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Actuaries' Survival Guide: How to Succeed in One of the Most Desirable Professions Paperback – 23 Feb 2004

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Product Description


“I found this material to be the most helpful thing for anyone contemplating an actuarial profession. The early material motivates and familiarizes a person with the profession in a casual but real way. The middle material
gives a person the tools to plan and attack a program to pass the exams. The latter part of the book gives great guidance on job opportunities...Bravo to both the book’s concept and realization.”
– Murray Lieb, New Jersey Institute of Technology

“The book is extremely well written. Actuaries need good communication skills and this book provides an excellent example of such skills at work.”
– Charles Moore, Kansas State University

About the Author

Author of:
The Linear Algebra Survival Guide, 1st Edition
Actuaries' Survival Guide, 2nd Edition
Actuaries' Survival Guide, 1st Edition
Linear Algebra: An Introduction using Maple, 1st Edition
Linear Algebra: An Introduction using Mathematica, 1st Edition

Fred E. Szabo is professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Concordia University in Canada. He completed his undergraduate studies at Oxford University under the guidance of Sir Michael Dummett and received a Ph.D. in mathematics from McGill University under the supervision of Joachim Lambek. After postdoctoral studies at Oxford University and visiting professorships at several European universities, he returned to Concordia University as a faculty member and dean of graduate studies. For more than twenty years, he developed methods for the teaching of mathematics with technology. In 2012 he was honored at the annual Wolfram Technology Conference for his work on "A New Kind of Learning" with a Wolfram Innovator Award. He is currently professor and Provost Fellow at Concordia University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strong in a few areas, but some serious gaps... 3 Feb. 2006
By S. P. Walker IV - Published on
Format: Paperback
As someone interested in making a possible career change into the actuarial profession, I purchased this book hoping to get a feel for the day-to-day job experience of an actuary, as well as get some basic information about career paths and professional organizations. A large portion of the book consists of responses a survey the author undertook; daily tasks, salaries, opportunities and such. These are very useful and are presented without "analysis" by the author, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions. However, the book really has very little background information - differences (textbook at least) between different business areas actuaries are employed, or information about what distinquishes an associate from a fellow, etc.

Upon further research I also discovered that some of the information has become out of date, as the professional organizations have recently added some additional requirements for advancement.

Overall I did find this book of some use in understanding more about the "daily life" of an actuary, but with the lack of background info and some information becoming outdated I cannot recommend it at the $40 price tag it currently carries.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only worth buying if you dont have web access 24 Feb. 2006
By Actuary Student - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a compilation of mainly everything you can read at the CAS and SOA websites. It's a colletions for FAQs that actuaries in the industry answered and some of the questions weren't answered well. The second half of the book discusses the examinations which is a little helpful but again you can go to the websites for that. This book was not worth the price I paid.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I haven't read the book, but...... 26 Jun. 2007
By Chas - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sorry to mislead. I haven't read the book, but having recently left the actuarial profession after 15 years, I can probably save you buying the book and tell you how to succeed in the profession:

Pass Exams!

No one cares about your personality, leadership skills, or anything else, when it comes down to it. It doesn't matter how good you are at your work related activities. In this profession, he/she who has the credentials is king/queen, and will get all opportunities for advancement. If you don't have the credentials, you can be the greatest business person and personality on earth, and you will not be recognized for it (not in this profession, anyway). I speak from 15 years experience. If you are getting in this profession, don't let anything get in the way of exam progress. You should know, to succeed, you should be willing to sacrifice possibly a decade of your life sitting in a dark corner studying advanced mathematics. I kid you not. I left the profession, because in my opinion, the payoff was not worth the sacrifice. That is, there are people making more money, that didn't have to go through the exam hell actuaries go through.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 22 Aug. 2004
By Chantal - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a research mathematician who has often wondered what my life would be like today, had I chosen to become an actuary. Now I know. Dr. Szabo's insider profiles of working actuaries are entertaining, informative, and comprehensive. I have enjoyed the accounts of the day-to-day activities of actuaries at their various levels of seniority, and have found it intriguing to learn how some of the underlying mathematical ideas and techniques can be discussed in a book of this type without assuming advanced prior knowledge. I highly recommend this guide to anyone interested in an actuarial career.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actuaries' Survival Guide: How to Succeed in One of the Most Desirable Professions 30 Jan. 2011
By Julie L. Wood - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
> Good overview of the profession
> Excellent explanation of career paths - valuation, pricing, consulting, pension, financial
> Lots of examples of "a typical day in an actuary"
> Explains math skills needed.
> Nice example problems that actuary solves

> Book is 7 years old.
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