Online Masters Degree in Risk Management

If you have strong skills in math, communication and organization, you can seek risk management roles in industries like information technology and finance. Financial risk managers work to limit a company's exposure to financial loss or uncertainty and the impact of changes in currency or commodity prices. Master's degrees in risk management feature specialized projects to develop your analytical abilities and get you started in this strategic field.

Earning master's degrees in risk management

You may opt for a traditional academic Master of Science degree or an MBA, which is a professional degree focused on applied business and management. For candidates targeting careers in IT, studies should encompass information security management.

Courses cover theory and practice, including quantitative modeling of risk, risk profiling and industry applications such as financial services and environmental management. You may explore subjects like these:

  1. Actuarial science and statistics
  2. Auditing
  3. Corporate finance and strategic risk
  4. Crisis management
  5. Financial derivatives
  6. Financial strategies for insurance
  7. Investment risk management

The MBA curriculum also incorporates accounting, marketing and other business fundamentals. Master's degrees in risk management may involve project work, case studies and internships.

Career prospects in risk management

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups risk managers with financial managers, who earned a median wage of $103,910 in 2010. These professionals typically need extensive experience in addition to their degree. Financial managers will likely see modest growth of 9 percent, but the BLS estimates that the occupation will add 46,300 new jobs in the 2010-2020 period. Banks and insurance companies are major employers of trained financial managers.

With specialized training, you could become an actuary; these experts analyze the cost of risk. Actuaries can expect faster than average growth of 27 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS. Actuaries earned a median salary of $87,650 in 2010. Insurance carriers and brokerages offer the most competitive pay, with median salaries approaching six figures.

Educational options in risk management

Risk management graduates may also choose to pursue a doctoral degree. The DBA, a professional doctorate, prepares you for advanced business strategy and risk management jobs. The Ph.D. may lead to senior positions or an academic research and teaching career.

Master's degrees in risk management take your business strategy or actuary career to the next level. Online studies can help you build advanced training in this finance specialty while you continue to accumulate valuable work experience.

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