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Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and reacting to the potential loss of financial, physical, and human resources. To keep their operations profitable, businesses of all sizes recruit skilled risk managers who can help them avoid or minimize loss. With data driving organizational decision-making worldwide, risk management professionals are in great demand across many industries.
To help launch your business career, we've ranked the best online bachelor's in risk management programs based on factors like cost and student outcomes. Each profile contains information on a school's admission requirements and tuition. We also provide information about common course offerings and concentration options in these programs.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Risk Management Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 5:
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|1||University of Houston - Downtown||Houston, TX|
|2||Johnson & Wales University||Providence, RI|
|3||Eastern Kentucky University||Richmond, KY|
|4||University of Central Arkansas||Conway, AR|
|5||Ohio Dominican University||Columbus, OH|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Risk Management Programs
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University of Houston - Downtown
|Houston, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 20%||
UHD offers more than 50 certificates and degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management. After completing this comprehensive program, graduates can pursue careers as claims adjusters, insurance agents, and corporate risk analysts.
Program coursework covers foundational topics like financial accounting and marketing principles. Students also delve into supply chain management, learning how to create value by integrating production and the distribution of goods, services, and information. The program prepares graduates to sit for professional certification exams leading to designations as chartered financial consultants and certified life underwriters.
First-year applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and adequate ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants must have at least 15 credits earned with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
Johnson & Wales University
|Providence, RI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 20%||
JWU maintains its flagship campus in Providence, Rhode Island, and serves about 7,300 students. Distance learners at JWU can earn an online bachelor's degree in enterprise risk management. Throughout a career-focused curriculum, students learn to address workplace violence, information theft, and economic terrorism.
Program courses include risk analysis and loss prevention, information security, and enterprise management. Students learn to assess organizational readiness and implement countermeasures against cybersecurity threats. Learners can supplement their risk management major with a human resource management minor.
This program accepts applications on a rolling basis. Prospective students must have at least two years of full-time work experience. The university awards scholarships specifically for online students.
Eastern Kentucky University
|Richmond, KY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Based in Richmond, EKU powers distance education with the Blackboard platform. The university's online offerings include a bachelor's degree in risk management and insurance. This program helps students gain the communication and technical skills needed to work as financial planners and data research analysts.
The program's 120-credit curriculum covers topics like business finance, management information systems, and marketing principles. Learners also examine the legal and ethical environments of business. Six yearly start dates and eight-week classes provide distance learners with ample flexibility.
First-year applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants may apply up to 90 credits toward the degree, which could let them graduate in under a year. EKU offers military tuition discounts and dedicated career services.
University of Central Arkansas
|Conway, AR||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
UCA serves about 11,000 students in over 160 academic programs, including an online bachelor's in risk management. This program operates as a degree completion pathway. Distance learners access asynchronous coursework through the Blackboard Learn platform.
Required courses include the global environment of business and managing finance and capital. Students also learn to assess risk for life, health, property, and liability insurance policies. Learners can gain hands-on experience by completing a relevant internship in their area.
UCA's risk management program boasts a high success rate — 90% of alumni find work in the industry within 30 days of graduation. Applicants with a 2.75 GPA or higher are eligible for unconditional admission.
Ohio Dominican University
|Columbus, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
ODU offers more than 40 career-focused academic programs, including an online bachelor's degree in risk management and insurance. Graduates are prepared for careers as loss control consultants, claims managers, and compliance officers.
Classes are eight-weeks long, and distance learners have the option to take some evening courses at ODU's campus in Columbus. Coursework includes project management, operations of insurance companies, and commercial property-casualty analysis. ODU guarantees internship placements to students who complete the program's first 60 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA
Applicants need a minimum 2.3 GPA and strong ACT or SAT scores. ODU waives standardized testing requirements for students with a minimum 2.7 GPA. The university also offers a dual-degree track that allows learners to earn a bachelor's in risk management and an MBA in five years.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Risk Management Program?
The best online bachelor's in risk management programs cover core business topics and help students develop specialized skills in areas like information security and insurance liability.
To earn an online bachelor's in risk management, students must complete at least 120 credits of coursework. Additionally, they often engage in practical training and capstone experiences. Learners typically graduate in four years. However, some colleges and universities deliver accelerated tracks that let students earn their bachelor's in less time.
The best online bachelor's in risk management programs cover core business topics and help students develop specialized skills in areas like information security and insurance liability. Students often take core courses in managerial finance, business analytics, marketing principles, and organizational dynamics.
After completing core business requirements, learners take major courses that differ based on the focus of their program. Some colleges emphasize enterprise risk management with offerings in cybersecurity operations and emergency planning for business continuity. Other schools prepare students for insurance careers, which may include handling claims processes and conducting audits.
Learners can gain experience in the field and grow their professional network by completing internships with insurance and risk management firms. Some bachelor's in risk management programs culminate with a capstone experience in which students tackle simulated business challenges.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Risk Management Program?
Bachelor's in risk management curricula vary based on programmatic focus and student interest. In general, students must complete a series of core business classes covering topics like financial accounting, economics, strategic management, and organizational behavior. Major coursework typically focuses on insurance, cybersecurity, and/or enterprise risk management.
- Legal Environments of Business
In this core class, students explore the role of law in managerial decision-making and organizational success. They examine torts and contracts and learn how businesses can maintain a competitive edge by reducing legal risks related to employees and customers. The class also helps students develop the skills needed to effectively resolve internal and external disputes.
- Project Management
Students learn the theories and techniques needed to oversee the entire project cycle, from initiation and planning to implementation and closure. They also gain the ability to define success factors, measure progress, and identify risks leading to project failure. Additionally, the course covers leadership methods used to manage diverse project teams.
- Enterprise Risk Management
This advanced course teaches students to conduct holistic and multidimensional risk assessments for all parts of an organization. In addition to insurable loss, learners examine qualitative risk factors like social media reputation, lack of innovation, and vendor disruption. The class emphasizes enterprise risk management as a continuous process that consistently considers stakeholder goals and consumer needs.
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
In addition to an overview of basic IT concepts like networking and operating systems, this class covers key cryptographic principles and applications. Students explore the major types of cyberattacks, including drive-by downloads and lateral movements. They also learn how to prevent and mitigate these attacks with intrusion detection systems, anti-malware programs, and ethical hacking techniques.
- Insurance Operations and Management
Students who take this specialized course examine how market conditions and government regulations affect the structure of insurance firms. They also learn the key steps in the claims process, including preparing estimates, handling negotiations, and conducting investigations. Additional topics include insurance fraud, loss adjustment, resinusrance, and professional ethics.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Risk Management Degree?
By earning a bachelor's in risk management, graduates can pursue a career in business and financial operations — an industry that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects will grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029. This growth would translate to over 475,000 new jobs. Occupations include financial examiners, human resources specialists, and management analysts.
Degree-holders who meet additional requirements may also work for insurance firms as certified actuaries. The BLS projects 18% job growth for these professionals between 2019 and 2029. Furthermore, risk management professionals are often recruited for their IT skills, finding work as information security analysts and systems managers.
Learn more about business careers, and see where a bachelor's in risk management degree can take you.
- Financial Operations
With an undergraduate degree, risk management professionals can pursue careers as financial analysts, helping businesses and individual clients make sound investments. Alternatively, they can work as financial examiners, evaluating the health of financial institutions and ensuring their compliance with state and federal laws. Experienced professionals can advance into financial management positions.
Because many online bachelor's in risk management programs focus specifically on this field, insurance is a common career path for many students. Job options include insurance underwriter, sales agent, and claims specialist. Insurance firms also employ certified actuaries, who use financial theories and statistical analyses to determine the monetary cost of uncertainty and risk.
- Audit and Risk Assurance
With additional training in accounting, risk management majors can work as internal and external auditors. These professionals conduct thorough assessments of an organization's financial history to check that funds and sources of revenue are properly managed. They also oversee risk assurance, ensuring the company's IT controls and data preparation are transparent and accurate.
- Information Security
Due to the increasing frequency and complexity of cyberattacks worldwide, information security has become one of the fastest-growing occupational fields. The BLS projects that information security analyst occupations will grow by 31% between 2019 and 2029, leading to the creation of more than 40,000 new jobs. Additionally, during the same period, the BLS projects 10% job growth for IT security managers.
- Corporate Consulting
By earning a graduate degree and industry certification in enterprise risk management, professionals can qualify for corporate consulting positions. Whether employed by a firm or working as a freelancer, risk management consultants collaborate directly with company stakeholders to determine standards and create long-term goals. They also monitor risk to help develop more effective leadership practices.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Risk Management Programs
- Is a bachelor's in risk management worth it?
Because businesses must identify and avoid loss if they want to succeed, risk management professionals can find work in most industries, serving as invaluable members of business teams. The nature of their work also varies based on position. Some risk managers travel internationally to conduct business, while other professionals set their own schedules and work from home.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in risk management?
Many online bachelor's in risk management programs focus on health and liability insurance, preparing students for careers as sales agents, underwriters, and actuaries. Degree-holders can also work in general business positions as financial and management analysts. Additionally, they can work in the IT field as information security analysts — an occupation that the BLS projects will grow by 31% between 2019 and 2029.
- Are risk management majors in demand?
Risk management is a ubiquitous part of business operations across the globe, making many careers in this field stable and lucrative. Escalating cyberattacks further drive the demand for risk management majors. In an uncertain world, more companies are seeking professionals with skills in security analysis and crisis planning.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in risk management?
Wages vary widely based on a professional's position. For example, insurance underwriters take home a median salary of $70,020, while financial analysts earn $81,590 each year. Salary potential also depends on factors like industry, geographic location, employer, and individual qualifications.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a bachelor's in risk management?
Risk management is a crucial skill for business leaders. As such, some of the best-paid risk management professionals are company executives, who earn a median annual salary of $104,690, according to the BLS. IT managers, who oversee an organization's computer networks and information security operations, earn a median annual salary of $146,360 each year.