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Major for Actuary

BearlyBearly 168 replies30 threads Junior Member
Hi, I'm a second-year college student hoping to transfer (hopefully into a good UC) by next year. I'm leaning* on going into the actuarial field, but I'm deciding if I should actually go into an offered Actuarial Major (if the school offers it) or just do an more general math major?

I know UCLA and UCSB offer actuarial majors/programs. Although I want to look into the field (I like math as a whole, don't get me wrong) I'm not *deadset* on becoming an actuary (maybe I don't have what it takes? or I have a change of heart? etc etc.) Then if I go into an Actuarial Science major, I'll be pidgeonhole-ing myself because I'll be graduating with a specific actuarial degree, which you can't do much with other than...be an actual actuary.

Instead I was thinking of majoring in something more general (like Applied Mathematics, and maybe DMing or minoring in some business/finance major) that would give me a bit more leeway with what I wanted to do after school. I've read that many actuaries don't have actual actuary degrees (a lot of actuaries have been physics, engineering, math majors etc). It's just a matter of passing the exams. And since many schools don't offer specialized actuary degrees, it's quite common.

I guess one worry I have is that maybe companies who are looking for actuaries may see that I went to UCLA/UCSB and question "why didn't you go into their offered actuary major?" But maybe that doesn't matter at all. I'm not very familiar with the hiring mindset of companies looking for actuaries.

I'm just wondering if there's anyone out there who went through an actuary major? Did it help? Or if you majored in something else, how was going into the actuary field like?
edited August 2014
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Replies to: Major for Actuary

  • Ripetomato43Ripetomato43 38 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Majoring in actuarial science is discouraged. It's better to major in math. You could even do economics, finance, engineering, or computer science and they'd take you. The most important thing is to pass the exams. Without 2 exams under your belt getting a job will be difficult.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79728 replies714 threads Senior Member
    http://www.beanactuary.com can help you with preparation for actuarial careers.

    Statistics and applied math (and other) majors who take appropriate electives are able to go into actuarial careers. Actuarial majors probably function more as convenient checklists of courses to take to prepare for actuarial careers.

    For example, you can compare the checklists for UCLA's various math majors, including the financial actuarial math major.
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  • BearlyBearly 168 replies30 threads Junior Member
    Thank you both, and I have been browsing through actuarial forums and the consensus seems to be the generally the same, that majoring in actuarial science major is not good. That's cool, I was planning on going into math anywho. Guess I'll have to try to study for/try to pass at least 1 or 2 exams while I'm still an undergrad
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