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Rising Talent and Opportunity in Risk

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

By Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean,
The Peter J. Tobin College of Business., 58

Today’s students are savvy when searching for both their university of choice and the place of employment to launch their career. Not only do they want a positive student and employee experience – they also want a strong return on their investment.

As multiple states in the US now consider making public education free for a subset of the population, both private and public universities are increasingly aware of their value proposition: Why should a student pay more to study at their institution? What do employers need to expand and upgrade their diverse workforce?

Business continues to be the most requested major among students. Georgetown University’s recent study, The Economic Value of College Majors, ranked 137 major subgroups to determine which degrees were most prevalent among students and three of their top five majors were in business disciplines.

The same is true of employers. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers on projected employment for recent college graduates, 8 of the top 10 majors in demand by employers were in disciplines that are traditionally part of business schools.

As we develop partnerships with corporations, the one reason most often cited for demanding business majors is the need for employees who can understand and analyze risk.

With the growth in our access to data and analytical tools, the need for analysts who can manage, mitigate, limit, or transfer risk is on the rise. Risk management professionals seek to identify, analyze and document the risks associated with a company’s business operations, as well as monitor the e!ectiveness of risk management processes. The need for such professionals is one explanation for the recent growth in the industry of risk management and insurance – which more specifically, includes actuaries, underwriters, analysts, brokers, and data miners/modelers. The profession focuses on companywide and industry-wide operational, compliance, financial, technology and asset-related risks.

As demand grows for risk management skills, so does the associated compensation. A recent CNNMoney/PayScale survey of top 100 careers for employee growth, pay and satisfaction placed Risk Management Directors second – after Mobile App Developers – with a median salary of $131,000, ranging up to $200,000. Perhaps one reason that respondents rated this profession with an “A” in both personal satisfaction and benefit to society is the diverse nature of the industry.

The job has evolved in recent years to be about more than natural disasters. Risk Management Directors are now also charged with identifying, preventing, and managing a wide range of risks – from cybersecurity threats to a stock market crash. This expanding and evolving environment provides opportunities for developing creative, innovative, and predictive models and solutions.

At the Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University, we are fortunate to have the faculty expertise from the School of Risk Management in the areas of actuarial science, risk management, and enterprise risk management – as well as a diverse talented pool of students who are preparing to enter the risk management and insurance workforce.

In addition, as part of our e!orts in executive education, we continue to partner with Reactions to host a wide range of workshops, seminars and conferences to support the rising stars in the industry.

We hope you enjoy reading about the talented global leaders in the risk management and insurance industry in this issue.