Risk management jobs are hot. As banks like JPMorgan try to make the same amount of money while taking a lesser amount of risk, risk management expertise has become a crucial component of revenue generation. As the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision clamps down on variability in risk models, banks are having to re-look at the risk models they use and the premises underlying them. And as banks suffer gigantic fines and reputational damage from FX fixing and cyber-security breaches, operational risk is becoming an even bigger issue than it was already. Risk jobs are hot - and they will stay that way.
How can you get a job in risk management therefore? We asked Carolyn Williams, technical director of the Institute of Risk Management. She advocated (not entirely impartially) the Institute's own distance learning qualification, the 'International Diploma in Risk Management' and answered our questions below.
Typically, it takes students around three years to complete the International Diploma. If you want to spread your studies out a bit more (or if you need time for retakes) you can take up to five years.
You must complete the first two modules within two years of enrolling as a student. Once you have completed the first two modules, you will be awarded the International Certificate. If you want to then go on to complete the full International Diploma, you then have a further three years..
Taking the full Diploma costs in the region of £4,500, although obviously this is spread over however many years you take to do the course. The exact amount depends on whether you need to pay for retakes and whether you choose to spend anything on extra books. Copies of core texts and online access to all required reading are included in the fees.
This varies by module but is generally around 60-70%.
In past years about 400 people each year have achieved the Certificate stage and about 40 complete the Diploma stage. We are hoping that the new more seamless structure will encourage more people to aspire to the higher level of qualification.
Because risk management is an essential skill for so many roles and professions, the range of job titles is very broad. However, the most common job title is actually ‘Director’ or ‘Managing Director’ of a wide range or organisations. After that, some form of ‘Risk Manager’ or ‘Head of Risk’.
We don’t have figures on the pay of our members and students. For risk management professionals in general, recent surveys by AIRMIC indicate that the average Chief Risk Officer earns £120k, the average director of risk management earns about £105k and the average head of risk management about £98k. 52% of AIRMIC members earn more than £70k
Historically, our key areas have been the UK and Ireland although we are now experiencing faster growth overseas, especially the Middle East and South East Asia. Numbers from continental Europe have also risen in recent years as English has become established as the business language. However, because the qualifications are available online, our students come from a very broad range of countries.