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Online Colleges for Insurance & Risk Management

Whether you want to warn companies about their exposure to liabilities or help them take steps to minimize their vulnerability, the field of insurance and risk management can be an exciting, if "risky," adventure. With so much riding on the decisions made , it's not a career for the faint of heart, but neither is it one for the uneducated. People who seek careers in insurance and risk management need a good education to learn the basics and potentially earn the professional designations that carry clout in the industry. They also need to master the intangibles, such as good communication, creativity and problem-solving skills. It all starts with education, though, so read on to learn more about our featured online colleges in insurance and risk management and the highlights of their degree programs.

Featured Online Colleges for Insurance and Risk Management

Students who seek to work as insurance underwriters, appraisers, claims adjusters and examiners, or financial planners are better positioned for success and advancement in their careers by earning a degree in insurance and risk management. We complied the following list of online colleges in insurance and risk management using data provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) that were analyzed using a unique methodology. Additional details on our ranking system are at the bottom of this page - or read on to learn more about our featured online colleges for insurance and risk management.

1

Indiana State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$8,580
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
36.44%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
50
School Type
4-year

The first school on our list, Indiana State University, is a four-year public institution that was founded in 1865 at Terre Haute, IN. Total enrollment in fall of 2016 was 13,565 students… and 13 percent of undergraduate students and 41 percent of graduate students at Indiana State University were enrolled in distance-only education programs.

The university's online Bachelor of Science degree in insurance and risk management is one of only 36 such programs in the U.S., and one of only four that offers 11 or more undergraduate classes in the field of insurance and risk management. Coursework includes core study in business education, plus a concentration of nine classes focusing exclusively on insurance and risk management. The program -- which was developed in conjunction with the Insurance Advisory Council -- is available to first-time college students, as well as students considering transferring into ISU.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Location:

210 N. 7th
St. Terre Haute, IN
2

Southeast Technical Institute

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$5,280
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35.96%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
11
School Type
2-year

Students seeking to enter the insurance field quickly may want to consider earning an associate degree in insurance and risk management at Southeast Technical Institute. STI offers an online Associate of Applied Science in financial services degree program that requires 68 total credits and two years of full-time study to complete. First-year coursework is designed to ground students in the principles of accounting and business law and business communications, as well as building technical competency in Microsoft Office. Second-year students are expected to take courses specific to the following aspects of the insurance industry:

  • Casualty, property and commercial insurance
  • Claims
  • Operations and regulations
  • Life and health insurance

All online faculty at Southeast Technical Institute have received special training in online teaching methods. Coursework for the financial services program is developed and reviewed annually by industry professionals and advisory committees to ensure STI delivers timely and pertinent education.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

2320 N. Career Ave.
Sioux Falls, S.D.
3

Franklin University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,641
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
84.48%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
46
School Type
4-year

With an annual enrollment of nearly 10,000 students, this non-profit college is the second-largest private university in the state of Ohio. Franklin University also has campus locations in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as its online college. The university offers interested students an online Bachelor of Science in insurance and risk management degree program, for which the curriculum includes:

  • 28 credits of study in core business courses
  • 24 credits of study in the program major
  • 8 credits of study in major electives

Coursework in the program major and electives includes classes such as insurance company operations, global finance, fraud examination, principles of risk management and insurance, and a host of similar offerings.

The university is very amicable to transfer students -- you can transfer up to 94 semester hours of previously earned college credit into the program at Franklin University. Almost 90 percent of all students at the university transfer credits from other institutions into on-campus or online degree programs.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

201 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus Ohio
4

University of Houston-Downtown Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$5,826
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45.63%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
16
School Type
4-year

Rounding out our list of featured online colleges for insurance and risk management is University of Houston-Downtown, one of four institutions in the University of Houston System. The downtown campus had an enrollment of 14,251 students in fall of 2016. That same year, about 15 percent of the university's undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in distance-only programs.

The online Bachelor of Business Administration in insurance and risk management degree program at the University of Houston serves a dual purpose. As students earn credits toward their degree, they also complete coursework structured to prepare them to take examinations for the following widely recognized professional designations:

  • Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter
  • Certified Risk Manager
  • Chartered Financial Consultant
  • Chartered Life Underwriter

All coursework for the program is offered online, but students who reside in the Houston area also have the option of engaging in high-impact learning experiences -- such as industry meetings, group projects and oral presentations -- to help them hone the interpersonal skills necessary to thrive in the field of insurance and risk management. Houston-area students can also undertake paid internships with leading Houston businesses.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Location:

1 Main St.
Houston, Texas

Degree Overview: Insurance and Risk Management

IT management is a job that requires seeing the big picture and the little picture at the same time. At times, it can seem a little bit like being able to see into the technological future. Succeeding in this fast-paced field requires considerable education -- the kind found in online programs for IT management. Here's an overview of the kinds of courses students can expect from these programs, as well as the skillsets they may acquire while taking them.

Online IT Management Courses

Typically, earning an IT management position requires a bachelor's degree and preexisting professional experience, so these programs are usually offered at the graduate level. However, online bachelor's degree programs in IT management do exist -- usually as concentrations in a related major, such as business administration. Completing such a program does not guarantee you early access to an IT management position or anything of the sort, but it can prepare you for the rigors of an IT management master's degree program in a way students may find more relatable than a related degree, such as information technology or computer programming.

Students earning online master's degrees in IT management should expect to study not only information systems and computer-related topics, but also business subjects such as risk management, leadership, quality assurance and financial analysis. Much of the work of IT managers is technical project management -- seeing a computer-related project from conception all the way through planning and implementation. This means that project management is a large part of the coursework students will encounter, across all degree levels.

Courses offered in an online IT management master's degree program may include:

  • Information systems
  • Project management essentials
  • Computer systems security
  • Business ethics
  • Enterprise systems architecture
  • Contracts and procurement
  • Analytics and data management
  • IT regulatory and legal environment

Additionally, many online graduate programs for IT management include capstone courses, which are courses that ask students to demonstrate learning throughout their program, as well as proctored exams. Some Master of Science programs may even include thesis projects supervised by faculty members, which require students to conduct significant research.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

Aside from the technical skills IT managers must have, there are a number of personal qualities they'll find important for doing this work. In general, IT managers should be confident and skilled with technology but also strong business leaders. Colleges offering online IT management degree programs are structured to emphasize skills such as:

  • Analytical skills: Part of establishing goals and coming up with ways to reach them is analyzing information about what's been done in the past. IT managers need to be able to collect and interpret data, then use their findings in order to make important decisions about future actions to take.
  • Business savvy: Ultimately, the work of IT managers is meant to help businesses find success. This means working with vendors and negotiating deals on equipment to keep costs down; devising plans to train teams; and communicating strategies to fellow workers. IT managers should be comfortable working in business settings and using financial, marketing, negotiating and project-management practices.
  • Leadership skills: An IT manager is a leader of a team. It's his or her job to communicate plans, delegate responsibilities based on people's strengths, motivate people to do their best work and offer corrections when necessary. Management skills are very important in this work.
  • Organizational skills: Being a project manager often means juggling a lot of tasks and staff members at one time. This requires a good eye for detail and organization, in order to ensure that all parts and projects are running smoothly.

Insurance and Risk Management Career Outlook

Insurance and risk managing professionals play a vital role in helping individuals and businesses navigate the murky future of the business world. Their skills are already in high demand, and the BLS predicts that financial careers such as theirs are only going to become more necessary in years to come. Students who earn degrees in insurance and risk management often find work in one of the following careers:

Actuaries
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$114,120
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
11,700
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
18.1
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
People who work in actuarial careers are data gurus. They spend their days analyzing statistical data for financial cost regarding uncertainty and risk. They provide data-driven estimates and probabilities regarding the economic cost of certain events, such as death, accident or disaster. Actuaries also create and implement insurance policies, pension plans and related business services to help mitigate risk and increase revenue. If you want to work as an actuary, be prepared to spend a lot of time behind a computer creating reports with charts, tables and graphs that explain the results of your intensive data scouring. You should also be quick on your feet; you'll be defending the results of your findings in meetings with company executives, corporate shareholders, government officials and other interested stakeholders. Actuaries must have at least a bachelor's degree, and they must pass a series of exams to become certified as well.
Insurance Underwriters
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$75,480
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
19,500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
-11.4
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
Insurance underwriters review applications for insurance policies to gauge risk and evaluate the acceptability of applicants. Using standardized criteria and underwriting software, these professionals carefully examine applications and make the tough decision as to whether a new client is too risky to insure. They often contact other professionals in the insurance field or in a field related to the type of insurance being applied for (i.e. medical professionals for health insurance, or automotive professionals for auto insurance) before making the determination on whether or not to offer coverage, as well as to establish the premiums that applicants must pay for insurance. According to the BLS, most companies prefer candidates that have earned a bachelor's degree. Underwriters with three years of experience can earn the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. There are other designations available in the field as well.
Insurance Appraisers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$65,930
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
3,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
-1.2
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Postsecondary nondegree award
Also known as an "insurance inspector," insurance appraisers investigate and evaluate insurance claims depending on the type of company for which they work. Some work as auto damage appraisers, inspecting vehicles that have been involved in accidents. Others inspect businesses and other real property that's been damaged to estimate cost of repair or replacement. Students who want to work in insurance appraiser careers are not required to have completed postsecondary education, but according to the BLS, companies prefer job candidates who hold formal training relevant to their fields. Licensure to work as an appraiser varies from state to state, the BLS adds.
Claims Adjusters
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$64,990
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
84,000
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3.3
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
High school diploma or equivalent
After an appraiser has established what happened in an accident, a claim becomes the responsibility of a claims adjuster. These professionals interview claimants and witnesses, review police reports, and oftentimes consult with business professionals such as accountants, engineers or lawyers to confirm an appraiser's findings and resolve any payments, repairs or complaints. The bulk of the day for people working in claims adjuster careers is spent gathering information and conducting detailed research. With particularly troublesome claims, adjusters might seek legal counsel or contact claimant's medical professionals to gather additional data. People in entry-level claims adjuster careers can sometimes get started in the career with nothing more than a high school education; however, employees often prefer to hire adjusters who have earned bachelor's degrees.
Personal Financial Advisors
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$123,100
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
136,400
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
29.6
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
Personal financial advisors help people set up investment portfolios, as well as college, estate and retirement savings plans. They provide insight and guidance to help clients better manage their personal finances. Personal financial advisor careers can be remarkably rewarding; work centers around helping people realize both short- and long-term goals. The help of a financial advisor may be the key that sends a young student to college, or allows a family to purchase a new home, or enables a hard-working senior citizen to finally retire. Most personal financial advisor careers involve specialization in a certain area, such as retirement or financial risk management. There are a range of certifications required at the state and federal levels to buy or sell different financial products -- such as stocks, bonds or annuities -- or to sell insurance; specializing helps financial advisors to narrow down which kinds of certifications they want or need to earn. Most professionals in this field need at least a bachelor's degree, but employers often prefer to hire advisors who hold master's degrees and already have their certifications earned.
Sources and Methodologies

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor's) in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on five criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

Sources:

  1. Insurance and Risk Management B.S., Indiana State University, https://www.indstate.edu/academics/online/undergraduate/irm
  2. College Navigator, Distance Education Status, Indiana State University, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=IN&l=93&md=0&pg=2&id=151324
  3. Financial Services, Insurance, Southeast Technical Institute, https://southeasttech.edu//programs/ViewProgram.aspx?id=18&ContentID=0
  4. Financial Services: Insurance Emphasis Online, Southeast Technical Institute, http://catalog.southeasttech.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=13&poid=1514&returnto=5280
  5. Risk Management and Insurance Degree Program, Franklin University, http://www.franklin.edu/risk-management-insurance-degree-program
  6. Risk Management & Insurance Bachelor of Science Degree, Franklin University, https://www.franklin.edu/risk-management-insurance-bachelors-degree
  7. Transferring Credit, Franklin University, https://www.franklin.edu/getting-started/transferring-credit
  8. Bachelor of Business Administration - Insurance and Risk Management, University of Houston Downtown, https://www.uhd.edu/academics/business/undergraduate-programs/irm/Pages/default.aspx
  9. Undergraduate Distance Education Status, College Navigator, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=TX&l=93&md=0&pg=8&id=225432
  10. Business and Financial Occupations, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
  11. Actuaries, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm#tab-2
  12. Claims Adjusters, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/claims-adjusters-appraisers-examiners-and-investigators.htm#tab-2
  13. Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/claims-adjusters-appraisers-examiners-and-investigators.htm#tab-1
  14. Insurance Underwriters, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/insurance-underwriters.htm#tab-1
  15. Insurance Underwriters, Onet Online, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2053.00
  16. Personal Financial Advisors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm
  17. * Online Master's of Science in Insurance Management, Boston University, Accessed September 2017, https://www.bu.edu/online/programs/graduate-programs/insurance-management/
  18. *Certificate in Risk Management, University of Southern Maine, Accessed September 2017, https://usm.maine.edu/school-of-business/certificate-risk-management-and-insurance
  19. *Ph.D in Actuarial Science, Risk Management, and Insurance, Wisconsin School of Business, Accessed September 2017, https://wsb.wisc.edu/programs-degrees/doctoral-phd/areas-of-study/actuarial-science-risk-management-insurance
  20. * Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), FINRA, Accessed September 2017, https://www.finra.org/investors/professional-designations/clu
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Sources and Methodologies