Insurance Careers Month draws to a close with the industry having invested significant time and resources in making the sector appealing to young people looking to start their careers. Carriers also have pushed awareness among institutions of higher education in order to develop curricula that fit the industry’s unique needs.
This has taken several forms: Sentry Insurance, for example, endowed a data analytics major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in order to drive local development of that talent. MassMutual has done something similar with the University of Vermont and several other colleges near its Springfield, Mass., headquarters. Top-tier carriers like State Farm (with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Starr Companies (with Georgia State) and Nationwide (with Ohio State University) have tapped into collegiate resources with labs and resource centers on campus. Insurers make themselves available at top-flight technology universities like MIT and Georgia Tech in order to bring those tech-savvy graduates into the fold. And insurance and risk management programs are available alongside tech programs for interested students at many colleges.
But there are some schools that are getting even more granular, developing classes and, in some cases, full programs that specifically combine insurance expertise with data skills. Following are some notable examples from institutions around the world.
In February 2017, Betsy Hirt Vorsheck, a 1977 graduate of the school and a board member of Erie Insurance, donated $1.25 million to help create a risk management program at Mercyhurst. The F.W. Hirt Erie Insurance Risk Management Program at Mercyhurst University will cover many of the traditional risk-management curriculum components as part of the Walker Business School.
However, reflecting the times in which it will be launched, the program also will incorporate programs in cybersecurity, data analytics and cyberintelligence in the insurance industry through Mercyhurst’s Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences. Caleb Pifer, VP for advancement and external affairs at Mercyhurst, notes that the program “infuses data science directly into the risk management curriculum.”
University of New South Wales
The Australian institution recently redesigned its actuarial program to build data science skills as a core competency. According to a presentation from Andres M. Villegas to the Society of Actuaries, UNSW began integrating R and Excel throughout its actuarial curriculum in 2017. It also added a new course, Actuarial Data and Analysis, which covers predictive analytics.
University of South Carolina
The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina offers a concentration in Business Analytics as part of its Risk Management and Insurance curriculum. Students who select the concentration take four or more courses including Data Analytics for Business, Business Information Systems and Accounting Information Systems.
As part of its Master of Science in Insurance Management offering for CPCUs, Boston University offers elective courses in Agile Software Development, IT Security Policies and Procedures and Web Analytics and Mining to allow students to specialize in leveraging technology in the insurance industry.
University of Chicago
The Graham School, which is the University of Chicago’s continuing education division, offers a Master of Science in Analytics degree. Among the electives is Credit and Insurance Risk Analytics, which tasks students to “understand various risks related to the insurance business, in particular the underwriting or pricing risks, quantify and price an individual insurance risk exposure and construct customer segmentation by using statistical and actuarial approaches, and assess company’s overall risk management performance at the portfolio level.”
As part of its Master of Science in Business Analytics program, Quinnipiac offers an elective course in Insurance Analytics, which “leverages predictive modeling and analytics, optimization, and business intelligence to support data-driven decisions in the property-casualty insurance industry.”
New York City’s Ivy League university offers a master of science in Applied Analytics, including P&C and life insurance actuarial courses to prepare students to work in the insurance industry.
This university in Denmark offers a summer course in Data Science in Insurance, which covers insurance-specific data sets like telematics and trains students in predictive modeling and machine learning techniques.