The survey highlights the top 20 schools in the U.S. offering risk management and insurance programs.
The insurance industry offers a variety of rewarding careers and an educational foundation in the risk management and insurance (RMI) field can be a great place to start. For those looking to pursue a career in the RMI field, universities have strong programs, according to the 2022 AM Best Review survey.
The survey highlights the top 20 schools that received the most votes, with Eastern Kentucky University receiving the highest number of votes, benefiting from its online program amid COVID-19 shutdowns. More than 300 industry professionals participated in this year's poll.
Here are the top 20:
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Appalachian State University
- Olivet College
- Florida State University
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- California State University, Fullerton
- University of Georgia
- University of Alabama
- Temple University
- St. John's University
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- Illinois State University
- Baylor University
- Indiana State University
- Troy University
- University of Cincinnati
- East Carolina University
- Georgia State University
- Mississippi State University
- Saint Joseph's University
In the survey, the EKU program was hailed for the real-world experience it provides students, from offering a study abroad program and placing students in well-paying jobs and constructive internships to offering top-notch online instruction, according to AM Best.
“The program director organizes meetings and career fairs with agents and carriers to promote recruitment of students," said Ashley Hacker, a client service manager at Gallagher Global Brokerage, who attended EKU.
It certainly helped, Gardner says, that EKU was one of the first colleges to offer a fully online RMI degree program. “We try to make available to our online learners many of the experiences that our face-to-face students have,"
Average base salaries for insurance professionals increased nearly 12.6% between 2019 and 2021, according to a survey by RIMS, the risk management society. That means universities with RMI programs make great starting points for companies seeking to recruit next-generation talent. Notably, this increase was nearly equal between men and women in the U.S., with male professionals seeing an increase of 12.5% and female professionals seeing an increase of 12.8%, according to the survey.
Further highlighted is the fact that education is key to a solid career foundation and progression, as U.S. executives with responsibilities relating to director of insurance and risk management saw nearly a $19,000 salary increase over the two-year period, the largest increase among those surveyed.
“With business leaders leaning heavily on their risk management teams to address volatility, disruption and uncertainty, the importance of investing in this critical business function has never been more apparent," RIMS CEO Mary Roth said. “Beyond managing adversity, risk professionals are bringing solutions to strategic conversations that empower resilience and drive innovation. These compensation increases reflect the undeniable value risk professionals contribute to their organizations' success."
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.