MBA in Insurance & Risk Management (IRM)

“The best part of risk management and insurance is that the industry is relatively recession-proof. Even in down economic times, organizations still need to manage the risks they face. They may cut investments, but the risks they face do not go away with tough economic times.”

Charles Nyce, PhD, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, Florida State University’s College of Business

Risk touches every organization. Those who know how to manage, avoid, and cope with it, are indispensable. With risk management professionals expected to be in high demand, more companies are looking to hire professionals with advanced degrees in the subject.

Transformational trends in the modern business landscape present strategic risks that threaten to undermine operations and value propositions across practically every sector, especially in insurance, where there’s a renewed call for high-level expertise and leadership.

Insurance underwriters, claims investigators, financial managers, labor relations managers, risk management consultants, organizational planning directors, inventory administrators, and wage managers can advance their career prospects and professional expertise by obtaining a deep and specialized understanding of the insurance and risk management sector that goes above and beyond the usual MBA curriculum.

In today’s business terrain (and in these programs), strategic thinking is at a premium. Students learn not only to identify potential risks but also to develop and enforce procedures to mitigate those risks in an efficient, data-driven, and tactical way.

All MBA programs specializing in risk management cover loss prevention techniques, unique accounting systems, and in-depth explorations of otherwise siloed areas like labor laws, employee benefits, and derivative risks. However, programs that deliver this online allow young professionals to continue advancing their careers while concurrently advancing their education.

Whether through implementing computer-based simulation models, tuning organizational management practices for a more nuanced approach, or efficiently outpacing waves of regulatory and market disruption, the financial industry needs risk management professionals educated in the forward-thinking paradigms of the 21st century.

Featured Insurance & Risk Management (IRM) Programs
Boston University Graduate Certificate - Enterprise Risk MgmtVisit Site
Boston University MS - Enterprise Risk ManagementVisit Site
Boston University MS - Insurance ManagementVisit Site
Grand Canyon University BS - Risk ManagementVisit Site
Purdue Global BS in Business Administration - Risk ManagementVisit Site
Middle Tennessee State University Flex MBA - Risk ManagementVisit Site
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Ask an Expert: Charles Nyce, PhD

Charles Nyce

Dr. Charles Nyce is the department chair and Dr. William T. Hold associate professor of risk management and insurance in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate, and Legal Studies at Florida State University’s College of Business. He teaches a variety of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Nyce’s main research area is catastrophic risk financing, and he has authored numerous articles on various risk management and insurance topics, including title insurance, IPOs, enterprise risk management, predictive analytics, and natural hazards.

Dr. Nyce came to FSU in 2009 as the associate director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center and an assistant in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate, and Legal Studies. His previous academic experience includes LaSalle University, the University of Hartford, and the University of Georgia. He also served as director of Curriculum and senior director of Knowledge Resources at the American Institute for CPCU.

He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from LaSalle University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in insurance and risk management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

BSchools: What’s something you wish the general public knew about risk management?

Dr. Nyce: I wish the public knew more about all of the great careers there are in the risk management industry. There are over three million people in the US in the risk management and insurance field. There are C-suite careers in Fortune 500 companies (e.g., chief risk officer). There are multi-billion dollar insurers and brokers. Every corporation has a risk management function.

There are careers for people who have good interpersonal skills; there are careers for those who are more quantitative in nature. There are so many segments of the industry that the average person knows nothing about. If you do not at least look at the career options in risk management, you are doing yourself a disservice.

BSchools: Do you have any advice for future MBA students considering a concentration in risk management?

Dr. Nyce: Work on both your interpersonal as well as your quantitative skill sets. Risk management did big data before people talked about big data. Risk management has always been examining past events and using that information to try to figure out what could possibly happen going forward. What is different today are all of the quantitative tools that are now available to help with that process. Knowing how to use those tools is step one.

Step two is then being able to communicate the results to the ultimate decision makers in a manner that is easily understandable. Communication is key to successful risk management. If you can only do one of the two steps, you will be at a disadvantage.

BSchools: What does the future of risk management, and/or MBA programs with a risk management concentration, look like to you?

Dr. Nyce: The future is very bright. As an industry, there is a large portion of the workforce nearing retirement, and there was a gap in the 90s and early 00s of talent entering the field. That means for young professionals today, there is high demand and an excellent opportunity to move up quickly in their organizations.

The best part of risk management and insurance is that the industry is relatively recession-proof. Even in down economic times, organizations still need to manage the risks they face. They may cut investments, but the risks they face do not go away with tough economic times—in fact, they likely grow, increasing the importance of risk management.

Featured Online MBA in Insurance & Risk Management (IRM) Programs

1Florida State University – College of Business

Florida State University’s College of Business offers several online MBA options, including one in insurance and risk management. This program can be completed part-time in seven semesters. Students in this program develop keen critical thinking skills to make critical decisions that can help shape the insurance and risk landscape. Since this program can be completed without relocation, students can work while attending school. This allows them to apply the skills they learn directly in their workplace.

There are two tracks students can choose within the insurance and risk management concentration: financial planning or risk management. Both programs require students to complete a total of 39 credits.

Specialized courses students can take as part of this program include essentials of risk and insurance; risk management in the business enterprise; personal financial planning; employee benefit plans; data analytics in risk management & insurance; and insurance company operations.

Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Accreditation: AACSB International; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: Seven semesters
2Walden University – College of Management and TechnologyView Full Profile

Students who want to design their own insurance and risk management study program can do that through the self-designed online MBA at Walden University’s College of Management and Technology. The program consists of a total of 30 semester credits. Eighteen credits are in core courses; three are the capstone course, but the remaining nine are entirely up to the student’s discretion.

Even online students have access to the outstanding student resources available at Walden, including the writing lab, faculty office hours, and their MBA success planner. With no GRE or GMAT testing requirements, admission to this program can be accessible to many students. In fact, the primary consideration is whether applicants have completed an undergraduate degree or not.

The curriculum includes courses such as business essentials, dynamic leadership, managing people and promoting collaboration, improving business performance, accounting for management decision-making, marketing for competitiveness, and managerial finance.

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Accreditation: ACBSP; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: Minimum of three semesters
3St. John’s University – Tobin College of Business

Taught by an internationally distinguished faculty, the online MBA program at St. John’s University focuses on case studies, real-world projects, and global perspectives so that graduates can gain a cross-functional understanding of the interconnected business landscape and its nuanced specializations. Core coursework makes up the bulk of the program, with eight classes that cover topics such as industrial economics; global financial and managerial reporting; decisions in marketing management; and risk management.

The program consists of 36 credits and may be completed entirely online. The college has three concentrations related to risk management and insurance: enterprise risk management, risk and financial advisory, and risk management.

The enterprise risk management concentration includes courses such as Foundations of enterprise risk management; culture, leadership, and governance risk; operational risk management; and strategic risk analysis and tools.

Location: Queens, New York
Accreditation: AACSB International; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (three semesters); part-time(six semesters)

Boston University does not offer an MBA, but this master of science program is one to look out for. An online master of science in enterprise risk management (MSERM) at Boston University’s Metropolitan College introduces students to the essential theories and tools needed to lead change, think strategically in complex situations, and provide technological and analytical solutions that mitigate risk across entire enterprises. With both part-time and full-time options available, this 40-credit program does not require GRE or GMAT scores to apply.

As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as financial concepts; project management; quantitative and qualitative decision-making; the innovation process: developing new products and services; enterprise risk management; business continuity management; enterprise risk planning and compliance; and disaster management.

Boston University also offers an online master of science in insurance management program specifically designed for professionals who have acquired the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) credential.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Accreditation: AACSB International; New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 20 months

Husson University offers an online master of business administration program with a concentration in risk management preparing students to analyze, identify, and evaluate potential risks in nearly every type of organization. Students will explore the specialized principles needed for addressing risks and gain the skills, qualifications, and knowledge to secure central positions at businesses across multiple industries.

Made up of 36 credits, the program includes core courses such as research methods; managerial economics; managerial accounting; management communications; global strategic management; financial management; and marketing management.

Courses in the risk management concentration include fundamentals of risk management; employee benefits; corporate risk management; crisis management; and strategic selling.

Location: Bangor, Maine
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE); New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months

The University of Olivet’s online MBA has accounting, insurance, and enterprise risk management concentrations. Courses are offered through a blended online approach featuring interactive, live, streamed classes where faculty members and students interact with each other in real time. Classes are offered rotationally with five terms a year (August, October, January, March, and June). Each term is eight weeks in length, and students can start any term.

This 33-credit program includes courses such as management and organizational behavior with a diverse workforce; strategic marketing; managerial economics; corporate accounting and finance; quantitative analysis and decision making for management; and ethics and leadership.

The insurance concentration delves into the different types of insurance policies providing students with insights into insurance company operations. In the ERM concentration, students will take a holistic approach to risk from a corporate perspective including financial, operational, reputational, and other risks.

Elective courses include operations management; personal financial planning; negotiations; risk assessment; business and insurance law; insurance and risk management; property–casualty insurance contracts; commercial property risk management and insurance, surplus lines insurance operations; and reinsurance principles and practices.

Location: Olivet, Michigan
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
7University of Colorado Denver – Business School

One of the 15 specializations at the University of Colorado Denver’s Business School is in risk management and insurance. This specialization is offered online, allowing students the flexibility to complete their studies independently. Students can complete the program in as little as 16 months or take up to five years to complete their coursework. Graduates will understand individuals’ risks and how businesses can establish policies to protect themselves.

According to CU Denver, over 50 percent of the insurance and risk management workforce is projected to retire over the next decade. That makes this career particularly lucrative, and, over the past few years, they have placed 100 percent of their graduates in jobs in this field. Students have the opportunity to participate in paid internships as well as a study abroad opportunity in London, to gain hands-on experience in this career.

Location: Denver, Colorado
Accreditation: AACSB International; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 16 months to five years
8University of South Florida – Muma College of Business

An undergraduate degree in business is not required to complete the online MBA at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business. Students with any degree from an accredited institution are encouraged to apply to the program. Those without a background in business will be required to take 16 credits in foundation business classes. There is a unique concentration on compliance, risk, and anti-money laundering for students interested in risk management. Many students who want to go on to work in the financial sector choose this specialization.

All students must complete 33 credits to graduate. The compliance and risk specialization requires an additional 15 credits in classes such as forensic accounting and legal compliance; database management; risk management and legal compliance; and accounting systems audit, control, and security. Admission requirements for this program include an undergraduate degree, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, GRE or GMAT scores (waiver available), and a completed application.

Location: Tampa, Florida
Accreditation: AACSB International; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (three semesters); part-time (three years)
9University of Nebraska Omaha – College of Business Administration

There are numerous options for completing an MBA through the University of Nebraska Omaha’s College of Business Administration. These include full-time, part-time, online, hybrid, and evening or weekend courses. There are ten concentrations to choose from, including one in risk management. The emphasis in the risk management concentration is on identifying and managing various kinds of risk. Courses students can take include multinational financial management; financial accounting theory; e-commerce security; and security risk management and assessment.

Courses are offered in eight-week sessions during the spring and fall and four-week intensives during the summer. To graduate, students must earn a total of 33 credits. Twenty-four credits are in core coursework, and the remaining nine are in electives. Typically, the electives are part of a concentration.

Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Accreditation: AACSB International; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: Part-time (30 to 36 months); full-time (18 to 24 months)

Ohio Dominican University’s online MBA will equip students with the knowledge, tools, and skills they need to advance their careers and pursue exciting new opportunities in today’s dynamic global business world. This 100% online program has several high-demand concentrations available, with risk management being one of them.

Focusing on strategic management and leadership, the risk management concentration includes courses in risk management and insurance; econometric modeling; financial modeling; and enterprise risk management. The program comprises 36 credits, including core courses such as management of information systems; marketing management; managerial finance; and ethics & social responsibility.

Applicants to the program must either have an overall grade point average of 3.0 in their undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution or an overall GPA of 2.75 in the last 60 semester hours of their bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. GMAT scores are not required.

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Accreditation: ACBSP; The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Expected Time to Completion: 16 months
Matt Zbrog
Matt Zbrog
Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California. Since 2018, he’s written extensively about how new and aspiring business school students can best plan their education and careers. In the Two Views series, he conducts detailed interviews with recent business school alumni, with a particular focus on the choice between in-person, online, and hybrid learning models. His Femme-BA series highlights business schools that not only excel academically but also take unique and robust steps to support a diverse and inclusive learning environment for women.