On Cape Cod alone, there are over 700 individuals employed among approximately 130 insurance agency locations. While the industry itself is strong and stable, it’s facing an ever-growing demand for well-educated professionals to enter, as large numbers of baby-boomers reach retirement age. It is estimated that as many as 70 or more qualified workers are needed locally each year, to fill jobs opened through routine retirements and relocations.
To create a pathway to these well-paying positions, The Business Department at Cape Cod Community College is partnering with the Cape Cod Insurance Agents Association, to provide training for students to become Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR). This collaboration is being done with strong support from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents in conjunction with The National Insurance Alliance for Insurance Education and Research based in Austin, Texas.
The new CISR Certificate at Cape Cod Community College is a blend of four business courses, with specific insurance training offered in short modules to allow students and/or current or prospective employers to tailor the instruction to their specific work situation The goal is to provide the knowledge and skills to meet industry-specific exams, leading to CISR certification.
In looking at the need and the opportunities, Helena Amorim, President of the Insurance Agency of Cape Cod, and President of the Cape Cod Insurance Agents Association noted that today’s insurance industry is not at all what many likely remember it to have been decades ago.
“Today, a career in insurance is exciting. It’s focused on helping individuals become even more financially secure, consulting with individuals and businesses to minimize risk, while getting the most value for their premium dollar,” she noted. “It is a great business to be in, lucrative, with real opportunity for advancement, and it is so much more than most people imagine. We have roles for those who like Customer Service, Sales, IT, Human Resources, Underwriting, Claims Handling, Loss Control, Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Management. There is a place for you in the insurance world, today,” she concluded.
The College’s new program targets the CISR role within the industry, where wages average around $47,000 a year, with strong fringe benefit packages at most agencies.
Long-time insurance professional and major agency CEO, Chuck Robinson (Rogers & Gray) added that there’s a long history of industry support for its employees. “While it may be considered an entry level position, the industry is well known for on-going training, educational opportunities, and career development leading to advancement,” added Robinson.
While the new College program’s immediate impact will be local, statewide the need is great, and growing. According to industry statistics, about 25,000 employees in the Massachusetts insurance industry will retire in the next two years. Nationally, as many as half-a million retirees are expected by the end of 2020s. There are good jobs waiting for students completing this program.
Initial coursework has begun in the new certificate program. More students will be welcomed during Summer Session, with the largest enrollment anticipated in the Fall Semester 2018.
More information on the new initiative is available by speaking with Prof. Michael Bejtlich at the College, 774-330-4519. Individuals considering enrolling in the Certificate Program should contact the College’s Admissions Office at 774-330-4311 and ask about new CISR Academic Certificate.