I've been thinking about the actuarial profession for about a year now, and
I have signed up to take the first exam in November. After the first two
exams I will need to decide which track to follow, SoA or CAS. I don't
really know enough about insurance (or, more accurately, about what
different types of actuaries really do) to have an idea at this point which
type I might be interested in. I am drawn to the CAS because it is smaller
and seems less foreboding somehow than the SoA. The CAS's exam structure
is more appealing, but this won't be an issue after the exam restructuring
in 2000. I did read a statistic somewhere that said roughly 80% of CAS
actuaries have a background in math, whereas about 50% of SoA actuaries
have a background in math; my background is in math, so it seems perhaps
that the CAS might be the better choice for me, given what little
information I have. (Does anyone know if that statistic is accurate, by
the way? Is P/C work more mathematical or more abstract than
life/health/pension work?) Basically I am curious to know why you chose
the CAS -- why you decided to be a P/C actuary and not a pension actuary or
a life actuary. Are there any substantial differences in the work you do?
Any advice for someone just starting out?
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