As Maryland’s longest-serving state insurance commissioner and a lifetime insurance professional, there is not much that surprises me in the insurance industry. In 2018, my chief of staff, Zach Peters, and I were meeting with prospective insurance carriers to enter the Maryland market and heard the common complaint that Maryland was not an attractive state to open an office due to a lack of qualified candidates with an insurance background. I was shocked to learn that no college in Maryland offered a degree in insurance or risk management, as similar programs were only offered by out-of-state schools requiring even our domestic carriers to leave the state to recruit new hires. As a matter of fact, many local insurers would typically retain interns from out-of-state colleges.
We immediately got to work meeting with officials and leaders of Maryland’s top universities and, after a long stretch of meetings, finally found a willing partner in the University of Baltimore and President Kurt Schmoke. Since 2019, University of Baltimore students have been able to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Risk Management and Insurance specialization (”University of Baltimore to launch degree program to boost local insurance workforce,” Feb. 22, 2019). We helped the school put together an impressive advisory board of leading insurance experts and employers throughout the state, who not only advise on the program content, but act as a pipeline for employment for graduates. In fact, in the very short time the program has existed there are already a few graduates who are employed in the insurance industry.
No matter your area of interest or skill set, there are unlimited opportunities in the world of insurance. You can work in legal, claims, information technology, human resources, data analytics, sales, marketing, communications or operations just to name a few. The University of Baltimore provides an amazing opportunity to break into the industry with a specialized degree, with scholarship money available and employers waiting to hire talented students.
You can learn more about the impressive program on the University of Baltimore website: ubalt.edu/risk.
Thank you to President Schmoke, Business School Dean Murray Dalziel, and Assistant Dean Kathea Smith for their incredible partnership and hard work in making this valuable program a reality. We look forward to watching its continued success.
Al Redmer, Jr., Baltimore
The writer is executive director of the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund.
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