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Need a job after kids...retrain as an actuary?

(6 Posts)
dai5y Sat 06-Apr-13 22:42:11

Hi. I have been out of work 7 years looking after my kids whilst other half works in the city. Things are not looking good with our marriage sad so I need to find a job. I am a Physics Phd grad with 6 years risk management in the city. I want to train as an actuary as I have looked at the exams and there is considerable overlap with all of the experience I had before children. I do not mind taking a grad job or an assistant job as I am intending to do this for life so I will almost take any lucky break that comes my way. Any comments on my chances by any actuarial mums/dads would be most welcome. Incidentally I have to assume my other half would not help with childcare so I am on my own...are these jobs family friendly? City jobs are not, else I would be thinking of one! Thank you smile

Eastpoint Sun 07-Apr-13 06:56:02

My DB is an actuary, did a maths degree initially & then a one year course at City University iirc. He qualified v quickly, only had to resit one paper which was the paper which involved writing letters. He has worked in life companies & spent some time abroad, then in SE England (don't want to out him). His hours are long but that could be his nature. Might be shorter hours (9-5) if you work for a non-life company but I think you will end up working long hours anyway as well regarded well paid career. Don't know if its possible for you but my DH did physics & then became an underwriter - has worked out v well for us. Good luck.

Eastpoint Sun 07-Apr-13 07:02:16

DB does work from home one day a week but in city rest of the time. Have you thought of researching which big actuarial practices are based near you & asking them about working there? The Actuarial Profession has a great website, I just had a look at it. I checked the pay scales, no wonder my DB has great holidays & is v generous with my DCs presents!

schmalex Sun 07-Apr-13 07:02:29

I'm an actuary but have left actuarial work and retrained since having kids. Hours are long and studying on top of working while having kids would be very tough. Not impossible, but you would need good childcare.
Where are you based?
Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about it.

dai5y Sun 07-Apr-13 08:30:44

Thanks for all the feedback. I have looked at the actuarial website and spoken to their careers rep. I am hoping to talk to a few folk in the industry through them to get further advice.
I agree it is a great source of information which I found comforting as I need all the help I can get to change careers! There is also a learning website acted which is very useful but costs money.
I am an academic at heart (geek) but very interested in finance (small scale trader!) so I was hoping the exams would keep my mind off the troubles at home and give me something to focus on.
I am in the south of England at the moment but may move towards Cardiff if things get bad. Then I would be able to use my mother as a childcare option. Thank you schmalex for your message - I may well PM you if that is ok. smile

feepee Sun 07-Apr-13 08:47:44

I am an actuary. I had my daughter part-way through the exams (nearly finished them now!). In terms of the studying, I have to say that it's so much harder when you have (small) children, yours must be a bit older so you might not find it so demanding (although I have no experience yet of how demanding older children can be!). And don't underestimate how hard the exams are - I have two maths degrees and a PhD and I'd still say they are the hardest exams I've ever sat!

I don't know exactly what you would have been doing in your previous role but it sounds like your experience could be quite valuable in an actuarial role - which will obviously be a big plus. There are actuarial opportunities in many varied areas these days - you might be able to find something very similar to what you used to do. Entry level roles are very very competitive these days, you might have better luck if you are based somewhere that companies find it hard to get people (i.e. outside the south east!!). Also, you'll have an advantage if you have excellent communication skills - as you can imagine a lot of people wanting to go into this area can be a bit "geeky"!

I used to work in London for a consultancy - "getting the job done" is expected - long hours ensue. Company roles may be typically more 9-5ish. I have now moved away from London and work a 4 day week with standard hours (30 hour week with reasonable flexibility).

Hope that helps some. You can message me if you want more information. Good luck!

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