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What is an MBA in Risk Management & InsuranceWhat is an MBA in Risk Management & Insurance

The MBA in Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) teaches B-students how to fully analyze the risks and rewards of certain business decision, from startup to expansion. Whether it’s mergers and acquisitions, globalization, or simply adopting a lean operation strategy, every firm must weigh the potential risks and rewards associated with a new business venture. An MBA in RMI provides students with a full suite of skills that include a solid understanding of business principles combined with specialized study in corporate risk management and insurance.

This no-nonsense specialization offers ample opportunity for graduates to work with top firms including Enst & Young, PwC, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Metlife, New York Life, etc. With most AACSB-approved MBA programs offering a strong core curriculum in business, the Risk Management & Insurance concentration provides a more analytical approach to high-level business decisions. A B-Student armed with a graduate degree in RMI will have both the quantitative and qualitative proficiency to make sound recommendations to C-level executives at some of the most prominent Fortune 500 companies.

Throughout their course of study, RMI B-Students are exposed to faculty, staff, and industry leaders that hold positions in risk management, insurance operations, and consulting. MBA graduates specializing in risk management and insurance are placed at leading Fortune 500 firms across the country and are poised to make a six-figure salary only a few years into the profession. In other words, the sky’s the limit for AACSB-accredited MBA graduates in Risk Management and Insurance.

What’s the Career Outlook for Insurance ExecutivesWhat’s the Career Outlook for Insurance Executives

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of actuaries is projected to grow 22% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Actuaries assess risk and are leading candidates for most consulting positions at major firms. There will be plenty of job opportunities available for Actuaries interested in working at some of the most established insurance firms across the U.S.

The median annual wage for actuaries is $100,610 with the highest 10% earning more than $186,250. Business professionals in risk management, insurance, consulting, banking or finance will have ample opportunity to penetrate an industry where highly-quantitative analysts from leading institutions seek entry into manager-in-training programs.

Sector Avg. Salary
Professional, scientific, and technical services $104,550
Finance and insurance $101,120
Government $95,550
Management of companies and enterprises $93,370

Where Do Insurance Managers with an MBA WorkWhere Do Insurance Managers with an MBA Work

The skills developed during an MBA in Insurance program translate well into many other professions. An MBA Program in Risk Management and Insurance will prepare B-Students to be successful in a variety of roles. They include actuary, insurance agent, broker, account executive, consultant, risk manager, sales executive, etc. An accredited AACSB-MBA program, with the help of well-connected faculty and staff,, will prepare B-Students for leadership roles at top firms needing risk management and insurance leaders.

Here is a list of some of the career opportunities available to MBA in Insurance graduates:

  • Health insurance actuaries help predict and analyze the anticipated revenue/costs from health insurance premiums. In the booming healthcare industry, insurance professionals have the dual responsibility of managing policy changes and assessing the risk of adopting certain insurance companies.
  • Life insurance actuaries whether it’s whole life, term, or annuity insurance plans, a life insurance actuaries helps assess risk and suggest adoption, retention, and termination of certain insurance providers. Most of the time, life insurance actuaries work as consultants/independent contractors analyzing the risks associated with adopting certain policies.
  • Property and casualty insurance actuaries are the key players behind developing, implementing, and managing insurance policies that help employees against property loss and liability claims. Whether it’s protecting your home from a forest fire or protecting oneself against litigation during an automobile accident, insurance actuaries provide a host of insurances to the policyholder in case of an unforeseen event or accident.
  • Corporate actuaries are the experts that assess risk and rewards associated with a company’s investment. They crunch the numbers and determine whether or not the next business venture would yield a positive or negative return on investment. Most of the time, they conduct break-even analysis and project some of the financials associated with a new venture.
  • Pension and retirement benefits actuaries Whether it’s setting up initial employee benefit packages that include 401K plans to new hires or develop the pensions for retired employees, the benefits actuary has a responsibility to report their information to the government. They are the guardians of all employee benefits and report their findings to the government to ensure proper record keeping of company insurance policies.
  • Enterprise risk actuaries help analyze the internal and external risks associated with doing business. Whether it’s investing in a new business location, buying a competitor to secure control over the marketplace, or simply launching a new product right in time for the holidays, enterprise risk actuaries quantitatively assess risk for their employer.

What Skills Do I Need to be Successful In InsuranceWhat Skills Do I Need to be Successful In Insurance

Sector Description
Analytical skills Risk management and insurance actuaries have to juggle all types of information. They need to be able to interpret high-level data and make sound decisions based on the best interest of the company. They need to interpret information from financial statements and suggest the best course of action.
Communication skills Actuaries, whether they’re discussing a break-even analysis with the executive team or conducting a presentation on the viability of a new acquisition, need to express their ideas in a clear, concise manner to internal and external stakeholders.
Detail oriented Insurance professionals must produce error-free work at all times. Whether it’s the CEO or the new investor, actuaries are responsible for putting together highly complex financial information that must be accurate, relevant, and timely.
Interpersonal skills Insurance actuaries are the managers responsible for guiding the direction of the company. They have the responsibility of delivering their findings about certain company risks in an effective manner. The welfare of a company depends on the ability to concisely disseminate information to certain company stakeholder.
Leadership skills These managers need to have the tough conversation with high-level executives. They have to push the direction of the company if they feel it’s in the best interest of their organization. This may mean some tough decision around staff, resources, and the overall direction of the company.
Technical skills Technology is always changing, whether it’s how we keep track of sensitive company data or how we manage the interactions with customers. An actuary has to keep up-to-date with the latest industry technology in order to ensure accurate forecasting.

What Typical Classes Will I Take in My MBA Insurance ProgramWhat Typical Classes Will I Take in My MBA Insurance Program

  • Practical Enterprise Risk Management – This concentration class introduces B-students to the concepts of risk management. They will analyze the financial health of a firm and develop a sustainability plan of attack using quantitative reasoning. Students learn the basics of ERM while working on real-world case studies.
  • Strategic Risk Management – This concentration course, usually taken after the core MBA courses are completed, introduces the process of managing the risks and rewards of major company decisions. Whether it’s adding value to a firm’s portfolio of assets or building a corporate social responsibility plan of attack, the insurance actuary makes sound decisions on risk and rewards of a company’s direction.
  • Global Risk Management – The global enterprise community is ever-changing, rapidly growing, and filled with regulations. This MBA course takes risk management principles and addresses them in the global arena. Whether it’s analyzing the international insurance marketplace, assessing the risks associated with international expansion, or understanding government restrictions while conducting business overseas, the global risk management course explores risk management on an international level.
  • Principles of Risk Management & Insurance – This concentration course explores the nature of risk, the principles around making sound business decisions, and the impact of risk exposure. This is one of the foundation courses in the Risk Management and Insurance concentration and introduces the decision-making process from a leadership perspective.
  • Corporate Risk Management – This is the nuts and bolts of the risk management curriculum. This MBA concentration course provides a comprehensive overview of the corporate risk management process from the perspective of management. Whether it’s risk exposure, tools to measure exposure quantitatively, or how risk management adds value to a company’s overall longevity, this course analyzes the responsibilities of an actuary.

Campus vs. Online MBA in Insurance ProgramsCampus vs. Online MBA in Insurance Programs

If you enjoy the face-to-face interaction with professors and insurance professional in the industry, a traditional on-campus program is the best route. You will have ample opportunity to network with industry professionals, academics, and future colleagues while completing your MBA. With that being said, a reputable online MBA in Risk Management can provide an aspiring business student the opportunity to work full-time and still complete a master’s degree in their chosen field. If you want to jump right into the profession, there’s no better way than to start working in the industry and complete your MBA while mastering on-the-job skills.

The pros of a traditional on-campus program include networking opportunities, face-to-face interaction with industry professionals, and an academic community with like-minded goals.

How Much is Tuition for MBA Insurance ProgramsHow Much is Tuition for MBA Insurance Programs

The tuition cost for traditional on-campus MBA in Insurance programs average $47,526.20 in-state, $65,133.00 out-of-state, and $30,900.00 for online in-state MBA program. There’s a significant difference in tuition between an out-of-state program versus an in-state MBA. The benefits of an online program are limited costs associated with living in/around campus and the possibility of no textbook for some courses. With the average salary for Actuaries averaging six figures, students must consider their potential income compared to the amount of student debt they are willing to carry. With the most expensive MBA in Risk Management program reaching $72,000.00 compared to the lowest tuition rate of $28,641.00, it’s definitely smart to consider graduate employment rates and starting salaries before making a final decision.

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA Insurance ProgramsGMAT Scores for MBA Insurance Programs

The average on-campus GMAT score for accepted MBA in Insurance and Risk Management students is 602 compared to the average online GMAT score of 627. With a limited number of online MBA in Insurance programs available, these numbers may be a bit scewed. It’s important to note that not all schools require a GMAT score for acceptance, but most of the accredited B-Schools want to measure their applicants analytical skills prior to rendering an admissions decision. There are other factors outside of a GMAT score that go into B-School admission decisions: undergraduate GPA, professional experience, references, and personal statement; however, a solid GMAT score increases a B-Student’s chances at gaining admission to the most competitive programs.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Insurance ProgramsStudent / Faculty Ratio for MBA Insurance Programs

Student/Faculty ratio can be a difference maker for those B-Students interested in networking with industry professionals, actuaries working in the field, and collaborating with academics. For aspiring MBA students who seek a more intimate learning environment, a smaller Student/Faculty ratio is critical to their success as a B-Student. For those who don’t mind the lecture hall environment, a larger Student/Faculty ratio works. The best on-campus MBA Student/Faculty ratio is 2.02 compared to the worst ratio at 4.05. Since online MBA programs rely heavily on faculty participation, student blackboard collaboration and eLearning interaction, it may be more beneficial to have a smaller cohort for online MBA courses. The Best online MBA Student/Faculty ratio is 2.02 compared to the worst online MBA Student/Faculty ratio of 2.02.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA Insurance ProgramsStudent Population for MBA Insurance Programs

From on-campus recruiting events to coveted actuary internships, student population plays an important role in your B-School experience. The average full-time online MBA enrollment is 285 compared to the average full-time traditional MBA enrollment of 519. An MBA program with a large enrollment size may have more opportunities with job placement but it will also have greater competition from fellow B-Students. Online students interact with fellow students via Blackboard/eLearning platform allowing for seamless collaboration with future industry professionals. Collaboration online may be a bit more difficult if there is a larger discussion board compared to an online MBA cohort.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Global Enrollment for MBA Programs in InsuranceGlobal Enrollment for MBA Programs in Insurance

An MBA program should have a nice balance between international students and U.S. students. In the ever-changing global economy, the strength of a company usually depends on its diversity, especially if it’s a multinational organization. The MBA in Insurance program with the smallest percentage of students from the U.S. is 61.64% compared to a program with 100.00% of the student population from the U.S. The average percentage of students from the U.S. is 91.12% for online MBA programs. Since Actuaries work for large insurance companies, banks, and consulting firms, MBA in Risk Management programs can benefit from admitting students from all over the world. Having access to alumni from other countries can become a valuable asset for networking. This is especially true for the Insurance and Risk Management concentration.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA Insurance ProgramsFaculty Information for MBA Insurance Programs

Business professors are not just faculty mentors but experience insurance managers/acutaries. Professors are not just a great resource for networking outside the classroom but will also keep you on the front lines of the latest industry trends. For most, their B-School professors are their first exposure to the industry. Needless to say, they are a valuable resource. The quality of an MBA program is directly related to the credentials of its faculty. The average number of on-campus full-time MBA faculty is 146 compared to an average of 173 professors in part-time programs. An accredited MBA program that hires a significant number of professors with doctorate degrees signifies a strong business program. The average full-time MBA program has 87 number of doctorates compared to the average full-time online MBA of 94 doctorates.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA Insurance ProgramsList of Campus and Online MBA Insurance Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA Insurance programs offered: 5
  • The number of online MBA Insurance programs offered: 1

There are 5 on-campus MBA programs in Risk Management compared to 1 online MBA programs. With a limited supply of graduate insurance programs, B-Students will experience heavy competition from the applicant pool. If networking with industry professionals is a primary motivation for attending an MBA in Risk Management program, MBA Guide highly recommends researching faculty bios, analyzing employment rates, and researching insurance companies that hire graduates at your B-School.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.