Broward College introduces Risk Management concentration area
Students who pursue an A.S. degree in Business Administration now have the opportunity to specialize in Risk Management.
The specialization, which was launched two years ago, allows students to obtain three different licenses to work in the insurance industry. This is part of a new law that establishes that degree-seeking students who take three insurance courses as part of their program of study will receive licenses 2-15 (Health & Life), 20-44 (Personal lines), and 4-40 (Customer Representative) exam-free after they graduate with their associate or bachelor’s degree.
Students graduating with these licenses can go into different career paths within the insurance industry such as insurance sales representative, underwriter, agent, producer, director, and more. Starting salary ranges from $37,000 a year as an underwriter to $137,000 as a manager/director.
“In my previous career, I was a physical therapist so I was used to dealing with health insurance. I became curious about exploring the other side of it, the business side,” said Broward College graduate Yveline Belizaire, who specialized in Risk Management.
She decided to do so because of the vast sea of possibilities within the industry.
“I’m working right now as a licensed agent, I sell life insurance with a company called Combined Insurance,” she said. “But the opportunities within this field are endless,” Belizaire says that studying Risk Management also provided her with several other career opportunities. She recommends students consider the specialization as a backup plan within their majors regardless of the pathway.
Due to the close partnership between the College and the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA), Broward College graduates have an increased chance of finding a job within the industry faster than graduates from other universities in South Florida.
“A lot of insurance companies that are aware of the program are interested in working with our students by providing them internships and job opportunities,” explained Fortin Jean-Pierre, senior specialist of the career and technical education programs at Broward College, who is also responsible for the introduction of the specialization.
Through the partnership with the FAIA, the College also organizes “mixers” where members of the FAIA speak and recruit students for jobs within the industry. According to Jean-Pierre, the mixers have been a success with students getting job offers through the event. Currently, the insurance industry is facing a decline in the number of employees because of the lack of young people entering the field.
“The problem is that a majority of the people who work in insurance are getting ready to retire,” said Jean-Pierre.
This decline is encouraging employers to come together to incentivize young people to pursue careers within the field. Because of the potential of increased job opportunities in the industry, Broward College is working on expanding the program to a bachelor’s degree.
In addition to internships and job opportunities, the FAIA, through their Good Works Foundation, also provides a scholarship of $500 to students admitted to the program. The eligibility criteria include a 2.75 GPA and a grade of ‘B’ or better in the three RM courses, and to be a degree-seeking student.
For a chance to network with professionals within this booming industry and learn more about it, check out the RMI Career Social on April 3.
To learn more about Risk Management, visit http://www.broward.edu/academics/programs/business/Pages/risk-management-insurance-specialization.aspx.