Risk Management – A Growing Career Field

May 6th, 2014 by

Risk Management ConceptRisk management is certainly not a new field of study, but it becoming an increasingly popular college major choice for students who want to work in the criminal justice field. Traditionally, risk management degrees were a way to prepare for a career as an insurance underwriter, an actuary or a financial analyst. The risk in these positions is not physical or emotional, but instead financial.

Risk management professionals train to advise companies on whether investing in certain stocks or insuring certain individuals is a smart move statistically.

Today, risk management is expanding to include the field of criminal justice. A risk management degree from an accredited online college can help you break into the world of criminal justice, and this guide can explain every step of the way.

The Role of Risk Management in Criminal Justice

The first step in securing a career in both risk management and criminal justice is understanding the connection between these two fields. In the past those who worked in risk management dealt with insurance or finance, and those involved in criminal justice were more likely to be lawyers, police officers or administrative professionals.

However, the field of criminal justice is increasingly reliant on statistics to determine whether a candidate would be a good fit for a police position, whether a criminal is likely to become a repeat offender and what factors could reduce crime in certain areas.

For example, analysis of collected data might reveal that those with multiple moving violations end up with unsuccessful careers in law enforcement, helping hiring managers to determine which candidates should be hired after a recruiting session. Alternatively, research among risk management professionals might show that high temperatures correlate to a greater number of crimes, resulting in an increased number of police officers on duty during the hottest summer evenings.

Risk Management Careers in the Criminal Justice Field

With the understanding that the collection and analysis of data can help professionals in criminal justice better understand the cause of crimes and how to prevent criminals from becoming repeat offenders, there is a growing desire for criminal justice organizations to hire skilled risk management professionals. Potential careers to consider that combine risk management with daily involvement with the criminal justice system might include that of occupational safety analyst, criminal profiler, management analysts or city crime analyst.

Choosing the Right Degree in Risk Management

If your primary objective when earning a college degree is to secure a career after graduation, you have three major degree choices to select from. The first, an associate degree, takes just two years to complete. While this degree covers the bases of risk management, it might not be sufficient for many government or city positions, which demand a minimum of four years of college education.

The second option, a bachelor’s degree, is the most common choice for college students. Although it takes an average of four years to complete, it will do the best job of preparing you for a whole range of mid-level and potentially even management positions with the federal government, a penitentiary system or a local sheriff’s office.

For those who want to secure some of the most high-level careers in the industry, earning a master’s degree may be an even better option. These advanced graduate degrees take anywhere from one to two years to complete, but they allow you to focus on a niche area and become an expert in your field. Keep in mind that each of these degrees in risk management is available through accredited online colleges as well as most traditional college campuses.

Explore the options to earn your degree online in risk management.

Typical Courses Covered in Your Risk Management Program

Whether you study at the undergraduate or the graduate level, there are a few key courses that will almost certainly be included in your degree syllabus. The primary objective of the degree is to teach students how to collect and analyze data effectively and accurately, so courses like qualitative and quantitative analysis of risk are standards no matter what college you happen to attend. Beyond that, some of the most common subjects for students can include corporate risk management, business ethics, research methods, statistics and analysis.

Choosing Between Online and Traditional Campus Degrees Risk Management

Once you have made up your mind to pursue one of the many criminal justice careers with a risk management degree, you will want to choose between an online degree and a campus degree. In terms of quality of education, acceptance from future employers and caliber of teaching staff, these two degree types are almost identical in every way. However, online degrees bring with them a number of advantages for busy or rural students.

If you don’t live close to a college campus, an online degree program brings the college to you, and all you need is a computer and an Internet connection in order to access recorded or live lectures, lively online classroom discussions and exams. Even if you live close to a college campus, an online degree may be a more convenient and flexible option, particularly if you have family to care for during the day or a job that doesn’t mesh well with late-night or early morning lectures on campus. Believe it or not, an online degree may even end up cheaper than a campus degree, especially when you factor in transport, gas or parking costs into the equation.

Prerequisites for an Online Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in the Field

Anyone ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree at an online college will need to meet a few prerequisites being before accepted and enrolling into the program. While these specific guidelines can vary from college to college, they almost always include the stipulation that applicants have to be 18 at the time of enrollment, have a high school degree or have the equivalent of a general education degree. In addition, some competitive colleges will expect potential students to have SAT or ACT scores, a minimum grade point average on a 4.0 scale and references from previous teachers or employers.

To enroll into a master’s degree program in risk management, the prerequisites are even more advanced, and you may need to have a related undergraduate degree as well as suitable scores on the GRE.

Steps to Follow After Graduation

After completing your degree in risk management, it can feel daunting to head out into the world and apply for a range of jobs in the field of criminal justice. It is important to be realistic about the positions you apply for as well as the salary you hope to receive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics  states that management analysts with bachelor’s degrees can expect to earn a median annual salary of $78,600. With this in mind, fine-tune your resume, head to job fairs and attend all of the interviews you can.

Thanks to accredited online colleges, you can turn online degrees in risk management into fulfilling criminal justice careers that fit your personality and interests. Visit to find out more about the programs and degrees available online.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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