Why Insurance is the Sleeper Career Millennials Have Been Dreaming About

Yes, insurance.

El Nariz/Shutterstock

El Nariz/Shutterstock

Many young professionals are trying to find their way in this crazy business world, and they’d be smart not to overlook a booming, thriving industry filled with job openings: Insurance.

No, it doesn’t mean you’ll go door-to-door selling life insurance like that guy from Groundhog’s Day. It doesn’t mean you’ll be relegated to selling car insurance or homeowner’s insurance either. In fact, the industry is pretty misunderstood. How about generating weather models to figure out catastrophic risks like hurricanes and earthquakes? What about assessing terrorism risks for a big city? Or figuring out the chances of a drone crashing into an airplane?

Business insurance and risk management are industries at a crossroads. More and more Baby Boomers are retiring and there are well-paying jobs that need to be filled. Oh, did I mention that the national median salary is $70,000?

“I can’t go to any type of meeting or forum without [the industry’s aging demographics] being a topic of conversation with executives in the area,” said Beth Graber, executive director of the Insurance Society of Philadelphia. “They recognize the situation and I think there are plans in place. We look at it as a great opportunity for the City of Philadelphia and the neighboring regions.”

ISOP shared these stats:

  • There are nearly 1,500 established businesses within the insurance sector in Philadelphia county alone, according to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
  • Those companies support more than 207,600 people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The unemployment rate in the industry is just 2.4 percent.
  • Approximately 20 percent of the insurance industry is nearing retirement age, that’s 512,900 professionals nationally. If we apply that trend to Philadelphia we can assume that approximately 41,500 insurance professionals will retire in Philadelphia in the next 10 years.
  • In the past 10 years, the number of insurance workers age 55 and over has increased 74 percent compared to the overall workforce which saw just a 45 percent increase in that age group.

Whether you know it or not, Philadelphia is a hotbed for the insurance sector. In a 2015 U.S. News & World Report study, Penn was listed as the No. 1 school for insurance, with St. Joe’s ranking third and Temple ranking fifth. Also, some of the biggest companies in the industry have operations here including: Ace, Aon Marsh, Willis and Zurich.

Graber estimates that the placement rate for graduates is around 98 percent, and that by 2018, a quarter of the workforce in the insurance industry is going to be at retirement age.”

“Perception is something that we recognize and are working very hard to change. People think it’s bland,” said Graber. “But the news stories you see everyday really have insurance at the very center of them.”

So go forth millennials. Insurance just may be your ticket to a successful and not-boring career.

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