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  #1  
Old 05-15-2005, 01:22 AM
PeteSchult PeteSchult is offline
 
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Default Any place in the profession for non-managers?

I've been looking into becoming an actuary, and from searching the posts on this site, I get the impression that actuaries are no longer (if they ever were) backroom number crunchers only. Also, it seems that there is the expectation even of entry-level hires that they will eventually move into management. Now I'm quite happy to communicate technical material in non-technical language (I have a degree in linguistics as well as one in math), but I'm not particularly interested in ever becoming a manager. Should I abandon the idea of being an actuary, or is there a role in the profession for people who want to crunch numbers and translate the data into words for the rest of their working life?

--Pete
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Old 05-15-2005, 01:44 AM
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Malik Shabazz Malik Shabazz is offline
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Hi Pete, and welcome to the Outpost.

There are a lot of career paths for actuaries that don't necessarily lead to management. In the pension field, in which I practice, there are experienced consultants who work with clients on difficult pension- and benefits-related issues but don't manage other actuaries or budgets. I've also worked with some pension actuaries who have been happy to spend their entire careers "in the back office" preparing the necessary calculations and letting other consultants present them to clients.

I'm sure other people will chime in about their experiences in other actuarial fields.
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:16 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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If you're young (less than 25), then I wouldn't assume that you won't ever want to be a manager. Some people get to the level where they are ready, they try on the hat, and realize it fits pretty well. Due to the technical nature of the work, expectations for actuaries with respect to ability to manage are pretty low.

That said, there are enough positions for people that don't want to manage, but you might find more success in other math-oriented careers: engineering, programming, applied math, operations, etc. That is, as a manager, I could likely make a comparable salary in other fields. One of my cow-orkers, who has made it known publicly that he does not want to manage and has similar experience to me, could likely do better (I mean $$$$, not job satisfaction or anything else) in some other careers.
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Old 05-15-2005, 10:32 AM
DW Simpson DW Simpson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchult
Any place in the profession for non-managers?
http://actuary.ca/actuarial_discussi...tes#post695530

Quote:
Originally Posted by debthesheep
I am not sure if I would want to be at the vice-president level or even the director level. What are the options for FSAs who do not want to be in management (other than teaching actuarial exam seminars)? I currently do not work in consulting. I am not sure what the consulting world would have to offer in this area?
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Originally Posted by D.W. Simpson Webmaster
There are plenty of Associates and Fellows, both in insurance and consulting, who are not in a supervisory capacity and who like it that way. On the pension side, you might be the systems go-to person in a consulting group. On the health side, you could be responsible for M&A work for an especially acquisitive insurer. In life & annuities & investments, you might manage and develop ALM models for an insurer or a consultant or a software company.
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:38 PM
joeorez joeorez is offline
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Default Management by the numbers

Management can mean different things. It can mean managing the 100 person actuarial department, or it can mean managing one other person, or lots of things in between.

You can be at the top of the organizatinal chart, or at some middle position.

And the path may not always be upward. Sometimes it may be lateral, or even slightly downward.

Keep your options open.
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:52 AM
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I too said that I didn't want to be a manager. I fought against it. One of my peers who now reports to me talked me into applying for the job. I love it now.
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:38 PM
PeteSchult PeteSchult is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTBenson
I too said that I didn't want to be a manager. I fought against it. One of my peers who now reports to me talked me into applying for the job. I love it now.
Thanks for the input. I'm curious, why had you fought against becoming a manager? Had you had negative experiences in leadership positions before? As for where I'm coming from, my thinking on management is that I wouldn't enjoy it because whenever I was leading people before (whether as the head of a committee or as a teacher), I always wished I could be doing the work instead of delegating or teaching it. The leadership experiences weren't exactly negative; they just didn't measure up to getting my hands dirty in the tasks to be accomplished.

--Pete
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:58 PM
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Malik Shabazz Malik Shabazz is offline
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I know what you mean, Pete. All your training and experience have developed and sharpened your skills at tasks A, B, and C -- and you enjoy doing A, B, and C -- and as a manager you're expected to do tasks D, E, and F.

As JTBenson wrote, some people who didn't expect to like management find that they do. Some people don't. I hope that our messages have answered your question: there are plenty of opportunities and career paths for actuaries that don't lead to management.
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchult
As for where I'm coming from, my thinking on management is that I wouldn't enjoy it because whenever I was leading people before (whether as the head of a committee or as a teacher), I always wished I could be doing the work instead of delegating or teaching it.
--Pete
Same reasons you mentioned. I like to be in control. I liked the work done my way. I have actually found that freeing up my time by letting others mess with the details gives me more time to control the strategic direction of my team. I am enjoying the planning and strategy aspect of my job. I also have some very good people working for me and a boss that gives me freedom, so that has helped with my experiences.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:01 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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There is always room for people with no people skills in the actuarial profession.
However, depending on the company, the managers' (and up's) bonuses are quite higher than the at-most 5% pat on the back bonus or the "Here's a few shares of stock in your 401K -- good job" bonuses.
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