AM
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I would consider joining the IFoA but the requirement of 3 year working experience seems so long…
You've been here since February, if you pass all 3 exams first time you'll have been working for 2.5 years by the time you get the final results. The 3 year requirement doesn't seem like much of a hardship in practice - as I say, unless you don't expect to be in the UK for that long.
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Originally Posted by UFActuary View Post
But the mosquitoes in New Brunswick Bay of Fundy did mess with my understanding of some limited loss functions
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Originally Posted by King of the North View Post
Excel gave me #VALUE.

Edit: Nevermind, I was linking a sumif and didn't open the linked spreadsheet. It is now giving me #N/A.
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2018, 06:22 AM
HC1994 HC1994 is offline
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You've been here since February, if you pass all 3 exams first time you'll have been working for 2.5 years by the time you get the final results. The 3 year requirement doesn't seem like much of a hardship in practice - as I say, unless you don't expect to be in the UK for that long.
2.5 Years? Shouldn't it be 1.5 Years, since exams are administered twice a year?
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:27 AM
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2.5 Years? Shouldn't it be 1.5 Years, since exams are administered twice a year?
You've been working since Feb 2018, right? So your 3rd exam sitting would be April 2020, results in July. I've rounded a little there, but I think it's close enough.
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Originally Posted by UFActuary View Post
But the mosquitoes in New Brunswick Bay of Fundy did mess with my understanding of some limited loss functions
Quote:
Originally Posted by King of the North View Post
Excel gave me #VALUE.

Edit: Nevermind, I was linking a sumif and didn't open the linked spreadsheet. It is now giving me #N/A.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2018, 07:21 AM
Kalium Kalium is offline
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The two routes are sufficiently similar that I would base the decision primarily on your long-term career plans, rather than which gets you over the line first. SOA if planning to return to US/Canada; IFoA if planning to stay in UK.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Kalium View Post
The two routes are sufficiently similar that I would base the decision primarily on your long-term career plans, rather than which gets you over the line first. SOA if planning to return to US/Canada; IFoA if planning to stay in UK.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:15 AM
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PeppermintPatty PeppermintPatty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GargoyleWaiting View Post
First point is, check with your employer and the different bodies before committing to anything.

My understanding is that you need to join one body and do their exams, so if you are going with SOA you need to be sitting the SOA exams. I imagine this is doable in the UK, but I've no idea about the practicalities or potential employer support.
If you're planning on staying in the UK for the next 3 years, then it would seem easiest to join the IFoA then, if you need to go back to SOA, you can do a straight mutual recognition of Fellows. If the UK is a short term thing, you probably want to stick with the SOA, all else being equal.


I have no idea if one set of exams is easier than the other, I assume they're pretty similar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalium View Post
The two routes are sufficiently similar that I would base the decision primarily on your long-term career plans, rather than which gets you over the line first. SOA if planning to return to US/Canada; IFoA if planning to stay in UK.
These. The difference of a year will not matter 4 years from now, but the credential might. You can practice in either jurisdiction with either credential, but

1) I'd do whichever my current employer preferred
2) If they didn't care, I would go SoA if I planned to end up in the US, and IFoA if I planned to end up in the UK.

If you don't know where you will end up, and if the UK doesn't require predictive analytics, I'd recommend the SoA route. Not because it's faster or easier, but because I think it will serve you well to study predictive analytics, and it will likely be easier to make time in your life (and get time from your employer) to do so if it's a credentialing requirement.
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  #10  
Old 10-02-2018, 09:47 AM
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Marcie Marcie is offline
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Food for thought: SOA might not exist in two years.
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