DW at Feed on My Links provides the following:
Certainly true in the actuarial profession. But the value of certification grows as you get older, after you’ve been laid off. (Happens to the best of us, kids. It’ll probably happen to you, no matter how good you are at your job. As Mae West once said in a different context, “Goodness has nothing to do with it.”)
If you’ve been an actuary for, say, 20 years and lose your job, you’re much better off with a credential, if only because your job interview won’t include the sticky question, “Why didn’t you become a fellow?”
And for older actuaries, it’s not unusual to move into a consulting environment, either on your own or hooked up with another firm. And clients want to see the credential, if only to justify to their bosses why they hired you. And if you aren’t credentialed, it will be very hard to justify your ever taking a lead on a project.
A couple weeks ago I spent an hour defending one of the hardest-working, most talented actuaries I know. (Close friends know who.) The entire discussion centered on whether:
a) He’s really that good, given he lacks a credential.
b) Whether the lack of a credential hurts the firm.
No bad guys here. Those are legitimate questions, and the guy got hired, so everybody’s happy.
But harkening back to the Venn diagram, the guys in red have a big edge on the guys in blue. You can call it signalling. I call it fact.
Wish the world to put together differently, but it’s not.
DW offers a bunch of interesting thoughts on the value of a certification. It’s all interesting, and I agree with a lot of it, so take a read.
I’d just add: Learn to play golf.