Insurance is one of the biggest industries in the United States. Companies offering all kinds of insurance are some of the wealthiest in the world, and provide excellent career paths. However, the route to a career in insurance may not seem so straightforward. After all, the roles that are particularly important at insurance companies tend to be those that are not tied to one specific skill set.
Before we discuss the various degrees you might study for a career in insurance, let’s take a look at the types of insurance companies you might work for.
Types of Insurance Companies
Some insurance companies specialize in one kind of insurance, while others do it all. An insurance provider may offer auto, homeowners, and renters insurance but not much else. Another provider may offer life insurance and health insurance as well. Regardless of what they offer, you do not need to be an expert in the specific field in order to have a career at a company.
There are also different kinds of companies. You might want to work for the Veterans Association (VA) or other organizations that provide subsidized insurance. If so, you will have to consider the ins-and-outs of working for the government. On the other hand, you may prefer to work for a big corporation with huge income-earning potential.
The degree you study should set you up for a career in any type of insurance company. In many cases, the most successful people in insurance work for a number of different kinds of companies throughout their careers.
What degrees are most likely to get you a job in insurance?
If you really want to make it to the top, you will need to have an all-round understanding of business. The people running insurance businesses do not necessarily know all that much about the things their products cover, but they are able to create strategies using big-picture thinking. So, a CEO at a firm providing car insurance does not need to know much about cars, but they need to understand how to run a business successfully, taking into account strategies regarding finances, product development, and human resources.
In business, it is useful to be a ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’ You need to be able to process all different kinds of data and make high-level decisions. A business degree gives you the basics in things like finance, strategy, management, and more. If you want to make it to an executive level in an insurance company, a business degree may provide the best route.
All insurance companies need people who are experts at analyzing both internal and external economics. These employees need to understand how insurance products affect people’s personal finances and how they account for the economic shifts happening in the world around them.
Getting an economics degree gives you a route to many positions in insurance companies. You may start in a role that is not all that influential, but work your way up to an executive position. While economics degrees offer more specialization than business degrees, they still open up many particular opportunities that can get you very far in the insurance industry. You may be less likely to become a CEO, but you might still one day be perfect for a position like CFO.
A finance degree provides even more specialization that is incredibly useful in the insurance industry. This kind of degree will give you the skills to become a broker or underwriter at an insurance agency. You will be responsible for creating and tweaking products, assessing risk, and helping the company make lucrative financial decisions.
These types of positions do provide routes to executive levels, but they are more likely to lead you in a specific direction. In other words, while doing a good job in a strategy position will get you promoted, doing a good job in an underwriting position may make you indispensable. You will be valued, and your income should reflect that, but your company will not want to promote you beyond a certain level.
All of these programs provide routes to impressive careers in the insurance industry. Ultimately, the approach you take will depend on what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.