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Creating Connections to Build Bridges

By Risk and Insurance Department

May 31, 2022

In our uncertain world, being able to identify organizational risk from a variety of areas (such as political, interest rates, and cyber) and create and execute strategies to guard against or limit risk are vital skillsets for many students. Equipped with an understanding of student interests, company needs, and his natural exuberance, Risk and Insurance faculty member Carl Barlett is educating both faculty and students across campus about what the risk management and insurance major offers our students. Further, Barlett is expertly creating connections to develop classes and certificates that bridge the interests of students and the needs of companies.  

One way to build the connections between student interests and company needs is through the offering of focused curriculum. “These certificates allow undergraduate students to 1) explore the vast array of fields within risk and insurance that may be of interest and 2) develop vital skillsets during their academic careers that give them a competitive advantage when applying for positions in an evolving market,” shared Barlett. These newly-developed opportunities include a consulting certificate that is school-wide and incorporates RMI coursework, as well as more focused initiatives in accounting and the cyber field that address emerging needs in industry.

The consulting certificate offers students a background that supports their efforts to obtain consulting positions. Risk management fits nicely in the consulting arena. The accounting certificate allows students more flexibility in pursuing their accounting careers, with a chance to take a role in the fast-growing area of risk advisory and consulting. The cyber certificate will combine courses to build skills in the fields of cyber risk management, audit, cyber security, and data privacy. “This is an amazing opportunity for students who have the interest, but previously have not had the option to explore these career pathways and learn more,” shared Barlett.

The department is also adding new classes that “allow risk and insurance students to investigate specific areas of inquiry, and permit students from other majors to combine synergistic skills that are attractive for certain career paths,” explained Barlett. The new class additions include Cyber Risk and Regulation, Insurance Accounting, Captive Insurance, and Reinsurance. These classes are open to all interested UW-Madison students.

In addition, the department is excited to offer the Digital Risk and Insurance Technology track within the one-year MS Business Analytics (MSBA) program. This program is a unique opportunity for students interested in risk management, data analytics, and technology, combined with entre- and intra-preneurism.

It is an interesting time in risk and insurance as the discipline keeps expanding to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry. As a result, our department continues to add academic certificates and courses that stay on the forefront of the expansion offering opportunities to our students and meeting the needs of the industry.