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.
How long does it take to achieve an International Diploma in Risk Management?
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..
How much does it cost?
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.
What’s the average pass rate?
This varies by module but is generally around 60-70%.
How many people achieve the qualification each year?
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.
Which are the 3 most common jobs held by people with the 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’.
What’s the average level of pay?
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
Where in the world are people with the qualification based?
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.
What makes the International Diploma in Risk Management better than rival risk qualifications?
- IRM’s qualifications are developed by a mixed team of practitioners working in risk management and top level academics from around the world – we think this high level of practical input is unique
- The Diploma is a challenging qualification at post graduate level, requiring 180 – 200 hours of study per module, but you can organise your study flexibly to fit around work and family commitments
- You can take the qualification from anywhere in the world – it is designed for distance learning with online support for students
- Students become part of a global network of risk professionals sharing knowledge and resources
- Passing the Diploma automatically fulfils the qualification requirement for ongoing professional membership of IRM
- The broad content of the Diploma modules provides relevant knowledge and practical skills you can apply immediately, whatever your sector, organisation or country
- Our ongoing programme of review and refresh means that the Diploma covers the latest thinking in risk management, including behavioural issues, risk appetite and culture, ethics and emerging risks.