We interviewed two recent graduates, Christian Weisbrod and Jobin Thomas, about their experiences entering the workforce. But not just any workforce. They chose Insurance. One of the most rewarding and growing industries in Canada.
Like many new grads, Jobin wasn’t sure what direction to take after graduation. “It was actually my father that first recommended I look at insurance. I was approaching the end of my degree without knowing what I wanted to do after. So, I connected with the Insurance Institute and took an introductory course which gave me a wonderful introduction to the world of insurance. I was fascinated by the real world applications and effects of insurance all around us.”
By the time Jobin was graduating McMaster, he had chosen to complete three courses towards his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation and was excited to continue his insurance career journey. He started out working in an entry-level claims role, but through support and mentorship in the industry has quickly moved his way up to a managerial position.
Meanwhile, Christian first started out at Queen’s University, with an undergraduate degree in History, but soon went on to complete BCIT’s General Insurance and Risk Management program in 2016. He quickly began his insurance career as an Underwriting Assistant that summer and was promoted by the end of the year to a Commercial Underwriter. Now, only one year later, Christian is pursuing roles in Commercial Niche Underwriting, which he says he is “very excited” about!
Both Jobin and Christian’s careers took off quickly. As Christian said, aside from upward opportunity, “It was the lateral opportunities in the industry, to explore different career paths that were incredible.” Jobin had a similar beginning, starting off at the entry level, but benefitted from mentorship and support from other industry professionals to help him progress in his career
“Amazing individuals have guided me and helped me develop my skills and knowledge,” Jobin said, who is now working as a Reinsurance Claims Manager. An excellent example of how hard work can move someone quickly from entry level to management.
Jobin and Christian both agreed that the insurance industry has something for everyone. “The options are endless, which is what makes the insurance industry so great,” Christian said.
As a piece of advice, Jobin said he would “encourage grads to think of what their interests and passions are.” He went on to talk about a student with a love of horses who went on to be an equestrian underwriter. Another student had experience in sports management and kinesiology and entered the business specializing in underwriting risks for sporting events and organizations! These two examples prove that your interests can easily feed into a career inside the insurance industry.
Industry prospects By 2022, it is projected that the Canadian property & casualty insurance industry will see up to 43% of its management and 28% of its operations specialists retire from the industry. That's roughly 25,000 people. This means between now until the mid-2020s, companies operating in the insurance sector will be actively hiring new grads to help fill projected vacancies.
In fact, across Canada, graduates with an insurance business diploma and/or degree programs see near 100% placement rates. Meanwhile, students graduating with degrees in finance, engineering, and even the arts are seeing similarly high placement rates in the insurance industry
“The insurance industry is set to evolve and change drastically over the next decade,” Jobin says. “It’s an industry to be in for those who are motivated and passionate about learning new things.”
Leaving the comforts of post-secondary education may be troublesome for some students. Do any of us know what we want to do right away? Probably not. However, as you can see, the insurance industry offers an abundance of career paths and opportunities for young professionals.
As Jobin says, “the sky is the limit.” So don’t delay, get involved in a career path that will allow you to explore many different avenues and offer exceptional opportunities to grow and develop your skills.
To learn more about the insurance industry and the opportunities available within it, please visit the resources at Career Connections.