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    Hello, I am looking for advice on becoming an actuary. Basically, I am wondering whether its actually worth trying to become an actuary, since I only got a 2:2 in my degree (Maths). It seems all of the graduate schemes I find require 2:1 minimum, and I don't have any past jobs to cite as experience. Do I have any hope of getting accepted anywhere, realistically?
    On the positive side, I have very good A-Levels (straight A's), and I have signed up to sit the first actuarial exam in September, so this shows drive and commitment towards becoming an actuary. Now, what I am lookinig for is a job that would give me relevant experience but have lower entry requirements than a standard actuarial graduate scheme, does anyone know of any such jobs? My friend's brother is a trainee actuary and he said that being an 'actuarial analyst' could be a way in if you impress people in that role, although googling it, I find being one seems to require experience and/or actuarial qualifications. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Personally, my thoughts re good work experience is to try to get a job with an insurance company, or maybe something related to pensions, although I'm not sure what sort of roles are open to me, so anyone I'm grateful to anyone with information about that.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    PS Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but this seemed most apt.
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    Hey!
    Although graduating with a 2:2 will make it harder to find a job, I don't think it's impossible. I know someone who was in the same position as you and managed to find a graduate job in an actuarial consultancy. Having said that though, it was a couple of years before the financial crisis; so I'm not too sure how hard it is now. I think you should have a look at the smaller, local firms. You may have more of a chance with them than companies such as the big 4.
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    (Original post by Kernel)
    Hello, I am looking for advice on becoming an actuary. Basically, I am wondering whether its actually worth trying to become an actuary, since I only got a 2:2 in my degree (Maths). It seems all of the graduate schemes I find require 2:1 minimum, and I don't have any past jobs to cite as experience. Do I have any hope of getting accepted anywhere, realistically?
    On the positive side, I have very good A-Levels (straight A's), and I have signed up to sit the first actuarial exam in September, so this shows drive and commitment towards becoming an actuary. Now, what I am lookinig for is a job that would give me relevant experience but have lower entry requirements than a standard actuarial graduate scheme, does anyone know of any such jobs? My friend's brother is a trainee actuary and he said that being an 'actuarial analyst' could be a way in if you impress people in that role, although googling it, I find being one seems to require experience and/or actuarial qualifications. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Personally, my thoughts re good work experience is to try to get a job with an insurance company, or maybe something related to pensions, although I'm not sure what sort of roles are open to me, so anyone I'm grateful to anyone with information about that.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    PS Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but this seemed most apt.
    So you got a 2:2, but it was maths at Warwick. Firstly, it could be argued that it's worth a 2:1 elsewhere. Secondly, you've probably got quite a lot of undeveloped natural aptitude. I did a maths degree and I know what it's like forcing yourself to do real analysis when you'd rather be sun bathing, when your mate doing politics can do both. Get a low level job somewhere with potential where they might view you as a diamond in the rough, as it were. I would try and limit the number of actuarial exams you pay for yourself to a level that demonstrates that you're keen but doesn't leave you too short on cash.
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    (Original post by Kernel)
    Hello, I am looking for advice on becoming an actuary. Basically, I am wondering whether its actually worth trying to become an actuary, since I only got a 2:2 in my degree (Maths). It seems all of the graduate schemes I find require 2:1 minimum, and I don't have any past jobs to cite as experience. Do I have any hope of getting accepted anywhere, realistically?
    On the positive side, I have very good A-Levels (straight A's), and I have signed up to sit the first actuarial exam in September, so this shows drive and commitment towards becoming an actuary. Now, what I am lookinig for is a job that would give me relevant experience but have lower entry requirements than a standard actuarial graduate scheme, does anyone know of any such jobs? My friend's brother is a trainee actuary and he said that being an 'actuarial analyst' could be a way in if you impress people in that role, although googling it, I find being one seems to require experience and/or actuarial qualifications. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Personally, my thoughts re good work experience is to try to get a job with an insurance company, or maybe something related to pensions, although I'm not sure what sort of roles are open to me, so anyone I'm grateful to anyone with information about that.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    PS Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but this seemed most apt.

    I'm in the same position as you. except instead of warwick, i'm at durham

    2.1 (maths at liverpool) > 2.2 (maths at warwick/durham) not Imo....makes me furious
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    (Original post by Ideal)
    I'm in the same position as you. except instead of warwick, i'm at durham

    2.1 (maths at liverpool) > 2.2 (maths at warwick/durham) not Imo....makes me furious
    But at Durham, you don't have any coursework or winter exams (friend who's there told me)! Not to mention the entrance requirements for Durham aren't as high as they are for Warwick. It's AAB inc. FM, is it not? :p: I believe that that's the same standard offer as where I'm at (Nottingham) and no one ever raves about us. :sad:
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    (Original post by elsa_89)
    But at Durham, you don't have any coursework or winter exams (friend who's there told me)! Not to mention the entrance requirements for Durham aren't as high as they are for Warwick. It's AAB inc. FM, is it not? :p: I believe that that's the same standard offer as where I'm at (Nottingham) and no one ever raves about us. :sad:
    I feel coursework would make a degree easier, but that might just be personal preference....same with winter exams (presuming that doesn't mean you have to do 6/7 in the summer)

    The entry requirement is AAA ( i think) but i know many ppl also have an A in further maths.

    Imo

    Durham>Nottingham
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    (Original post by dsch)
    So you got a 2:2, but it was maths at Warwick. Firstly, it could be argued that it's worth a 2:1 elsewhere.
    Unfortunately as Ideal says this is not how employers normally look at it.

    Big accountancy firms have entry requirements set by their head office and are very reluctant to budge for one person when others will have been turned away.

    I got a 2:2 in Maths from Oxford which got me to a final interview with Deloitte a few years ago but they asked me several times if there were any "extenuating circumstances" behind my result (e.g. illness) which could potentially have meant they could let me in without the 2:1 required. Unfortunately "it was hard course" wasn't an excuse! What surprised me was apparently it's a more common problem for applicants have the 2:1 but not meet their (seemingly quite modest) A level requirements.

    Small firms with only a few partners can make and bend their own rules so I didn't have nearly so much trouble there - so that's where I am now!

    The above is all about accountancy but I imagine actuarial training contracts are a similar story. The studying seems to be a lot more self-taught than accountancy which discouraged me when I first looked after I left university.
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    (Original post by Cauchy)
    Unfortunately as Ideal says this is not how employers normally look at it.

    Big accountancy firms have entry requirements set by their head office and are very reluctant to budge for one person when others will have been turned away.

    I got a 2:2 in Maths from Oxford which got me to a final interview with Deloitte a few years ago but they asked me several times if there were any "extenuating circumstances" behind my result (e.g. illness) which could potentially have meant they could let me in without the 2:1 required. Unfortunately "it was hard course" wasn't an excuse! What surprised me was apparently it's a more common problem for applicants have the 2:1 but not meet their (seemingly quite modest) A level requirements.

    Small firms with only a few partners can make and bend their own rules so I didn't have nearly so much trouble there - so that's where I am now!

    The above is all about accountancy but I imagine actuarial training contracts are a similar story. The studying seems to be a lot more self-taught than accountancy which discouraged me when I first looked after I left university.
    That's pretty much what I was getting at. PWC won't take him (although knowing some people PWC have taken, I'm not sure this is a bad thing) but in a smaller company where recruiters have more autonomy, common sense will prevail.
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    Hi,

    I have a similar question and dont really want to start a new thread so i hope you dont mind me tagging on to yours! I find myself in a similar but opposite situation in that my A-level grades were not great (BBB), but i am just about to enter my final year of an economics degree (with a large focus on econometrics!) at a top 25 university for economics and i achieved a comfortable first in my second year of study and feel capable of replicating this next year to graduate with a first. I have not done any internships as I have been an international athlete for a large part of my student career, which lead to me studying on a scholarship in the USA for 2 years straight after school.

    I am considering applying to some of the actuarial graduate schemes and I am just interested to see if you feel my poor A-level grades would be very harmful to my chances?

    Thanks for any replies!
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    Hello, OP here. The discussion about the 2:2 is partly why I made this thread- I am wondering whether getting relevant experience would counteract not getting a 2:1. So, lets say I worked at an insurance firm doing actuarial-type things for a year or so, and maybe I'd have passed 2 or 3 of the exams as well- would the bigger firms be likely to consider me in that scenario, or are they hard and fast about the 2:1?

    Also, if I did get an interview, and they asked me about 'extenuating circumstances' (I don't have any), my thoughts are to use this to show self-awareness- I will be more or less honest and say the reason was a combination of laziness, hubris and personal disorganisation, but that I have learned from this experience, blah blah blah... Might buy a personal organiser too, to show proof of trying to overcome these faults. Is this a good idea, or am I being too honest here?

    To those saying try to get in with smaller firms, am I likely to succeed here? Since even for smaller actuary firms the level of mathematical skill needed is fairly high, not to mention the investment in training an actuary is surely quite large- they have to provide study days, pay for study material etc- so surely they would also request 2:1 minimum? Also, when people talk of smaller firms (usually wrt accountancy on this board), what sort of size do they mean? Do they mean, say, a private practice with 10 people, or something bigger, maybe 100/200 people? Further, do "small" actuary firms even exist (maybe this is an idiotic question)? I ask because, from what I understand actuaries usually work for insurance firms, consultancy firms, places like that- do you get small, private practice actuary firms, like you do with accountancy?
    Basically, what I am asking is- given the nature of actuarial work, am I likely to find a small firm willing to take on a trainee actuary, because almost everything I've seen is a graduate scheme, with a 2:1 minimum requirement.
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    (Original post by k2k520000)
    Hi,

    I have a similar question and dont really want to start a new thread so i hope you dont mind me tagging on to yours! I find myself in a similar but opposite situation in that my A-level grades were not great (BBB), but i am just about to enter my final year of an economics degree (with a large focus on econometrics!) at a top 25 university for economics and i achieved a comfortable first in my second year of study and feel capable of replicating this next year to graduate with a first. I have not done any internships as I have been an international athlete for a large part of my student career, which lead to me studying on a scholarship in the USA for 2 years straight after school.

    I am considering applying to some of the actuarial graduate schemes and I am just interested to see if you feel my poor A-level grades would be very harmful to my chances?

    Thanks for any replies!
    I'm not overly familiar with requirements for actuarial graduate schemes, but what I can find suggests that 300 UCAS points are generally one of the minimum requirements. BBB = 300 points exactly, so you should still have a good chance of getting to interview stage. Once you reach the interview, your A-level grades are likely to be less important than demonstrating the specific qualities that the employer's looking for.

    Edit: Also, welcome to TSR! :tsr2:
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    (Original post by Kernel)
    Hello, OP here. The discussion about the 2:2 is partly why I made this thread- I am wondering whether getting relevant experience would counteract not getting a 2:1. So, lets say I worked at an insurance firm doing actuarial-type things for a year or so, and maybe I'd have passed 2 or 3 of the exams as well- would the bigger firms be likely to consider me in that scenario, or are they hard and fast about the 2:1?

    Also, if I did get an interview, and they asked me about 'extenuating circumstances' (I don't have any), my thoughts are to use this to show self-awareness- I will be more or less honest and say the reason was a combination of laziness, hubris and personal disorganisation, but that I have learned from this experience, blah blah blah... Might buy a personal organiser too, to show proof of trying to overcome these faults. Is this a good idea, or am I being too honest here?

    To those saying try to get in with smaller firms, am I likely to succeed here? Since even for smaller actuary firms the level of mathematical skill needed is fairly high, not to mention the investment in training an actuary is surely quite large- they have to provide study days, pay for study material etc- so surely they would also request 2:1 minimum? Also, when people talk of smaller firms (usually wrt accountancy on this board), what sort of size do they mean? Do they mean, say, a private practice with 10 people, or something bigger, maybe 100/200 people? Further, do "small" actuary firms even exist (maybe this is an idiotic question)? I ask because, from what I understand actuaries usually work for insurance firms, consultancy firms, places like that- do you get small, private practice actuary firms, like you do with accountancy?
    Basically, what I am asking is- given the nature of actuarial work, am I likely to find a small firm willing to take on a trainee actuary, because almost everything I've seen is a graduate scheme, with a 2:1 minimum requirement.
    Did you do a lot of statistics, probability and stochastic calculus in your degree? If you did and got good marks you could even make the case that the degree classification paints too general a picture. You definitely need to hunt down small firms.
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    (Original post by Cauchy)
    I got a 2:2 in Maths from Oxford which got me to a final interview with Deloitte a few years ago but they asked me several times if there were any "extenuating circumstances" behind my result (e.g. illness) which could potentially have meant they could let me in without the 2:1 required. Unfortunately "it was hard course" wasn't an excuse!
    Just out of interest, did Deloitte specify 2:1 minimum when you applied?

    (Original post by littlebell)
    I know someone who was in the same position as you and managed to find a graduate job in an actuarial consultancy.
    Hey, can I get more info about this person please? Is his job a trainee actuary position, ie does the company support him with his exam, give him study leave etc? Also, what company, out of interest? Did the guy have much work experience, summer placements, internships etc? Did he land this job soon after graduating, or did he work at smaller firms first?
    Thanks

    (Original post by dsch)
    Did you do a lot of statistics, probability and stochastic calculus in your degree? If you did and got good marks you could even make the case that the degree classification paints too general a picture. You definitely need to hunt down small firms.
    Not really, unfortunately. I did do two probability modules, and two mathematical statistics modules, which, I think, together count as an exemption from one of the acturial exams if you get a good grade. Sadly, I failed both modules.
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    (Original post by Kernel)
    Just out of interest, did Deloitte specify 2:1 minimum when you applied?
    .
    Yeah they did. At the time of application my grade was pending because I was trying to get a paper re-marked. After confirming my grade was a 2:2, expecting a straight rejection, I was invited to interview and then the final assessment day.

    I knew the requirement was for a 2:1 so I can't complain it was a surprise not to get the job, I'm just explaining my experience.

    Kernel - with a big firm it is very difficult to get around the 2:1 requirement, for the reasons dsch and I have said - it's a country-wide policy.

    Regarding extenuating circumstances they can tell head office "someone got a 2:2 because they were sick, but they're very good, please can we hire them?" I can't see them saying "someone got a 2:2 because [the reasons you said] can we make an exception for them?" it's good to be honest about learning from your mistakes BUT I very much doubt they will be able to use that as leverage to get around firm policy.

    The circumstances they mean, are something out of your control that impacted on your study - the sort of thing that might get you extra credit in an exam (illness, problems at home etc - probably with some reasonable third party proof).

    If they said "2:1 (BUT we may consider strong applications from students with a high 2:2)" then go ahead and try your best. If they just say "2:1 minimum" then you can still apply but, I'm afraid, there's a high chance of disappointment with a big firm. If it's unclear exactly how strict they are you could always ask.
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    (Original post by Kernel)


    Hey, can I get more info about this person please? Is his job a trainee actuary position, ie does the company support him with his exam, give him study leave etc? Also, what company, out of interest? Did the guy have much work experience, summer placements, internships etc? Did he land this job soon after graduating, or did he work at smaller firms first?
    Thanks
    Yup, she is working as a trainee actuary in a smaller firm. I'm not sure of the details though, since I'm not really friends with her. She's a friend of a friend, but I'm sure they do pay for her exams and she did find the job soon after graduating. As I said though, this was about three years ago. I don't know how things have changed
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    (Original post by Kernel)
    Hello, I am looking for advice on becoming an actuary. Basically, I am wondering whether its actually worth trying to become an actuary, since I only got a 2:2 in my degree (Maths). It seems all of the graduate schemes I find require 2:1 minimum, and I don't have any past jobs to cite as experience. Do I have any hope of getting accepted anywhere, realistically?
    On the positive side, I have very good A-Levels (straight A's), and I have signed up to sit the first actuarial exam in September, so this shows drive and commitment towards becoming an actuary. Now, what I am lookinig for is a job that would give me relevant experience but have lower entry requirements than a standard actuarial graduate scheme, does anyone know of any such jobs? My friend's brother is a trainee actuary and he said that being an 'actuarial analyst' could be a way in if you impress people in that role, although googling it, I find being one seems to require experience and/or actuarial qualifications. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Personally, my thoughts re good work experience is to try to get a job with an insurance company, or maybe something related to pensions, although I'm not sure what sort of roles are open to me, so anyone I'm grateful to anyone with information about that.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    PS Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but this seemed most apt.


    Go through recruitment agencies. There are adverst in the back of the actuary.

    http://www.the-actuary.org.uk/

    http://db.riskwaters.com/global/actu...tuary_0909.pdf

    Website will list vancancies looking for graduates.

    Smaller companies hire on an adhoc basis and will not be advertising in places you are likely to see. They find recrutiment difficult so use agnecies.
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    (Original post by dsch)
    So you got a 2:2, but it was maths at Warwick. Firstly, it could be argued that it's worth a 2:1 elsewhere. Secondly, you've probably got quite a lot of undeveloped natural aptitude. I did a maths degree and I know what it's like forcing yourself to do real analysis when you'd rather be sun bathing, when your mate doing politics can do both. Get a low level job somewhere with potential where they might view you as a diamond in the rough, as it were. I would try and limit the number of actuarial exams you pay for yourself to a level that demonstrates that you're keen but doesn't leave you too short on cash.
    real analysis is the scorn of mankind :eek:
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    hi

    i was looking into actuary, and the a level grade requirements on the actuary site are Bs ( i think)
    I'm currently studying economics and finance at an average university and will probably get a 2.1 in my degree, maybe a 1st. but my a level grades were not so good, as i got BBC.
    Is it even worth considering actuary, or should i just go into a different career?

    Thank you to anyone that could advise me
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    (Original post by Bogies)
    hi

    i was looking into actuary, and the a level grade requirements on the actuary site are Bs ( i think)
    I'm currently studying economics and finance at an average university and will probably get a 2.1 in my degree, maybe a 1st. but my a level grades were not so good, as i got BBC.
    Is it even worth considering actuary, or should i just go into a different career?

    Thank you to anyone that could advise me
    I got 4A's at a level and a 2:1 from ucl and i can't get into the profession. Good luck to you ...it's a kinda boring looking profession anyway. I want to be a park ranger. Now there's a satisfying job!
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    This may have been suggested already, but I can't be assed to read all the replies.

    PHONE A RECRUITMENT AGENCY.

    You seem overly fixated on gaining a position on a graduate scheme, when really this is far from the only route into getting a job relating to the actuarial profession. Many large places (including mine) don't have dedicated grad schemes such as what you're looking for, instead preferring this route. Recruitment agencies will have a variety of jobs available, and will be able to match you up with appropriate vacancies. They'll also be able to sell you on your behalf (it's their job), so having a 2ii won't look as bad (not that it should if it's in maths!)

    I'd start by uploading your CV onto, say, monster.co.uk so that a few of the larger agencies get in touch. If that doesn't yield lots of results then perhaps try contacting some of them directly. Google should find you plenty, but agencies off the top of my head include Reed Actuarial, Emerald and Darwin Rhodes. Oh, and if you get in touch with the High Finance Group, tell them to stop contacting me :p:

    Good luck with the search
 
 
 
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