Risk managers often work as generalists who help companies maintain several different departments. Risk managers are responsible for developing and enforcing rules and procedures that are designed to mitigate risks. Risk managers can also be specialists who focus on a single department, finding ways to streamline operations.
No matter how you work as a risk manager, many of the skills required are the same. Risk management is something that will always be necessary in the fields of business, finance, and insurance. Check out the following 7 ways you can learn how to become a risk manager!
1. Get A Degree In Business
If you want to become a risk manager, you should start by obtaining a business degree. Getting a formal education is business is something that will make you attractive to potential employers. Getting your degree in business will set you up with a solid foundation of knowledge in areas such as economics, finance, accounting, and business administration. All these subjects and more play a role in risk management.
It’s well worth your time to focus on courses that look at managing risk in different fields such as trade, real estate, and personal investments. Getting formally educated in these various areas will help you develop sharp critical thinking skills that you’ll need as a risk manager.
2. Consider Getting Your Masters
As with any other field, getting your masters degree makes you even more attractive to potential employers when applying for jobs. If you have the resources, it’s worth earning a Master of Business Administration with a focus on risk management.
There are also other Master degree programs in areas such as enterprise risk management and computational finance. Getting your masters shows that you’re able to take on a high level of responsibility once you enter the workforce. Your master’s degree will enable you to manage strategic and operational risks at a level that makes you an asset to any company.
3. Get Familiar With What Risk Management In The Workforce Looks Like
Learning what risk management looks like in action is a great way to prepare yourself for a future career. It’s important to experience risk management in the workplace while you’re still a student so you can see what you’re getting into. You can find opportunities to job shadow in industries such as finance, insurance companies, and government companies. Try and get a job or internship in a place where you can observe risk management in action.
Risk management is a crucial function which makes the work fast-paced. The demands of being a risk manager can become overwhelming during busy times for the company. Because risk management is a crucial area, risk managers are often the first to start putting in extra hours when things get busy. It’s not uncommon to be always on call, especially if you work in the financial sector.
4. Take The Time To Build Related Skills
Risk management isn’t a black or white field. You need the ability to assess how different factors are impacting your situation. Because the problem causing factors can differ, it’s important that your techniques and solutions differ as well. Developing an aptitude for mathematics will help you manage probabilities and create situational models to determine risk.
Risk managers are also forced to deal with a lot of information which makes being organized a must. Finding ways to keep your documents, data, and plans organized is part of being a quality risk manager. Having a solid understanding of financial theory will also be useful to you as you learn how to become a risk manager.
5. Invest In A Professional Designation
Everyone who wants to be a risk manager needs a degree, so professional designations are great tools to help yourself stand out. Certain professional designations even apply towards getting your master’s degree.
You can apply for designation through the Professional Risk Management International Association. They’ll have you complete a test to assess your skill level before granting you an Associate Professional Risk Manager designation. Getting the full Professional Risk Manager designation requires you to pass four exams covering topics such as mathematics, finance, and risk management practices.
6. Learn How To Prioritize
Because of the multiple demands on your time, learning how to prioritize as a risk manager is a vital skill to develop. It’s important to separate unimportant data from information that needs to make its way to senior management. As a student, developing the ability to prioritize your work, your studies, and other aspects of your life will translate into your career as a risk manager.
7. Build Your Communication Skills
Risk management can be a challenging field if you are unable to sell others on your thoughts and theories. While you may have data to back your thoughts up, you’ll still need strong communication skills to convey the urgency and importance of certain situations. You have to keep in mind that not everyone you work with will share your perspective, which can make implementing solutions you think are necessary a difficult task.
Some people may even view risk managers as trying to “police” how they work. As a risk manager, you’ll have to learn how to communicate with both frontline workers and senior staff. Learning how to communicate with individuals from varying backgrounds is part of what it takes to be a successful risk manager.