Professionals with strong critical thinking skills, a desire to work with a team, and the dedication to maintain the highest level of professional ethics may be drawn to the field of risk management. For professionals in the field already, a number of certificate and degree programs exist to tailor interests and develop further expertise in industry-specific areas. Depending on your goals and experience there are a number of options within this comprehensive field. Consider the following:

Many Opportunities

The Project Management Institute endorses many certificates and professional exams for astute leaders to hone in on a specialty within the risk management field. This is one field where education and experience directly relate to opportunity and earnings, so having a detailed short term and long term plan in place when pursuing risk management is a good idea.

Some professionals are introduced to the field through coursework taken in an associate of arts or A.A. two-year degree. Online certificate programs and A.A. degrees can introduce you to the field, but the bigger and better opportunities come along with the bachelor’s, or four year degree, and then with a Master’s which adds another one to two years of education on top of the curriculum one has already completed. With increasing education comes an increased level of trust, responsibility and expertise.

Areas of Development

When you think of risk management, generally financial institutions like banks come to mind. And while identifying and diminishing monetary risks is one job description of a risk management professional, there are many others across nearly all global industries. In construction settings, risk managers are involved in managing projects to minimize financial risks, as well as physical risks to workers. In healthcare settings, risk managers are involved in teams that look at everything from equipment issues, to patient confidentiality, to financial data management, to air quality and other internal operational issues. Nearly all industries use the expertise of risk managers who often work alongside other team members, including executives, IT professionals, external regulatory officials, and managerial representatives from a wide variety of departments or sectors. Risk managers are a versatile group of professionals who are essential to 21st century business settings.

Value

As businesses expand to meet the needs and challenges of doing business globally, the detailed acumen and highly regarded ethics of risk managers are called into action. Securing additional training in a specialized area to underscore your commitment to the field, and marketability to hiring professionals, might inspire you to seek additional credentials. When comparing programs, be sure you are looking for programs that are internationally recognized and ranked on the top-tier. You want to be sure that the program is regionally accredited and that the certificate is recognized by professional organizations like the Project Management Institute. Not only will you receive the best value for your money when you pursue an advanced degree, you will also gain invaluable mentorship and on-going networking opportunities through associating with peers who are also among the elite.

Conclusion

With the growing diversity in global expansion and the multitude of online degree programs, professionals seeking advancement have many opportunities for personal development, even in tight economic times. The field of risk management offers many exciting opportunities for skilled professionals who want to advance in this highly regarded field. If you’d like a little variation in work settings over the course of your professional life, then you can apply your current knowledge in a specialized education program and transition to a different arena. If you have already found your niche, seeking additional education in your area of specialty may help assure you maintain the most current knowledge in your field and can also provide essential networking opportunities. Risk managers are among the most trusted team members in a corporate setting; rising to the top of your game through experience and increased education can help secure your competitive edge as global competition intensifies.

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