Today, we’re going a little off the beaten path from what I often write about, which is insurance marketing.
I’ve spoken to many agents in my time at ITC. Many shared their experience with me about how they got into the insurance industry. For most, it was a family affair. Parents were agents, grandparents were agents, and so on. For them, their path was clear. The knowledge required to become successful was essentially passed down to them.
What about those that don’t have a family stake and a family to lean on for information? Where does that knowledge come from? Can you go to college to study insurance?
I’m here today to tell you, “Kind of.” You may find continuing education classes for insurance agents. But, you’re not going to find a four year degree path for a Bachelor of Arts in Insurance.
There are, however, degree paths that make sense to take a look at.
Here’s a degree path every university offers. It’s one I’m very familiar with. It includes coursework on technical writing, verbal communication, performance and debate.
Each of these plays a role in the sales process. Obviously, you need to be able to clearly explain to customers the limitations or advantages of any policy. You must be able to write up policy documentation. You’ll also need to craft emails, memos and newsletters for your customer base.
Take it from me, it’s not an athlete’s track as some may tell you. It requires dedication and hard work.
Marketing or Advertising
This one may be obvious. If you’re going to market and grow your agency, it is to your benefit to learn about how you can get yourself out there. Think of your agency as the product to be advertised or marketed.
With this degree path you’ll learn about lead generation, design, copywriting, branding, and developing messaging different groups.
You can also take courses on digital marketing. Those provide the basis for a strong online presence as well. This is neither a business nor sales degree, but you’ll learn how to market your business and sell yourself.
Business administration is one of the most popular degrees in the United States. It’s versatile, broad, and prepares you with the knowledge you need to run your own business.
This degree can launch a career in any industry, from movie production to…well…insurance. In general, you’ll learn about communication, leadership, resource management, planning, computer applications, finance and even business ethics. These are all important for opening up your insurance agency.
Risk management degrees are not offered at every university. Sometimes, risk management only exists as a minor or concentration. But, it's a good way to jump start your career in the insurance industry.
In risk management, you learn how to identify potential risks for a variety of situations. You also learn how to analyze those risks and make strategic decisions to limit them.
Due to the limited availability of this degree, the required coursework varies from school to school. Topics you may learn about are finance, estate planning, insurance law, employee benefits, as well as business and commercial liability. I’d advise you to check with your university and see how the risk management courses can translate to your career goals.
While the best knowledge is gained on the job, it’s difficult to get clients without a knowledge base.
I mentioned you won’t find a four-year degree in insurance. But, most junior colleges offer continuing education credits for adults. Some even offer courses in insurance.
While you won’t get a diploma, you may receive a certificate that will look nice hanging next to your diploma. These classes won’t give you all the knowledge you need to cover every situation. But, they are a great resource for staying up-to-date on current insurance topics.
I’ve always believed your college degree is what you make of it. These are a few examples of great ways to start your insurance career with a college degree.
Did you find this topic to be useful? Do you have any questions about how you can translate college into insurance success? If so, drop us a comment below!