Is Risk a Good Career Path?

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Did it take the worst public health crisis in modern history for businesses across the world to realise the importance of risk management? In the face of enforced homeworking, dislocated supply chains, and heightened cyber threats, organisations everywhere were left in little doubt that they were underprepared for a black swan event.

The pandemic was the eye of a perfect storm of events that have prompted a realisation that contingency planning is a vital element of business resilience – with adverse factors like rising oil prices amid the war in Ukraine and red-hot inflation also jarring businesses.

With risk management suddenly shoved to the top of the corporate agenda, careers in risk management are increasingly in demand, structured, lucrative, and rewarding.


Increased investment in risk management

The amount of money being invested into risk management suggests that it is being taken more seriously than ever against this backdrop of seismic geopolitical, social, and economic events: spending on information security and risk management products and services is forecast to grow 11.3% to reach more than $188.3 billion in 2023 – with cloud security forecast to post the strongest growth over the next two years.


Growth of risk management jobs

This injection of investment has stoked demand for risk professionals and created more jobs in the sector – encouraging conditions for anyone considering a career in risk.

A quick look at two burgeoning disciplines of contemporary risk management – environmental, social and governance (ESG) and cybersecurity – underscores the growth in the job market: a record 35,000 British job vacancies centred around ESG were created in 2021, representing a 7% expansion in the workforce; while the number of professionals working in the cybersecurity industry globally reached 4.7 million people in 2022 – and there is still a need for more than 3.4 million professionals to fill the cyber skills gap.


Structured career path

Risk-related jobs can be found at every organisational level – from the C-suite down. This not only fosters a holistic approach to both managing the blizzard of risks that organisations face each day and seizing market and competitive opportunities arising from risk; it creates a structured career path for risk professionals that matches their competency and ambition – from graduate trainee programmes with risk in their schedule to chief risk officers.


Earning potential

The value placed on risk management in the wake of the pandemic is reflected in the salaries on offer – take London and the US for example:

  • Average Chief Risk Officer salary in London: £169,776 per year.
  • Average Chief Risk Officer salary in the US: $325,900 per year.
  • Average Risk Manager salary in London: £68,883 per year.
  • Average Risk Manager salary in the US: $124,261 per year
  • Average Risk Analyst salary in London: £45,332 per year.
  • Average Risk Analyst salary in the US: $94,993 per year.

According to a GARP Risk Careers Survey, there is also ongoing earning potential: 53% of those surveyed revealed that they had a salary increase equal to 1-10% of their salary in the last year, while 16% had an increase larger than 10%.


Job satisfaction

Whatever type of risk role aligns with your skills and experience, you will be entering a dynamic and rewarding field that allows you to have a positive impact on the organisation that employs you – and the people that work there. In the GARP survey, 84% of respondents were very likely or likely to recommend career opportunities in the risk management space to others.

Each day, organisations face a barrage of different risks that have the potential to hinder their ability to operate efficiently, grow, and adapt. Risk professionals dedicate their time to identifying these risks, preventing them from occurring, or mitigating their impact, empowering the organisations they work for to stay on track and meet their goals – a rewarding process that makes a real difference.


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