Hello, I’d like to help a friend with some tips on what he should do for his career, so I’ll give a quick brief.
25 years old, B.S in Actuary
Done 2 of the 5 SOA exams
2 years work experience in a life insurance company ending last August
Currently moved to Duabi to find a better job, working as a market researcher for Euromonitor (temporariily)
No (or low profile) actuarial jobs in that market
Thinking of changing careers to finance, asked me about starting the CFA program since it opens opportunities (I know…)
Trying to advise him by focusing on a more actuarial, or a mathematical finance direction
He doesn’t care about finance specifically, just as long as it’s quantitative
1- Do a 180 and go for a financial analyst career switch (CFA route most probably).
2- Continue with the SOA exams and hope he gets a rare pension fund or insurance opporutnity in the future
3- Do a MsFE (best option imo, but least realistic because of $$) and leverage his mathetmatical skills to a quantitiative role in finance
4- Do a more quant-focused finance program, but I’m not knowledgable in that field to advise him. I know of FRM, PRM, CQF that are quantitative in nature. He would prefer an overlap with actuarial science
5- None of the above
Realisticly, what are his options and career path based on the experience and goal?
I would tell your friend to finish the SOA exams and keep gaining work experience. I think most companies pay for your SOA exams and in some cases give you time off to study, and after passing each course you might even get a bump in pay.
I’m sure there are other job opportunities in Europe if relocation isn’t an issue. In any case, work experience is the ticket to climbing the corporate ladder, not getting more letters to add to a resume.
He will start a family in the UAE, and will be unable to relocate (and probably difficult to pursue a Ms abroad). Since actuarial jobs are pretty rare and unheard of in that region, he was thinking of doing something more available, but simillar to his type of work.
They’re market is expanding really fast, he just wasn’t able to find his niche catching up. In any case, he’s in a relationship with somebody there, so it wasn’t much of a choice either, someone had to move, and it was him.