Online Master's Degree in Risk Management

Masters in risk management online programs combine key concepts in mathematics, statistics, financial theory, and legal studies to teach a holistic approach to the various challenges and risks facing businesses and organizations of all sizes.

Technology’s Impact on Risk Management

According to a 2018 study by Accenture, 26% of employees at banks are ready to work with AI technology, but only 3% of the 475 banking, insurance, and capital markets risk executives surveyed plan to significantly increase investments in re-skilling their employees.

All About Earning a Masters in Risk Management Online

Through an in-depth analysis of the unique risks and challenges facing modern businesses, while pursuing a risk management masters online you will analyze topics such as:

  • Strategies to evaluate and mitigate potential disruptions
  • Identify potential threats, risks, and vulnerabilities
  • Create and implement resiliency planning, prevention, crisis management, business continuity management, and recovery

These topics and others allow you to examine the different types of risk management and the techniques and methods used by different businesses and industries to offer risk mitigation.

Admissions Requirements

Though every program is different, many schools have similar admissions requirements that include:

  • Completed application
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Official transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume

For applicants whose native language is not English, many schools require that you submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of your application.

Keep in mind that every school has unique admissions requirements. For example, some schools may require an interview, while many don’t.

As a result, be sure to check with a variety of programs to find ones that meet your expectations and goals.

Common Courses

Pursuing an online risk management master’s degree means analyzing current research and methods in finance, mathematics, and data analytics. As a result, typically your curriculum includes courses in each of these topics and how they apply to risk management.

In certain cases, courses may focus on a specific industry or field, such as insurance or finance, as these are two of the most common fields for the application of risk analysis and mitigation.

Some of the common courses include:

  • Fraud Management
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Securities Analysis
  • Risk Analysis Methods
  • Applications of Analytics and Technology to Insurance
  • Principles of Risk and Insurance
  • Practical Enterprise Risk Management
  • Corporate Risk Management
  • Options and Derivatives
  • Portfolio Optimization and Asset Management

Keep in mind that every program has a unique design. As a result, similar courses may have a different name from school to school even though they cover many of the same topics. In addition, choosing a concentration or an MBA program with a risk management concentration may alter your curriculum.

Possible Concentrations

While many online master’s degree programs in risk management do not offer a concentration, there are some programs that have options available, such as:

  • Financial Risk Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Business Continuity, Security, and Risk Management
  • Economic Crime and Fraud Management

Sometimes, the different types of risk management online master’s programs aren’t necessarily a concentration, but instead a different focus for your degree. For instance, many financial risk management or enterprise risk management programs are their own degree.

On the other hand, some programs offer masters of risk management online degrees as a specialization for a master of business administration (MBA) or a master of science in accounting or finance degree.

Be sure to check out the differences between these types of programs, including curriculum and the careers they prepare you for so that you can find the perfect program for you.

How to Earn Your Risk Management Master’s Online

Earning a risk management masters online usually takes full-time students one to two years to complete. However, many programs offer part-time options to provide you with even more flexibility.

For example, at many schools, taking one course a semester means you may earn your degree in three years. This, mixed with the ability of performing coursework whenever it is convenient for you, is one of the main reasons why online graduate programs continue to gain popularity.

In fact, 85% of students who have experienced both in-person and virtual classrooms fee that online learning is as good or better than attending courses on campus.

Capstone or Thesis Project

Many online risk management master’s programs require that you complete a capstone or thesis in order to earn your degree. Some programs connect you with companies that have been approved by the school and your capstone project works like a consulting job, where you complete certain projects for the company.

In other programs, this project is a thesis paper that may include a presentation to faculty and other students.

However, not all programs don’t have this requirement, so be sure to check with a variety of schools for the specific graduation requirements before applying.

Benefits of Online Learning for Risk Management Master’s Degrees

In addition to the added flexibility that online programs provide, according to a recent study by Aslanian Market Research and LearningHouse, 57% of past and current online students report that interactions with classmates are very important to their academic success.

As a result, many online risk management master’s programs make sure to make online students an active part of the overall school community by encouraging interaction between campus and online students via:

  • Email
  • Course discussion forums
  • Web conferencing

This gives students an opportunity to learn about different career experiences, academic backgrounds, and cultures by interacting with members of both cohorts.

What Is Risk Analysis?

Risk analysis is the process of considering all of the different things that can go wrong with a project, company, or industry. This process assesses the likelihood of an adverse event occurring and the underlying uncertainty that may impact the business.

Risk Analysis and Risk Management

As one of the key components of risk management, many online master’s programs analyze the process of risk analysis, which includes both qualitative and quantitative risk analysis.

The steps include:

  • Identify potential risks
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative risk analysis is applied
  • Create contingency plan

Understanding the process of a risk analysis helps you examine the different risks, the severity of each outcome, and helps you provide different solutions to offer risk mitigation.

Elements of Risk Management

As risk management focuses on helping businesses, organizations, and individuals reduce or avoid risk, the process goes beyond simply a risk analysis. However, the risk analysis is incorporated into any strong risk management plan.

In fact, risk management isn’t a one-time process that is never thought of again once completed. Instead, risk management is an ongoing process and includes seven steps:

  1. Identify risks (through a risk analysis)
  2. Avoid projects and actions that trigger risks you don’t want to face
  3. Develop opportunities that may be of strategic value
  4. Reduce threats presented by ongoing operations by identifying and creating specific mitigation efforts
  5. Shift threats that cannot be mitigated (through insurance, joint ventures, etc.)
  6. Accept the remaining risks
  7. Improve your risk management over time through effective training and other programs

This process helps companies understand the different risks they face and offers solutions to reduce those risks and the impact of the unavoidable ones.

Types of Risk Management

The different types of risk management are analyzed while earning an online degree. These include the different types of risk and the various solutions that a business or organization can use to avoid, reduce, or accept the risks facing their business.

In addition to the types of risk and solutions, many programs also teach how to communicate the types of risk facing a specific business or operation and how to present various solutions to stakeholders and decision makers.

Types of Risk

There are five common types of risk, which are:

  1. Financial Risk
  2. Operational Risk
  3. Reputational Risk
  4. Strategic Risk
  5. Compliance Risk

However, there are other types of risk that can’t easily be categorized, such as natural disasters, or political and economic instability. These risks still need to be analyzed, especially when entering new countries, developing new products, and when expanding a business.

Ways to Overcome Risks

While understanding the different types of risk is important, it is incomplete knowledge without also understanding the different solutions and the scenarios in which they should be used.

Some of the different ways to overcome risks include:

  • Avoidance of risk: Is when a business or organization refuses to engage in activities known or perceived to carry risk, though this strategy also results in lost revenue potential.
  • Risk mitigation: This solution lessens any negative consequences or the impact of specific, known risks, and is most often used when risks are unavoidable.
  • Transfer of risk: One of the most common types of transferring risk is the purchase of different types of insurance, which transfers the risk to the insurance company in exchange for the premium.
  • Risk acceptance: Some risk is unavoidable, which means that a company has to accept it as a part of doing business, and is a good strategy when the anticipated profits from this business activity outweighs the potential risk.

Keep in mind that there are many other solutions to risk management, which apply to different businesses, organizations, industries, or in specific situations.

Understanding the various solutions, along with the key concepts of finance, mathematics, and statistics, is a core concept while earning a risk management masters online.

Difference Between Risk Management and Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise risk management is an extension of traditional risk management, only with more of an emphasis on strategic applications, the number of risks considered, and the metrics used to analyze performance.

On the other hand, traditional risk management is less focused on integrating into an entire company or organization and instead usually centers around a finance team that makes decisions that impact the entire company.

Key Topics in Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is integrated into every aspect of an organization and effects all of the business decisions.

Over the last number of years, enterprise risk management has been a common degree offered by schools, especially as businesses want all of their employees to be able to understand the types of risk.

As a result, ERM online master’s programs focus on:

  • Developing analyses on quantitative and qualitative data to estimate the likelihood and severity of different risks
  • Understand how risk impacts different areas of a business
  • Develop business continuity plans and disaster recovery frameworks

These, and other topics, teach how risk effects every aspect of a business and how to develop strategies to overcome these risk or reduce their impact on an organization’s bottom line.

Careers with a Master’s in Risk Management Online

After earning a risk management online master’s degree, there are a number of careers that you can pursue. Keep in mind that each of the positions listed below don’t require a master’s degree, though employers may prefer candidates with one.i

In addition, typically financial managers have five years or more of experience in another business or financial occupation, such as an accountant or financial analyst.ii

Some of the potential careers, and the 2017 median annual salary according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are:

  • Financial Analyst: $84,300iii
  • Financial Managers: $125,080iv
  • Credit Analyst: $71,290v
  • Operation Research Analyst: $84,390vi
  • Budget Analyst: $75,240vii

While these careers each have similar functions, there are differences in responsibilities and day-to-day tasks. For instance, operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations solve problems.viii

On the other hand, financial managers produce financial reports and develop strategies for the long-term financial goals of the organization.ix

Did You Know?

The number of actuaries, another potential career for those with a risk management master’s degree, are projected to increase 22% from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS.x

Find the Perfect Masters in Risk Management Online Program for You!

If you’re interested in learning and applying the different techniques in helping companies and organizations reduce risk, click on any of the sponsored listings on this page.

There, you’ll learn about the various masters in risk management online programs, discover the curriculum for each of the schools, and learn how to apply today!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm#tab-4 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm#tab-4 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/oes/current/oes132041.htm [vi] bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm#tab-5 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm#tab-5 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm#tab-2 [ix] bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm#tab-2 [x] bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm#tab-6

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