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Why a Career in Risk Management is Anything But Risky

13 Mar 2023

Tom Guilfoyle

As the regulatory landscape of financial services and technology continues to evolve, risk management has become an increasingly sought-after career choice.

As the regulatory landscape of financial services and technology continues to evolve, risk management has become an increasingly sought-after career choice. With the rise of fintech and regtech and Ireland’s growing reputation as a global hub in both areas, there has been an increased demand for risk professionals who can keep up with changes in regulations and compliance. And while many people might think that a career in risk management is risky, the truth is quite the opposite.

So what makes Ireland such a risk management hub? Ireland has been regarded as a global tech hub for years but the attraction for companies coming in include our strong education system, our solid position on data privacy and our stringent regulations.

A career in risk management offers plenty of variety. From banking to insurance to investments, there are plenty of opportunities to choose from when deciding which industry you’d like to focus your efforts on. Furthermore, since there are always new regulations coming out, the job itself will never get boring as there will always have something new to learn or tackle each day. The candidate pool in Ireland is still short with respect to the number of roles that are available – The Institute of Bankers and further study allows candidates from a number of backgrounds to move into risk.

Salaries in the area of risk management are also very attractive. They’ve moved upwards of 10-15% in the last 18 months alone and risk professionals with experience can command a premium.

Lastly, having a career in risk management opens up plenty of networking opportunities with other professionals in the field who can offer valuable advice and insight into best practices for managing risk at your organisation or within your industry.


Getting Started With a Career in Risk Management

 If you’re interested in developing a career in risk management, it’s knowing what employers expect from people working in or entering this field. They’re looking for compliance accreditation, degrees in finance or economics as well as risk courses/ diplomas that are on offer through professional bodies such as the Institute of Bankers. Many universities offer courses related to finance and regulation which can provide the foundation for understanding how different risks should be managed or controlled within different types of organizations. For quantitative roles, employers generally look for experience in programming roles such as C++ and SAS.  Academic backgrounds could be mathematics/statistics etc.

Once educated on fundamentals of risk management, it’s time to start building experience through internships or entry-level positions at organisations where you can gain hands-on experience working with existing frameworks and processes related to compliance and regulation. Additionally, joining professional groups such as the Irish chapter of PRMIA (Professional Risk Managers International Association) or attending conferences related to the field will help build your network while keeping up on changes across industries so that you stay ahead of any potential risks that could affect business operations down the line.

All things considered, pursuing a career in risk management doesn't have nearly as much “risk" associated with it as one may think—in fact, it's one of the most stable choices out there. The continued growth of Regtech and Fintech show the importance of marrying more traditional skillsets with newer I.T and tech talent so opens up the sector to more diverse talents. With innovations such as artificial intelligence providing even greater data for analysis and solutions for mitigating risk, the sector is growing exponentially.

 With its variety of options available across different sectors and its potential for growth over time through promotions or higher salaries due to increased experience levels, there are plenty of reasons why now may be the perfect time to explore what this career has to offer!

Tom Guilfoyle is Associate Director of Brightwater's Financial Services division and can be reached by email for queries on either hiring risk management talent or making a career move in this area.