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University adds insurance specialization for fall

The finance department will offer an insurance specialization and a minor starting in the fall in response to Ohio’s projected needs in the insurance industry.

Regionomics, an economic analysis company, and the Insurance Industry Resource Council conducted a study and found that 26,000 insurance jobs are likely to open up by 2020.

“Retiring baby boomers [are] responsible for 80 percent of the positions,” according to a press release from Insuring

Ohio Futures.

Ohio has more than 250 insurance companies and the industry has an impact of around $6 billion yearly, said Sung Bae, chair of the finance department.

Given the number of insurance jobs in Ohio and their economic impact, “The Ohio governor’s office is very much interested in providing the support and encouraging colleges to offer these insurance programs,” Bae said.

To address the insurance industry’s upcoming needs and prepare students for insurance careers, the finance department worked with insurance professionals to develop an insurance program.

On the professionals’ recommendation, the Insurance and Risk Management Institute was established.

The institute will get donations from insurance companies to use for scholarships and other means of supporting students. The institute has four charter members so far, with more than 20 to be invited.

“The program is not solely developed to deliver insurance courses,” Bae said. “This program has very strong industry support.”

That will help students get internship and job opportunities, Bae said.

The insurance specialization is for business administration students and joins a list of specializations business majors can choose from. It requires 22 credit hours, including five insurance courses and three electives.

The insurance minor is not limited to business students. It requires 25 credit hours for business students and 22 hours for non-business students.

The University is becoming the seventh school in Ohio to offer an insurance specialization. The University joins Franklin University, Kent State University, Ohio Dominion University, Ohio Northern University, The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati.

The finance department began working on the insurance program two years ago, Bae said. It had to be approved by various bodies including a College of Business committee, Faculty Senate and the provost’s office.

The department is looking for a full-time faculty member to teach insurance courses, Bae said.

The department will re-establish an insurance club, Gamma Iota Sigma, which the University used to have a chapter of 25 years ago when it last had an insurance program,

Bae said.

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