Clark State Will Offer Online Insurance Degree and Certificate

May 10th, 2015

Clark State Community College is taking the lead in bridging the insurance industry employment gap. A 2013 study by the Insurance Industry Resource Council identified that Ohio insurance companies will need to hire 26,000 new workers by 2020. Currently, Clark State is the only college in Ohio to offer an associate degree in Business Management with an Insurance Option. This fall Clark State will become the first college in Ohio to offer an online Insurance Certificate that can be completed with a series of six online courses, each just eight-weeks long. Students can finish the entire certificate program in as little as 24 weeks.

“With nearly 100,000 jobs tied to Ohio’s insurance industry it’s critical to have a steady stream of talented workers who can fill the 26,000 high-paying, stable jobs that will be available across the growing industry between now and 2020,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor who also serves as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “The creation of insurance specific degree and certificate programs like the new offering from Clark State Community College is proving to be a vital source of new talent who will fill those opportunities and who will comprise the foundation for the Ohio insurance industry for years to come.”

“Clark State’s Insurance Certificate program is unique because it’s offered completely online which will allow students around the state of Ohio the opportunity to earn the certificate while continuing on with their daily lives,” said Ronald Gordon, director of Student Services for Clark State.

Clark State will offer four courses built around the claims industry and its practices: Insurance Claims Handling Principles and Practices, Customer Service for the Insurance, Software for the Insurance Claims Industry and Property Loss Adjusting.

The focus of the program is the claims industry. The program will give students an overview on how claims handling affects various aspects of the claims industry such as underwriting, marketing and sales.

The certificate program will allow students to apply for entry-level positions in the insurance industry. Those already in the industry would potentially be able to use the certificate program toward promotions and work toward their Associate in Claims (AIC) designation.

“While the focus of the program is on claims, it will give students an overview of all aspects within the insurance industry,” said Aimee Belanger-Haas, dean of the Business and Applied Technologies Division. “The breadth of the curriculum focuses on the insurance professional. This will give them an advantage over other new hires and allow them to fast track through the process.”

“The Clark State program offers a well-balanced perspective on insurance and can help the student go in several different directions in the industry,” said Jim Clay, CEO of Westfield Insurance and co-chair of the Insurance Industry Resource Council, which launched the Insuring Ohio Futures career awareness campaign to promote insurance careers. “The program’s focus on claims is particularly appealing because our industry has nearly 5,000 claims jobs to fill by 2020. Overall our study identified over 100 careers to reach those 26,000 jobs so in addition to claims we have ample opportunity for agents, underwriters and customer service representatives among others. We see the certificate program as generating fresh talent for these positions.”

“The certificate program is the perfect opportunity for a career change professional to leverage their career experience and quickly rebrand themselves for the insurance industry,” said Clay. “If you have been working in healthcare, construction or the automotive industry, you likely have skills that will easily translate to a claims career and provide an area of expertise.”

The Insuring Ohio Futures program has identified 30 in-demand careers in insurance, which are a priority for the industry. A common misconception is that all insurance jobs are sales jobs, and while agent positions are vital, they are not the only career option in insurance.

“The insurance industry is built on multiple layers,” said Gordon. “The claims industry plays a major part in the company structure. The Clark State Insurance Claims Certificate program will allow students to learn the groundwork of the industry and start them on a potential long-term career path.”

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