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Should I do Actuarial studies? (1 Viewer)

KevDa5'9"

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Hello,

I am currently in Year 12 and do 4U maths. My plan for next year was to do a double degree with Actuarial studies. However, after reading many posts about the course in Australia, it seems that the course is very hard if not impossible. It just doesn't seem like I could even get the 65 WAM needed for exceptions if I'm just doing average in 4U maths. But, I don't really study much for 4U maths so it's not like I'm at my maximum potential. If I really put in the work, could I make it?

The job market and salary seem very good for actuaries which, to be honest, is the only reason I would try doing it. If not Actuarial studies, I was thinking about secondary education in maths but I'm a bit worried about the job opportunities and salary. Should I try becoming an actuary or should I give up on that and be a high school math teacher?

Thank you for reading
 

quickoats

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Hello,

I am currently in Year 12 and do 4U maths. My plan for next year was to do a double degree with Actuarial studies. However, after reading many posts about the course in Australia, it seems that the course is very hard if not impossible. It just doesn't seem like I could even get the 65 WAM needed for exceptions if I'm just doing average in 4U maths. But, I don't really study much for 4U maths so it's not like I'm at my maximum potential. If I really put in the work, could I make it?

The job market and salary seem very good for actuaries which, to be honest, is the only reason I would try doing it. If not Actuarial studies, I was thinking about secondary education in maths but I'm a bit worried about the job opportunities and salary. Should I try becoming an actuary or should I give up on that and be a high school math teacher?

Thank you for reading
It's not impossible - lowkey some of it is less intimidating than pure maths.

Addressing the mythical drop out rates - I had a quick look at the UNSW enrolments for certain actuarial subjects and the cohort size goes from 300 to 250 to 200 over 3 years. I reckon most switch out because they don't really enjoy it, rather than flunking out. Personally, I did a year of it and found that it wasn't for me. A bit too inflexible and I wanted to explore other interests.

Job market is an iffy one - quite a big oversupply since it's a *really* mainstream degree going into a somewhat niche industry (but can be applied into other industries).

Regarding high school maths teaching - if it's your passion, then go for it! Australia needs teachers like that and becoming a maths teacher is pretty much guaranteed employment. If you're not too sure, maybe go into a more generic degree e.g. B Science and if you find yourself wanting to become a teacher, you can do a 1.5-2 year M Teach and qualify that way.
 

jimmysmith560

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In addition to the above, you could potentially be looking at employment at a Big Four accounting firm with an Actuarial Studies degree for example, which would be pretty good! :D

I was also wondering, would you consider some sort of middle option between Actuarial Studies and becoming a maths teacher (that falls between the 2 extremes)? You could also study a Bachelor of Business/Commerce with a major in accounting/finance and/or economics, unless you are particularly interested in becoming an actuary or a maths teacher if the former doesn't work out.
 

KevDa5'9"

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In addition to the above, you could potentially be looking at employment at a Big Four accounting firm with an Actuarial Studies degree for example, which would be pretty good! :D

I was also wondering, would you consider some sort of middle option between Actuarial Studies and becoming a maths teacher (that falls between the 2 extremes)? You could also study a Bachelor of Business/Commerce with a major in accounting/finance and/or economics, unless you are particularly interested in becoming an actuary or a maths teacher if the former doesn't work out.
I'm not really interested in business/commerce. But is it really hard to get through the part I, ii and iii? Just seems so impossible to me.

Thank you
 

KevDa5'9"

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It's not impossible - lowkey some of it is less intimidating than pure maths.

Addressing the mythical drop out rates - I had a quick look at the UNSW enrolments for certain actuarial subjects and the cohort size goes from 300 to 250 to 200 over 3 years. I reckon most switch out because they don't really enjoy it, rather than flunking out. Personally, I did a year of it and found that it wasn't for me. A bit too inflexible and I wanted to explore other interests.

Job market is an iffy one - quite a big oversupply since it's a *really* mainstream degree going into a somewhat niche industry (but can be applied into other industries).

Regarding high school maths teaching - if it's your passion, then go for it! Australia needs teachers like that and becoming a maths teacher is pretty much guaranteed employment. If you're not too sure, maybe go into a more generic degree e.g. B Science and if you find yourself wanting to become a teacher, you can do a 1.5-2 year M Teach and qualify that way.
Is first year actuarial studies difficult? Like is the final test difficult due to the lack of past papers, the need for outside the box thinking or something else?

Thank you
 

quickoats

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I'm not really interested in business/commerce. But is it really hard to get through the part I, ii and iii? Just seems so impossible to me.

Thank you
Yes and no.
You pretty much get part 1’s if you finish the 3 year degree. You get the education part of part 2 if you’re allowed to do it at uni. The rest of part 2 is contingent on you getting a grad job as an actuarial analyst and your work will cover the rest. This is probs the biggest roadblock since there’s just so many actuarial grads nowadays. Once you’re in the actuarial industry you can go for part 3’s and repeat them if you fail (which a lot of people do - they are hard). You cannot just do part 123 all in one lot.
 

quickoats

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Is first year actuarial studies difficult? Like is the final test difficult due to the lack of past papers, the need for outside the box thinking or something else?

Thank you
First year has one actuarial badged course and that’s not too difficult tbh. It does NOT count towards any part 1 thingo. Difficulty definitely ramps up in 2nd year from what I’ve heard.
 

KevDa5'9"

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First year has one actuarial badged course and that’s not too difficult tbh. It does NOT count towards any part 1 thingo. Difficulty definitely ramps up in 2nd year from what I’ve heard.
Do you need 65 WAM to get exemptions from the actuarial association?
 

KevDa5'9"

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Not wam but in certain subjects. Exemptions don’t really matter unless you get an actuarial job.
So if overall in this process, I wanted to become an actuary. Then, would the exemptions matter? Also, how hard would it be to get the exemptions?
 

quickoats

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So if overall in this process, I wanted to become an actuary. Then, would the exemptions matter? Also, how hard would it be to get the exemptions?
Yeah, they would matter - since there's lots of grads, I don't think many people are getting hired without all the exemptions.
To get all of the part 1 exemptions, you just need to complete a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies or otherwise, and pick all the right units (and get >65 in them). Part 2 arrangements differ from uni to uni, but usually it's in honours or a double degree where they fit in. I believe you need to need to meet some sort of academic criteria to access these part 2 units.
 

pikachu975

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Hello,

I am currently in Year 12 and do 4U maths. My plan for next year was to do a double degree with Actuarial studies. However, after reading many posts about the course in Australia, it seems that the course is very hard if not impossible. It just doesn't seem like I could even get the 65 WAM needed for exceptions if I'm just doing average in 4U maths. But, I don't really study much for 4U maths so it's not like I'm at my maximum potential. If I really put in the work, could I make it?

The job market and salary seem very good for actuaries which, to be honest, is the only reason I would try doing it. If not Actuarial studies, I was thinking about secondary education in maths but I'm a bit worried about the job opportunities and salary. Should I try becoming an actuary or should I give up on that and be a high school math teacher?

Thank you for reading
No it's not impossible, I know people who didn't even do 4U and they're doing really well. The maths in actuarial studies isn't even pure maths like high school, it's more statistics, probability, financial maths, etc (which I ended up enjoying more). Also there's a lot of actuarial grads but u can easily get into an extremely similar role like risk analyst or pricing analyst which are quite similar. Lots of people miss exemptions (I missed one for part 1s because I threw a sem so hard) but you just gotta do an exam with the institute to make up for not getting it during uni.
 

KevDa5'9"

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No it's not impossible, I know people who didn't even do 4U and they're doing really well. The maths in actuarial studies isn't even pure maths like high school, it's more statistics, probability, financial maths, etc (which I ended up enjoying more). Also there's a lot of actuarial grads but u can easily get into an extremely similar role like risk analyst or pricing analyst which are quite similar. Lots of people miss exemptions (I missed one for part 1s because I threw a sem so hard) but you just gotta do an exam with the institute to make up for not getting it during uni.
This gives me a bit of hope. Greatly appreciate the info. Also how long are you supposed to study each day for university?
 

pikachu975

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This gives me a bit of hope. Greatly appreciate the info. Also how long are you supposed to study each day for university?
A few hrs each day but it's so hard to do that so I usually end up a few weeks behind every sem and have to cram every final LOL. Also it's especially hard to catch up once 3-4 weeks behind (which always happens somehow) because of assignments + midsems setting you back on catching up. It's so hard to catch up once a few weeks behind unless you skim learn the content or study 6-8 hrs per day
 

Nikolerak

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It's not impossible - lowkey some of it is less intimidating than pure maths.

Addressing the mythical drop out rates - I had a quick look at the UNSW enrolments for certain actuarial subjects and the cohort size goes from 300 to 250 to 200 over 3 years. I reckon most switch out because they don't really enjoy it, rather than flunking out. Personally, I did a year of it and found that it wasn't for me. A bit too inflexible and I wanted to explore other interests.

Job market is an iffy one - quite a big oversupply since it's a *really* mainstream degree going into a somewhat niche industry (but can be applied into other industries).

Regarding high school maths teaching - if it's your passion, then go for it! Australia needs teachers like that and becoming a maths teacher is pretty much guaranteed employment. If you're not too sure, maybe go into a more generic degree e.g. B Science and if you find yourself wanting to become a teacher, you can do a 1.5-2 year M Teach and qualify that way.
It's not impossible - lowkey some of it is less intimidating than pure maths.

Addressing the mythical drop out rates - I had a quick look at the UNSW enrolments for certain actuarial subjects and the cohort size goes from 300 to 250 to 200 over 3 years. I reckon most switch out because they don't really enjoy it, rather than flunking out. Personally, I did a year of it and found that it wasn't for me. A bit too inflexible and I wanted to explore other interests.

Job market is an iffy one - quite a big oversupply since it's a *really* mainstream degree going into a somewhat niche industry (but can be applied into other industries).

Regarding high school maths teaching - if it's your passion, then go for it! Australia needs teachers like that and becoming a maths teacher is pretty much guaranteed employment. If you're not too sure, maybe go into a more generic degree e.g. B Science and if you find yourself wanting to become a teacher, you can do a 1.5-2 year M Teach and qualify that way.
@quickoats
What other interests are you exploring ATM?
 

icycledough

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Hello,

I am currently in Year 12 and do 4U maths. My plan for next year was to do a double degree with Actuarial studies. However, after reading many posts about the course in Australia, it seems that the course is very hard if not impossible. It just doesn't seem like I could even get the 65 WAM needed for exceptions if I'm just doing average in 4U maths. But, I don't really study much for 4U maths so it's not like I'm at my maximum potential. If I really put in the work, could I make it?

The job market and salary seem very good for actuaries which, to be honest, is the only reason I would try doing it. If not Actuarial studies, I was thinking about secondary education in maths but I'm a bit worried about the job opportunities and salary. Should I try becoming an actuary or should I give up on that and be a high school math teacher?

Thank you for reading
Hey, I'm currently in my first year doing actuarial studies with commerce at UNSW. So I would be more than happy to let you know through PMs about how I've been finding the course so far and its difficulty, if you wanted
 

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