United States Risk Management Certification
Risk management certification is an opportunity to develop a specialty in evaluating risk for businesses and agencies. Risk management certificate programs typically prepare you to work in insurance or financial industries, but you will also have a chance to learn to analyze business models and build databases for a variety of organizations beyond the private sector.
By monitoring information systems to ensure a business’s safety as they extend their customer base and investments, a risk management certificate prepares you to advise a company on risks to avoid, ones that may lead to growth, and how to recover or stay protected in the case of an emergency, such as a natural disaster.
Risk management certificates can be earned online, on-campus, or through a combination of the two.
Did You Know?
The 2018 Global Risks report released by the World Economic Forum projects the greatest risk for businesses to be online security attacks, data theft, and environmental disaster.
The Basics of Risk Management Certification
You will have the opportunity for a focus on learning the tools for measuring a company’s risk and identifying areas for improvement or development, such as:
- Documenting and communicating key internal and external risks
- Examining communication systems to enhance information exchange
- Making recommendations to an organization's leaders to reduce risk
- Identifying key stakeholders in an organization or industry
- Designing systems to predict and monitor possible threats
- Evaluating human resources and the health of a company
- Suggesting a logistical response to a crisis
Some certificate programs have a particular focus on incorporating social and psychological issues into evaluating how well an organization is being run and their level of exposure to risk. In this model, risk management professionals learn to understand how individual businesses
define their capital—and, thus, how to plan to avoid capital loss and encourage growth.
The effect on the public and employees is measured differently by risk management professionals depending on their industry.
What’s the Difference Between Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Management?
Traditional models for understanding risk management encourage professionals to evaluate risk solely at the departmental level in a business. Degree programs using this risk model often look at a company as composed of units with their own risk factors independent from the rest of the company or industry.
The risk management professional’s role in this view is to focus on protecting loss in their individual department rather than to consider the stake of the entire company or other sectors. The definition of a risk in this view is more frequently financial loss. Solutions or strategies for managing a risk usually emerge from the interest of each individual department, and problems are viewed as separate from their industry.
While it is often difficult for a risk professional to be fluent in the risk of each of the company’s departments, enterprise risk management certificate programs tend to encourage a more holistic view of evaluating a company's health and vulnerability to risk. There is a larger focus on sustainability for the business as a whole.
Proposed solutions often include an inter-departmental approach, one made through decisions of a board. Enterprise risk management programs typically include coursework to help advance communication strategies in their students.
Therefore, as risk management professionals, they learn to share the needs and concerns of their unit to other members of the company more clearly.
However, some certificate programs and professional societies teach a combination of these two approaches. It is important to consider the philosophical approach to risk management that meshes with your goals before enrolling in a certificate program.
Common Risk Management Certificate Courses
The range of those who seek to earn a certificate in risk management extends from:
- public service employees to business leaders
- government officials to financial workers
- and to those newly entering the workforce
In order to accommodate the variety of backgrounds and the goals of their students, many risk management certificate programs structure coursework to extend across a variety of industries. Risk management professionals have multiple options for the work environment of their career path.
Earning your certificate in risk management trains you to tailor your technical knowledge to fit an organization’s unique needs and to learn how to apply your expertise according to their unique risk regulations.
Often, a certificate program will allow you to pick the classes you enroll in so that you can specialize the course of your study depending on if you plan to work in the private or public sectors. Students often specialize their coursework to whatever prior degrees or work experience they have or hope to pursue upon completion.
Many risk management professionals have some knowledge or experience with information technology and computer software.
Below you will find a sampling of just a few of the classes you may take during a certificate program in risk management.
- External Stakeholder Requirements
- Disaster Management
- Insurance Risk Management
- Traditional Risk and External Risk Management Practices
- Enterprise Risk Planning and Compliance
- Value-Based Enterprise Risk Management
- Operational Risk Management
- Risk Control
- Business Continuity Management
- Financial Risk Management
Each program has its own course offerings, so the names of the courses and the requirements of the certificate will vary between schools. Be sure to check the offerings at your desired institution.
Unless you know 100% what you want in a program, it is important to compare a variety of them to make a choice that fits your goals and needs.
In 2018, the Security sector saw revenue amounting to approximately $9,960 million.
Relevant Background and Preparation
While many risk management certification programs welcome a student body with diverse backgrounds and levels of exposure to the duties of risk managers, it may be useful to already have some risk management work experience or relevant coursework under your belt before starting a program.
In your certificate program, you will often study:
- Auditing practices
- Operation systems
- Insurance policies and practices
- Organizational structure
A background in any of these fields is helpful, but not required by all programs.
Formats for Earning a Certificate in Risk Management
There are several organizations to choose from in order to earn your certificate in risk management. Some universities offer certificate programs, but there are also private institutes and professional societies that offer a certificate and risk management testing program.
These certificates are often earned by taking a formal exam in-person or online; you can study on your own or enroll in a preparatory course.
Each certificate program has their own admission requirements, but often a program affiliated with a university requires a minimum of an associate’s degree or an equivalent amount of hours of risk management work experience in order to enroll. You should contact each school to find out their specific application requirements.
Many of the certificate programs offer online, on-campus, or a blend of learning environments in which you may earn your certificate. Based on your particular learning style, you could adjust the course structure to work effectively for you and your needs.
Programs vary in their estimated time for completion, but most programs suggest the certificate program generally takes under a year or so to complete.
Financial Aid and Assistance
If you qualify, some universities may offer financial aid in the form of loans, graduate assistantships, or payment plans.
In addition, some programs are flexible regarding your enrollment status, so you may take courses at a part-time status. Arrangements like this could make it possible for you to keep working and earning money as you earn your certificate.
It is recommended that you contact each certificate program to find out what aid and academic accommodations and support you may be qualified for.
What Jobs Do Risk Management Certified Graduates Do?
With your graduate certificate in risk management, you may jumpstart a career in the public or the private business sector, depending on your personal interests and career goals.
The technical skills acquired in your certificate program should prepare you to:
- Plan and make decisions for most companies to reduce their exposure to the unique risks of their industries
- Adjust to the changes in their particular markets
- Recover after a loss or crisis
- Create a sustainable business plan for the future while taking human factors into consideration.
You will be able to help companies better manage their costs and navigate uncertain regulatory environments.
As a risk management professional, you may be employed by local or state government agencies in addition to private companies and hospitals.
Job tasks may include preparing reports, implementing new operational systems, monitoring information flow, communicating procedures through departments, and making recommendations for organizational changes. You may be employed in a variety of roles within a corporate structure from coordinating administrative services to auditing and other financial services to planning emergency procedures for medical facilities.
For risk management professionals who work for governmental agencies, job responsibilities typically encompasses working with communities to adequately use resources, planning for disasters, disseminating urgent information to the public, and responding to urgent public health crises.
While there are a variety of career possibilities for those with a certificate in risk management, you may use this certificate to pursue these positions in your desired industry.
How Much Can I Earn?
Here are some stats on careers for risk management certificate holders. All salaries are based on the median annual salary offered by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2017.
- Management Analysts: $82,450i
- Operations Research Analysts: $81,390ii
- Computer and Information Systems Managers: $139,220iii
- Emergency Management Directors: $72,760iv
According to the BLS, the projection for the fastest growing occupations from 2016-26 includes several of these career opportunities with information security analysts employment expanding by 28% and employment of operations research analysts reaching a 27% growth rate.v
Take a Shot at a Better Future
You can discover more about a certificate in risk management by clicking on the sponsored listings on this page—the first step in the process of enhancing your career.
To learn more, you may contact each program directly with your questions so that you can find the certificate program that’s perfect for you.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm [ii] bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm [v] bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm
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