Online Master’s Degree in Risk Management

There are numerous risks that companies face on a regular basis. There are risks associated with business practices, information management, and security; risks from project failures or fluctuations in financial markets; legal risks, such as fraud or theft; and risks from accidents in the workplace or natural disasters, such as earthquakes or tornadoes. How a business prepares for and reacts to these risks is where risk management comes in. An online masters degree program in risk management can provide students with the necessary tools to recognize and quantify risks using data analysis tools, and computational methods, so businesses can decide how to mitigate, retain, or even exploit risk as opportunity.

Master’s degrees in risk management are often geared toward students with backgrounds in math, statistics, engineering, computer science, economics, finance, or related fields. How long these programs take will depend on the student’s background, as well as the exact program requirements and whether it’s full time or part time. Generally, though, they are designed to take about a year to complete.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Risk Management

Online masters degree programs in risk management provide students with the necessary tools and concepts to plan for, prevent, and successfully respond to any disruptions in normal business operations. Tools include data analysis tools and computational methods; concepts include response and disaster recovery, compliance issues, and system-wide risk analysis; and disruptions could mean anything from security breaches to emergencies due to man-made or natural disasters. Students may have the opportunity to further specialize in such areas as accounting, finance, or dynamic financial analysis to better suit their career goals. The types of classes you may take during an online masters degree in risk management include:

  • Financial Concepts
  • Project Management
  • Decision Making with Uncertainty
  • Project Risk and Cost Management
  • Operational Risk in Banking and Finance

Programs requirements will vary, but to graduate from a masters degree in risk management, students likely will have to complete a capstone project that demonstrates their ability to integrate risk management into current financial practices. That could mean an in-house project examining a key risk management issue of interest to that firm, examining the global financial implications of a specific risk management technique or market, or analyzing the sub-crime crisis.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Risk Management

Master’s degree programs in risk management are often geared towards those already working within corporate and financial organizations who are looking to advance. The training these masters degree programs provide in the use of statistical methods, data analysis tools, and computational methods are especially relevant to banking and financial institutions. Still, other programs may also prepare students for careers in crisis, disaster, and emergency management in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Other programs also may be aligned with a specific industry, such as insurance or healthcare.

For those students interested in the financial sector, prospects are encouraging, especially in the employment of financial analysts (those who guide businesses and individuals in making investment decisions) and financial managers (those responsible for the financial health of an organization). Employment of financial analysts, for instance, is expected to grow by 23% through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth is faster than the average for all occupations and is anticipated due to a growing range of financial. A graduate degree can also improve an applicant’s prospects, the BLS adds. The hiring of financial managers is more modest, with the BLS predicting employment to grow only 9% through 2020 due to competition. Though those candidates with a master’s degree, the BLS notes, also will have the best prospects.


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