Pogblah
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Hi guys. In the future I would like to become an Actuary(currently in Year 11) because I like the career and it appeals to me as I feel it would suit me.

Firstly, I'll be doing my GCSE's next year and I consider myself as an intelligent student, hoping to get A* in all my subjects(8/9 in Maths and English- hopefully!). I already have a brief plan as to what I want to do for A levels: Want to study Maths, Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

However when I'll be applying to uni in the near future, I'm not sure what course I should be doing and if the choice of course will affect my chances of becoming an Actuary. I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.

What I want to know is if I study for an Economics degree at UCL(my preferred uni) will I be at any disadvantage? I've heard that you gain lots of exemptions from exams by having an actuarial science degree so will having an Economics degree cause a problem? How long would it take for a person with hardly any or no exemptions to become an actuary compared to a person with exemptions? Also, do firms really care what degree you have or do they specifically want employees with an actuarial science degree? Can your salary be affected in any way if you have a degree other than actuarial science?

Really would like your answers to this guys- do firms prefer people with no exemptions or with exemptions?
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LifeIsFine
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Hi guys. In the future I would like to become an Actuary(currently in Year 11) because I like the career and it appeals to me as I feel it would suit me.

Firstly, I'll be doing my GCSE's next year and I consider myself as an intelligent student, hoping to get A* in all my subjects(8/9 in Maths and English- hopefully!). I already have a brief plan as to what I want to do for A levels: Want to study Maths, Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

However when I'll be applying to uni in the near future, I'm not sure what course I should be doing and if the choice of course will affect my chances of becoming an Actuary. I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.

What I want to know is if I study for an Economics degree at UCL(my preferred uni) will I be at any disadvantage? I've heard that you gain lots of exemptions from exams by having an actuarial science degree so will having an Economics degree cause a problem? How long would it take for a person with hardly any or no exemptions to become an actuary compared to a person with exemptions? Also, do firms really care what degree you have or do they specifically want employees with an actuarial science degree? Can your salary be affected in any way if you have a degree other than actuarial science?

Really would like your answers to this guys- do firms prefer people with no exemptions or with exemptions?
As far as I know, the fact that the course is not directly related to the actual actuarial job is not a problem.
There are also non actuarial science degrees that give exemptions, see here for some examples
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...ses-exemptions
If you come in with amazing amounts of exemptions (including a masters) it could take you one year to become an actuary. Beware that this is only a associateship, not a fellowship, which will take three years minimum(due to work based skills, you could pass all exams in year and you would not be a fellow)
I dont think firms mind about whether you have an actuarial science degree or not, it could be a disadvantage in some cases as you'll have more responsibility due to carrying more exemptions.
Salary increases as you pass more exams/ have more exemptions, so with an acturial science degree you'll probably be paid more at first than with an economics degree, but if you had the same amount of exams under your belt, I think your salary would be the same.


NOTE: I am no expert by any means, I'm actually younger than you, but have researched this career in detail
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Pogblah
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(Original post by LifeIsFine)
As far as I know, the fact that the course is not directly related to the actual actuarial job is not a problem.
There are also non actuarial science degrees that give exemptions, see here for some examples
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...ses-exemptions
If you come in with amazing amounts of exemptions (including a masters) it could take you one year to become an actuary. Beware that this is only a associateship, not a fellowship, which will take three years minimum(due to work based skills, you could pass all exams in year and you would not be a fellow)
I dont think firms mind about whether you have an actuarial science degree or not, it could be a disadvantage in some cases as you'll have more responsibility due to carrying more exemptions.
Salary increases as you pass more exams/ have more exemptions, so with an acturial science degree you'll probably be paid more at first than with an economics degree, but if you had the same amount of exams under your belt, I think your salary would be the same.


NOTE: I am no expert by any means, I'm actually younger than you, but have researched this career in detail
Thanks for the reply. I guess having an economics degree would mean taking a bit longer to become a qualified actuary. Besides, firms might want to train student graduates at their own pace with no exemptions so it can work either way I guess
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999tigger
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Thanks for the reply. I guess having an economics degree would mean taking a bit longer to become a qualified actuary. Besides, firms might want to train student graduates at their own pace with no exemptions so it can work either way I guess
One of my best friends is a fully qualified actuary. he did Maths and then a maths Masters. You need to adore maths. The exams are very hard if not the hardest professional exams.
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LifeIsFine
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Thanks for the reply. I guess having an economics degree would mean taking a bit longer to become a qualified actuary. Besides, firms might want to train student graduates at their own pace with no exemptions so it can work either way I guess
Best of luck with your career and a levels!
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Edminzodo
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Hi guys. In the future I would like to become an Actuary(currently in Year 11) because I like the career and it appeals to me as I feel it would suit me.

Firstly, I'll be doing my GCSE's next year and I consider myself as an intelligent student, hoping to get A* in all my subjects(8/9 in Maths and English- hopefully!). I already have a brief plan as to what I want to do for A levels: Want to study Maths, Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

However when I'll be applying to uni in the near future, I'm not sure what course I should be doing and if the choice of course will affect my chances of becoming an Actuary. I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.

What I want to know is if I study for an Economics degree at UCL(my preferred uni) will I be at any disadvantage? I've heard that you gain lots of exemptions from exams by having an actuarial science degree so will having an Economics degree cause a problem? How long would it take for a person with hardly any or no exemptions to become an actuary compared to a person with exemptions? Also, do firms really care what degree you have or do they specifically want employees with an actuarial science degree? Can your salary be affected in any way if you have a degree other than actuarial science?

Really would like your answers to this guys- do firms prefer people with no exemptions or with exemptions?
I'm not completely sure but I think that Further Maths would be advantageous at A-Level if you want to be an actuary as a lot of the ones I know have studied Mathematics at university.
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Hi guys. In the future I would like to become an Actuary(currently in Year 11) because I like the career and it appeals to me as I feel it would suit me.

Firstly, I'll be doing my GCSE's next year and I consider myself as an intelligent student, hoping to get A* in all my subjects(8/9 in Maths and English- hopefully!). I already have a brief plan as to what I want to do for A levels: Want to study Maths, Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

However when I'll be applying to uni in the near future, I'm not sure what course I should be doing and if the choice of course will affect my chances of becoming an Actuary. I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.

What I want to know is if I study for an Economics degree at UCL(my preferred uni) will I be at any disadvantage? I've heard that you gain lots of exemptions from exams by having an actuarial science degree so will having an Economics degree cause a problem? How long would it take for a person with hardly any or no exemptions to become an actuary compared to a person with exemptions? Also, do firms really care what degree you have or do they specifically want employees with an actuarial science degree? Can your salary be affected in any way if you have a degree other than actuarial science?

Really would like your answers to this guys- do firms prefer people with no exemptions or with exemptions?
Budding actuary as well studying Maths at uni. Though I can't directly answer your questions I thought I would say, if you do want to study Econ, pick Further Maths instead of Bio or Chem. And in general, whether you study Econ or decide to swap to maths or anything similar, give yourself the best chances by looking for ways to stand out, secure as much experience as possible etc (not sure if UCL does it but you may be able to do a year long placement as part of your course that can count as the first year of training for becoming an actuary - I know that LV offers this, amongst others) and a good grade from a quantative degree and.. voila.
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Pogblah
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(Original post by SeanFM)
Budding actuary as well studying Maths at uni. Though I can't directly answer your questions I thought I would say, if you do want to study Econ, pick Further Maths instead of Bio or Chem. And in general, whether you study Econ or decide to swap to maths or anything similar, give yourself the best chances by looking for ways to stand out, secure as much experience as possible etc (not sure if UCL does it but you may be able to do a year long placement as part of your course that can count as the first year of training for becoming an actuary - I know that LV offers this, amongst others) and a good grade from a quantative degree and.. voila.
That's actually something I should be considering, very useful information. Anyways good luck on becoming an Actuary!
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bijesh12
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Anything that has a great deal of Mathematical or more importantly Statistical content at degree level is great - so Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Economics are usually common choices.

From my experience Actuarial Science isn't preferred over degrees, me and most of my colleagues are Mathematics graduates probably like 90% i'd say and a few Physics and Economics grads.

Hence Economics is fine. You might get one or two exemptions check on the iFoA website but most exemptions are offered to Mathematics degree holders (don't hold my word to it though !). *

You'll need 3 years work experience for the WBS element to qualify as a FIA (fellow) - which is the what most people go for. So even with CT exemptions (from an actuarial science) degree, you still need to work for 3 years even after passing all exams to qualify.

I have someone at work without any exemptions who's almost nearly qualified (with 1 exam remaining) and he started 3 years ago. The exams can be quite cruel towards the end (CA1, CT8 are a few annoying ones !). Pay rises are usually given for passing each exam and usually are proportionate to the difficulty of the exam. (CA's > CT's).

I guess what's important more than exams and the academic side of things for you right now is really just getting on with gcse's, a-levels and getting a lot of extra curricular stuff under your belt.

I would recommend doing Further Maths if you're going to do Maths/ Physics / Economics especially at a good uni, if you're not going to do those subjects then i guess it's not necessary.*
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NasEnnit
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I just got through my GCSEs and did well tbf and now i'm picking Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Biology & Chemistry and Handsworth Grammar School and hoping to become an actuary. Keeping my options open with the sciences and scared to choose physics really (Even though i got an A* at GCSE ) but im hoping to go into University of Manchester. Does anyone know the actual path to go down to become a successful actuary with a good salary? From A-Levels? and do i really need physics at A-Level?
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bijesh12
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(Original post by NasEnnit)
I just got through my GCSEs and did well tbf and now i'm picking Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Biology & Chemistry and Handsworth Grammar School and hoping to become an actuary. Keeping my options open with the sciences and scared to choose physics really (Even though i got an A* at GCSE ) but im hoping to go into University of Manchester. Does anyone know the actual path to go down to become a successful actuary with a good salary? From A-Levels? and do i really need physics at A-Level?
You don't need physics at A-level, just do something highly numerate at uni (See post above), and stop worrying about salary right now that should be the least of your worries at this stage.

*
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Leks
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(Original post by 999tigger)
One of my best friends is a fully qualified actuary. he did Maths and then a maths Masters. You need to adore maths. The exams are very hard if not the hardest professional exams.
How long did it take him?
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amithabza
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(Original post by 999tigger)
The exams are very hard if not the hardest professional exams.
Hi I'm Ami (Grade 12 in 2018) n I've thought of doing a Maths degree too, plz clarify the last phrase 4 me. And exactly how long did it take yo friend to qualify as an actuary?
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NeoWong
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LSE, Cass and Warwick offer BSc actuarial science (warwick calls it MORSE tho). These are the choices will both meet your requirements of top unis and exemptions CT1-CT8

(Original post by Pogblah)
I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.
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InstituteAndFacultyofActuaries
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Hi guys. In the future I would like to become an Actuary(currently in Year 11) because I like the career and it appeals to me as I feel it would suit me.

Firstly, I'll be doing my GCSE's next year and I consider myself as an intelligent student, hoping to get A* in all my subjects(8/9 in Maths and English- hopefully!). I already have a brief plan as to what I want to do for A levels: Want to study Maths, Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

However when I'll be applying to uni in the near future, I'm not sure what course I should be doing and if the choice of course will affect my chances of becoming an Actuary. I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.

What I want to know is if I study for an Economics degree at UCL(my preferred uni) will I be at any disadvantage? I've heard that you gain lots of exemptions from exams by having an actuarial science degree so will having an Economics degree cause a problem? How long would it take for a person with hardly any or no exemptions to become an actuary compared to a person with exemptions? Also, do firms really care what degree you have or do they specifically want employees with an actuarial science degree? Can your salary be affected in any way if you have a degree other than actuarial science?

Really would like your answers to this guys- do firms prefer people with no exemptions or with exemptions?
You sound like you've really given your career thought which is great to hear. The entry requirements that companies usually look for in a graduate candidate is the following - A level Mathematics at grade A or B AND degree with a 2:1 or higher. Firms usually looks for the entry requirements and the rest is an advantage. There is an advantage of completing a degree which will give you exemptions and there are a range of subjects which could offer these from mathematics to actuarial science.
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username1265765
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(Original post by Pogblah)
Hi guys. In the future I would like to become an Actuary(currently in Year 11) because I like the career and it appeals to me as I feel it would suit me.

Firstly, I'll be doing my GCSE's next year and I consider myself as an intelligent student, hoping to get A* in all my subjects(8/9 in Maths and English- hopefully!). I already have a brief plan as to what I want to do for A levels: Want to study Maths, Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

However when I'll be applying to uni in the near future, I'm not sure what course I should be doing and if the choice of course will affect my chances of becoming an Actuary. I would like to go to a top university such as UCL or Imperial, however as far as I know these universities don't offer an actuarial science course which is directly related to the Actuary profession. Which is a problem.

What I want to know is if I study for an Economics degree at UCL(my preferred uni) will I be at any disadvantage? I've heard that you gain lots of exemptions from exams by having an actuarial science degree so will having an Economics degree cause a problem? How long would it take for a person with hardly any or no exemptions to become an actuary compared to a person with exemptions? Also, do firms really care what degree you have or do they specifically want employees with an actuarial science degree? Can your salary be affected in any way if you have a degree other than actuarial science?

Really would like your answers to this guys- do firms prefer people with no exemptions or with exemptions?
I am currently finishing my mathematics masters degree at Exeter and I have received two offers for Actuarial Trainee positions. I do not have any exemptions, but really does not matter as the interviewers will be more interested in why you want to become an Actuary, your understanding of the industry/profession and that you are mathematically competent.

Your choice of A Levels looks good (you need maths to become an Actuary), I would also suggest taking further maths if your school suggests it since it will definitely help you with your university studies. I would suggest instead of economics go for maths/stats/actuarial science, the mathematical skills you acquire through an economics degree are no where as near as rigorous as those developed by a maths/stats/actuarial science degree. I would in fact suggest combined honours maths and actuarial science since the maths side will help develop your ability to solve difficult problems (having a maths degree got me many actuarial interviews) and the actuarial part will gain you exemptions (I believe Southampton have a good maths/actuarial sci course).

Academic stuff aside, I would suggest looking for some work experience. Try and see if you can find any actuarial work experience (which is very difficult to find), otherwise just try and find some finance related experience. Having some experience on the CV will help you with securing interviews and answering competency based questions in interviews. Teaching experience is great too since Actuaries are required to communicate difficult concepts in simple terms, it really helps demonstrate that you are a good communicator.

The Actuarial profession is highly competitive, especially at entry level (it took me over 10 interviews before I got an offer), persevere and you will get there! Good luck
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