Individuals or companies employ risk management professionals for the purpose of limiting exposure to and managing the risk of economic downturns. A bachelor’s degree is required for most risk management positions.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Risk Management
Students enrolled in a Risk Management bachelor’s degree program are trained to work with both businesses and individuals; their role is to forecast risk, safeguard against financial loss, and develop plans for handling loss whenever it occurs. The bachelor’s degree program explores risk management theory, in addition to techniques for understanding loss and its effects. Broader studies of business law, global issues, and economic theory are often incorporated in these math-oriented programs. Specialization options are also included in some programs in areas such as life insurance, property risk, and corporate risk management.
Specific high school coursework is not usually required by schools offering Risk Management programs at the bachelor’s degree level. However, students would benefit from a strong background in math. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting SAT or ACT scores.
During the risk management program, students complete various theoretical courses covering law, business, insurance, and risk management topics, with internship experience required in some programs. Coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:
•Individual financial planning
•Corporate risk management
•Property and liability insurance
•Principles of risk management
•Legal issues in risk management
•Analyzing financial markets
Job and Wage Outlook
In 2010, there were over 527,000 individuals employed as business managers (who, along with finance officers, treasurers, and credit managers, are included among risk managers) across the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). A slower-than-average job growth rate of 9% has been predicted for these experts over the 2010-2020 decade. In May 2012, risk managers and other business managers took home an average annual wage of $109,740.
Continuing Education Choices
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in risk management may choose from various licensure and certification options that, though not demanded by employers, could boost the employment prospects of these professionals. Among other agencies, the Public Risk Management Association and the American Risk and Insurance Association offer risk management certification. Experts in this field commonly pursue continued education by earning a master’s degree in business administration or risk management, though professional experience is often valued more highly by employers.