Skip to main content

Risk Management and Insurance Career Directions for New MBAs

By Linda Barrett

August 1, 2023

chalkboard with risk terms written on it

Especially as the world experiences profound risk, including due to climate change, supply chain disruptions, and a volatile economic and political environment, careers involving risk management and insurance are in the spotlight. Currently, more positions are available than people to fill them, making it a perfect time to consider obtaining an MBA in Risk Management and Insurance (RMI). Doing so will prepare you for a leadership role in this ever-evolving and vitally-important field.

What is Risk Management?

Risk management is the process of identifying, analyzing, preparing for, and managing uncertainty and variability to meet organizational objectives. Risk spans a variety of sources including financial uncertainties, legal liabilities, operational risks such as labor strikes, safety and security issues, including cyber risk, accidents, natural disasters, reputational issues, and more. A company’s successful risk management program manages, monitors, and controls the probability of adverse effects of loss while maximizing positive events. Specialized knowledge of risk management is of utmost importance to employers.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for those with the RMI MBA degree are quite broad and can span almost any industry. For decades, the University of Wisconsin’s Risk and Insurance Department has ranked and been widely recognized as one of the tops in the country; therefore, the Wisconsin reputation carries considerable distinction when graduates enter the job market.

The careers below are separated into the three areas of the value chain in risk management to help conceptualize where the opportunities for Wisconsin’s RMI MBA graduates often lie.


Professionals in risk consulting identify potential risk events, observe existing controls, and make recommendations on additional activities that will assist clients in improving their outcomes. Consultants use their broad-based business skills in addition to their understanding of the risk environment and can specialize in areas such as cyber, sustainability, supply chain, enterprise risk management, captive management, and more. Depending on client needs, consultants apply their knowledge to a variety of industries and different types of business problems. Brokers often act as consultants, along with general consulting organizations.

Corporate Risk Management

People working in risk management identify and analyze areas of potential variability (i.e., risk) to an organization’s assets, including its earning capacity, reputation, and ultimate success. Additionally, these leaders document and communicate key risks, and gather risk-related data from internal and external resources, in order to help organizations prioritize risks and make informed decisions to mitigate and finance them. Risk Managers may be responsible for captive insurers, providing input to strategic decisions and ensuring an organization reaches its success metrics.

Leadership Development Programs

A number of insurers have highly valued rotational programs and hire from the Wisconsin School of Business. The roles within each program are typically several months long, include both functional and operational responsibilities, and may occur in a variety of locations—even globally. The emphasis of these rotational programs is to give the professionals continuous training and an understanding of the breadth of the company while keeping the goals of leadership development and employee retention firmly in mind. Participating in a rotational program is a way to experience deep, rich knowledge about a specific company. These companies also may hire students for other roles, including strategy, enterprise risk management, and product development.

The positions available through each of those areas are varied and can take a person in many directions. The remaining question is how best to prepare for these roles.

The Answer: Wisconsin’s RMI MBA

Wisconsin’s Risk and Insurance Department is rated number one in the country. The curriculum of the RMI MBA is unique and consists of approximately one-third general business acumen courses and two-thirds RMI-focused courses. The RMI courses begin on day one, successfully preparing students for their risk-based summer internships. The curriculum can be modified to fit the student’s preferences and needs, especially in year two. Students are immersed in applied learning projects, classroom presentations, and industry conferences and visits, while being challenged and supported by expert faculty, engaged alumni, nurturing advisory board members, and involved industry partners.

Some details:

  • Applicants to the program typically have at least two years of work experience. Some have many more.
  • The program spans nearly 20 months and is full-time.
  • Each cohort contains both career switchers and career enhancers; previous risk experience is not required.
  • A new cohort begins each fall.

Visit our website for more information, reach out with your questions, and apply for Wisconsin’s full-time MBA program today.