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  #1  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:20 PM
SchilSam1 SchilSam1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Indiana
Studying for my first actuarial exam
College: Admitted to Purdue University
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Arrow What should I focus on?

Hello, thank you for stopping by my post to help a new actuarial prospect.

I've been researching a lot about actuaries and have been meeting with actuaries to learn more about what they do day-to-day, but due to the large differences from one actuary to the next, it's difficult to know what to focus on. A skill that most have said is essential is using computer programs such as Excel, Access, SQL, SAS, R, and even programming languages like VBA, Python, and others, but there are so many! Where should I start?

Also, if you have any recommendations for college courses or tips for the exams, they would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:52 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Moving this to careers...
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:56 PM
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NormalDan NormalDan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchilSam1 View Post
Hello, thank you for stopping by my post to help a new actuarial prospect.

I've been researching a lot about actuaries and have been meeting with actuaries to learn more about what they do day-to-day, but due to the large differences from one actuary to the next, it's difficult to know what to focus on. A skill that most have said is essential is using computer programs such as Excel, Access, SQL, SAS, R, and even programming languages like VBA, Python, and others, but there are so many! Where should I start?

Also, if you have any recommendations for college courses or tips for the exams, they would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
Excel >>>> Access = VBA > SQL > SAS = R is how I'd rank technical skills, but you're 9/10 of the way there by just talking to actual actuaries in person.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2020, 07:00 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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OK. Better.
If you are an EL candidate, you can read this:
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...ad.php?t=46382

If you're not going to be out of college for at least another year, I suggest passing some exams. And then getting back to us. Get your resume ready. Sign up for some on-campus interviews.
Check your Purdue Actuarial Science Program for info about courses that teach to specific exams. Exams come down to knowing the math in general, and how to apply it specifically to the exam question being asked. There are study manuals that help with the latter part. (And maybe the former - I'm not current on these things, because I'm old.)
The Actuarial Club of Purdue might also be helpful, if you are actually going to Purdue as your post (in the upper right corner) says.
Here is the website, which has not been updated for the current school year:
https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~actuary/
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"45 es un titere" -- Seal of The President of The United States of America protest art

“That is reminiscent of Harry Truman’s famous saying, ‘The buck stops, uh, somewhere over there, maybe?' That is a level of dodging responsibility that Trump has been perfecting ever since he was very much not in Vietnam.” -- LWTwJO
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2020, 07:11 PM
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ao fan ao fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
OK. Better.
If you are an EL candidate, you can read this:
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...ad.php?t=46382

If you're not going to be out of college for at least another year, I suggest passing some exams. And then getting back to us. Get your resume ready. Sign up for some on-campus interviews.
Check your Purdue Actuarial Science Program for info about courses that teach to specific exams. Exams come down to knowing the math in general, and how to apply it specifically to the exam question being asked. There are study manuals that help with the latter part. (And maybe the former - I'm not current on these things, because I'm old.)
The Actuarial Club of Purdue might also be helpful, if you are actually going to Purdue as your post (in the upper right corner) says.
Here is the website, which has not been updated for the current school year:
https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~actuary/
he's a high school senior.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:13 PM
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trueblade trueblade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchilSam1 View Post
Hello, thank you for stopping by my post to help a new actuarial prospect.

Excel, Access, SQL, SAS, R, and even programming languages like VBA, Python, and others, but there are so many! Where should I start?

Also, if you have any recommendations for college courses or tips for the exams, they would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
Here's my input from the P&C pricing perspective: R/Python >>>>> everything else. In terms of college course, I would say the more machine learning courses the merrier...

Where I work we've moved away from proprietary modeling software, SAS, and even Excel (only using it for presentation purpose). Pretty much everything you can do in those traditional programming languages/software we can program them in R and makes the process at least 2 times more efficient. Not to mention R's capability of statistical analysis is second to none.

For exams, I don't have any good tips. It's just a grinding game. So keep grinding.
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Last edited by trueblade; 01-21-2020 at 08:17 PM..
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