The business world is rapidly changing. The news is filled with highly-public corporate scandals, evidence of terrorists exploiting the international banking system and exponential advances in technology. These threats and changes make cybersecurity a necessity for everyone. By earning an MBA in fraud management, you can be on the cutting edge and hold management positions in this growing field. But where do you start, and what career paths are available? Here’s a list of what to expect from this type of academic program and possible careers with a fraud management MBA.
A Future in Fraud Management
Since this specialization is an MBA, the core curriculum will focus on business concepts. However, by focusing on fraud management, students will also learn investigative techniques to help prevent and correct economic crime as well as gain knowledge in data recovery from computer crime. Students will also gain experience in analyzing fiscal statements, assessing a company’s value, identifying economic misconduct and determining the security level of a company’s information systems. Coursework typically includes risk assessment, bankruptcy, identity theft, financial fraud management and financial analysis.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates of fraud management programs can expect to earn $68,000 if they’re in a management position, $85,000 in the securities sector, and $72,000 as consultants. Here are a few of the specific career paths:
If working for the FBI is your dream, look into becoming a forensic accountant. As of 2012, about 15 percent of the FBI’s agents qualified as special agent accountants, partly due to the creation of a standardized, investigative support position known as a forensic accountant in 2009. FBI forensic accountants investigate the financial portion of cases — investigating terrorists, spies and criminals involved in financial wrongdoing. Forensic accountants contribute to the FBI’s intelligence cycle by testifying to their findings in court as well as keeping up to date with FBI policies and procedures, federal rules of evidence, grand jury procedures and national security protocols. In addition to the FBI, forensic accountants are also employed by public accounting firms’ forensic accounting divisions; firms specializing in risk consulting and forensic accounting services; or law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, government organizations or financial institutions.
Fraud examiners did not exist in the 1980s, but now, active fraud task forces are imbedded within organizations. This job market is especially suited for those who are understand business — including information technology— have international work experience — particularly in developing countries— and can follow a data trail and review digital evidence.
Senior Credit Card Investigator
A senior credit card investigator oversees the investigation and resolution of credit card fraud cases as well as prevents losses resulting from credit card fraud, forgery and identity theft. When credit card fraud is found, the investigator files charges and initiates civil proceedings through the legal department of the financial institution. Due to heightened security concerns, financial institutions are now hiring a higher number of credit card investigators. The U.S Bureau of Labor estimates between 2008 and 2018 there will be a 22 percent increase of job opportunities for investigators.
Staying current on economic trends, business news and company strategy are essential for any financial analyst. An analyst will not only recommend to clients when to buy and sell investments but also write reports explaining their analysis, share their expertise with colleagues who aren’t financial experts and, at times, communicate their perspectives to the public and financial media. Many times, analyst jobs are in banking houses or for financial-advising firms. With a specialized MBA in fraud management, you’ll be able to position yourself as a fraud expert, differentiating your skill set from other analysts.
Loss Prevention Agent
Preventing shoplifting and other types of retail store theft is the job of the loss prevention agent. And, with the FBI reporting nearly 1 million incidents of shoplifting in the United States in 2007, this is a growing field. The U.S Bureau of Labor reports that private detectives and investigators, including financial investigators and loss prevention agents, are expected to grow 21 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is just a sampling of career paths those with an MBA in fraud management can explore. As you research this degree option, continue to network with those already working in this sector and speak with university professors and enrollment counselors in this degree program to learn more about the options and growth in the field of fraud management.
Investment portfolio image by SalFalko from Flickr’s Creative Commons.
Credit Card image by Edd Dumbill from Flickr’s Creative Commons.