Insuring Ohio Futures
July 17, 2013
Identification of future resource needs is the key to the success of any organization as well as the economy, if a profitable future is to be obtained and sustained. As important as the need to identify resources is the need to commit to collaboration with providers who understand not only the core of the demand but the most effective means of meeting it. Higher education providers have the opportunity and responsibility to play an active, if not lead role in these collaborations to affect the change that is needed to drive our economic prosperity.
Ohio’s insurance industry is the beneficiary of collaboration. According to a recent Columbus State Community College study, roughly 17,000 new jobs will become available in Ohio’s insurance industry over the next five years. Insurance jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent nationwide during this decade. At first glance, this projection signals a positive employment outlook. However, a deeper dive reveals an insufficient pool of qualified workers to fill these positions. Insuring Ohio Futures has established a statewide campaign to draw awareness to the need for talented insurance professionals to help plan for the massive gap between need and available resources.
In addition to alerting the workforce to future employment opportunities, institutions of higher education are developing programs that provides students with the skill sets needed to fill the impending gap. Institutions must be brought on board to provide quality curriculum, and do so in a manner that is accessible to a diverse group of students. Innovation in curriculum needs to be paired with innovation in access if it is to meet the needs of the broadest community of learners.
In the case of Ohio’s insurance industry, a handful of colleges and universities around the state are now offering risk management and insurance degree programs, including Franklin University and Kent State University. Each institution fills a different audience’s need, whether it be those looking to enter the insurance industry, mid-career changers, or veterans looking to use their skillsets to enter this lucrative industry.
While specific to the situation in Ohio, the Insuring Ohio Futures underscores the importance of higher education and industry working together to ensure curriculum stays relevant and in concurrence with industry needs and trends. Through collaboration we have the opportunity to enact positive change.