Career Crossroad: Actuary or Try for Quant?

Hi all,

I'm writing this post because I just had my annual review and promoted to Senior Actuarial Analyst and currently trying to weigh my options. My TC went from 80k to around 100k and I have 2 YOE. For those who know the actuarial space, I am 1 exam away from ASA and pretty confident I can get it around this year.

Earlier this year, I had the idea of leaving actuarial and going for a quant job (trader or research). For this, I applied and was accepted to an average Canadian University (top 10 but not UBC, McGill, Waterloo, UofT) for a MSc of Mathematics & Statistics.

My profile: Education; Graduated top 5% of no-name university in actuarial science, almost ASA, tutor for calc I and II. Work exp; no quant internships but 2 actuarial internships and 2 years as a actuarial analyst in retirement consulting (working on a lot of predictive analytics and stochastic modelling).

Projects; a few good ranking in kaggle competitons / puzzle solving. Technical skills; pretty good at Python, R (for data analysis and statistical learning) and average at C++, Java, VBA.

What I need advice / mentorship is to answer this: is it worth it to try going for quant through MSc or PhD? Or am I better to stay as an actuary? I am not looking for advantages vs disadvantages of both careers, I've done research on both and I like the perspectives of both. I want to know if it's possible to get into a good buy side quant role with my profile and grad school at an average Canadian Uni / if it's worth going for given my compensation and current career as an actuary.

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