would you accept this offer?


hi guys.

I have received an offer from a top 50 accounting firm to commence an ACA training contract in august. This was my first interview for a grad job.

My background: BSc Actuarial Science, 2.1, 7 CT exemptions, Alevels AAB (maths, physcis, business)

The thing is i really wanted to go into the actuarial profession and admittedly i haven’t really applied myself in securing a job. I know the market is super competitive right now.

So these are my options, i can accept this offer and qualify as a chartered accountant, or i can reject and focus on trying to get my foot into the actuarial profession.

The accounting firm is literally 20 minutes from my house so thats a big plus, but i dont want to ‘settle’ for something and then regret it later.

In terms of which career i would think is more enjoyable and interesting, they both are probably on par with each other, the main thing i care about is financial reward and the actuarial root is obviously more well paid.

All of your opinions are very welcome.


so you graduated last summer? you’ve missed most of the graduate actuary intakes for this coming september, so unless you can find something pretty quickly I’d recommend taking the offer and starting to apply for actuary positions come october, just to see if anything comes of it. If not, you still have a good job, or you may be enjoying your work so much you don’t even apply. As it is, you’d be daft to say no to an offer when you couldn’t be bothered to go for anything else.


If you secured an offer, then you probably manage to get a top 50 again next year, so you could put it off and try again more focused for an acturial position.

Yeh it sounds good, local, you might enjoy it, so if youre happy enough with it take it, but if you’re feeling you might regret not trying properly for acturial you probably will. Plus i would’t say pay in the future is too different really.


Accounting firms have actuarial divisions too - you could qualify as an ACA then later on join a Big4 firm and transfer to the actuarial division and end up qualified in both!


Gradjobhunter that would be ideal! But wouldnt that mean i would have to start as graduate again?

This is a very important decision to make and im totally confused as to what i should do.


You might have to take a salary cut whilst going through the actuarial training but you would be able to join firms as an experienced hire

Don’t think about money too much atm you have the rest of your life to make money - atm as a fresh graduate having a job and getting experience is quite important


You say you’re confused what to do; why? you don’t have an offer for an actuary position, you said you didn’t really even bother applying. So what are you planning on doing for the next 12 months if you don’t take this offer? If you’re just going to be unemployed then you have nothing to lose by taking this, getting some experience and then applying in 6 months for the september 2011 intake.


Well first of all its a 3 year ACA training contract, so it is a long term commitment. If i quit it’ll look bad on my CV and i’l also have to pay the fees back if i do. Hence if i take this offer i CANT apply for 2011 intake.

I suppose one way i could get out of it is to deliberately fail an exam, but this is a bit shady and i dont want to go down this path.

Its not that i haven’t been bothered to apply to actuarial jobs. Since graduating ive been traveling and been doing other things, and I had initially planned to take this year out.


Hi ricksta, couldn’t you defer your start date to next september? maybe then you can try to apply for graduate actuarial positions and see how things pan out.


gradtrainee i was actually considering doing that, but i was a bit worried about asking to defer cus they mite not be interested in that. Then it would just be too awkward.


it wouldn’t do any harm to ask. the firm want people to be fully committed to training with them. like you said, you don’t want to purposely fail an exam or leave half-way through and have a huge fee on your hands! i think it’s the only way of biding yourself more time.


Hi Ricksta

My background is similar to yours (educaztion and ambition to want to be an actuary)

My advice would be this:

  1. ask the accountancy firm to defer for sept 2011, this would allow you to properly apply for actuarial positions (july 2010-jan 2011) and if you dont manage to secure a position in actuarial then you can take the accountancy route.

make sur you say that you had plans of travelling again this year and would love to work for them but NEED the deferment for personal development

  1. if they don’t then allow the defer then it is up to you. you could take it and be secure in a job that is very similar. Or you could reject it and go for actuarial next year. BUT bear in mind it is even more competitive out there for actuarial (and it is already competitive)

i was in a similar situation to you. however, i just couldn’t land an actuarial job (too competitive) and settled with a top ten accountancy job which i am very happy with as i believe the professions are very similar but accountancy is more commercial for future years in employment