No Risk in Risk Management

No Risk in Risk Management: The Recession Proof Job

Dr. Debbie Psihountas, Dean, FSW School of Business and Technology

Even as thousands of workers in Southwest Florida lost their jobs during the sudden and overwhelming coronavirus pandemic, 2020 graduates of Florida SouthWestern State College’s (FSW) Risk Management program were getting hired. These FSW grads earned an associate’s degree in May and accepted jobs with salaries around $40,000 and strong benefits.

No matter how hard the coming recession may hit, certain jobs are all but recession proof. Face it - everyone needs insurance, especially when times are hard. People cover their cars, boats, home, health, and life. They need protection against fire and floods. And during a pandemic, as businesses scale down or even close, they make claims against their business-interruption insurance and other property and casualty policies. Insurance professionals on the FSW advisory board say they are busier than ever.

Many local insurance offices are eager to hire FSW School of Business and Technology graduates because the program offers something unique in this area. Started in January 2019, students in the Risk Management track include three risk management courses in their degree program (these courses can be taken with any degree at FSW, including our baccalaureate programs). Upon graduation, students receive not only their diploma but three individual licenses from the state of Florida.

This is extremely attractive to the many risk-management and insurance organizations here in Southwest Florida who must hire licensed individuals for nearly every job title in their office. Instead of waiting weeks for new hires to study for expensive state licensure exams, and then hoping the new employees pass, they can hire FSW graduates who have three state licenses already in-hand.

“The graduate can focus on getting hired and learning their jobs,” said Mindy Mauler, a recruiter for State Farm. She works to fill a variety of positions at State Farm’s community offices and corporate locations in Florida.

Christine Maggiacomo just started her new position as an insurance client-service agent with McGriff Insurance in Fort Myers after completing her associate’s degree and graduating from FSW in May. In addition to her diploma from FSW’s School of Business and Technology, she earned her Florida 4-40 Customer Representative, 20-44 Personal Lines, and 2-15 Health and Life Insurance licenses. She sat for no exams, took no study courses and wasted no time.

Furthermore, Maggiacomo and others in the program received some scholarship funds to help with expenses, making the risk management licenses more affordable than ever on top of FSW’s already very-affordable tuition rates.

“The licensing end of things worked out perfectly,” Maggiacomo said. “It was very easy to work with the state licensing agency, and to receive the three different licenses along with the completion of my degree.”

Jobs like Maggiacomo’s promise steady work, even in these uncertain times. Companies that write and sell insurance policies are hiring. In the age of COVID-19, the demand for life insurance is skyrocketing, as are business-interruption policy claims. And of course, hurricane season is upon us. Insurance jobs are here to stay, even if we suffer a serious, long-term economic downturn.

Students who want to minimize their own personal career risk should consider this exciting opportunity to learn and earn. Now is the time to explore the Risk Management program at FSW. For more information, please contact