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Interesting CPCU quandary...

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:50 am
by seanjb55
So, I'm having a difficult time making a decision on the CPCU.

Here are the facts....

1. I am a senior software engineer, I work in insurtech. My role is more of a business analyst than a developer. I have 6 years experience in insurance from Claims Examiner to now managing insurance software projects.
2. I am nearly done with my Master of Science in Risk Management and Insurance at Florida State.

I have taken one CPCU test and passed, I am exempt from 2 with my degree. 3/8 down. CPCU will not extend my knowledge of insurance any more than my masters will. Our program literally moves alongside the CPCU courses. In fact, this semester I am using the CPCU INS Operations book as our text book. So -- continuing with the CPCU will be purely cosmetic -- I'll be able to add a designation at the end of my email signature.

Most people would say, well you've made progress, continue. But, I'm working full time and studying full time -- Studying for additional CPCU tests is impossible if I want a life. So, in this scenario -- is it worth it? Is there any additional added value?

Some times I'm insecure because some people have the fancy CPCU credentials and no one sees my "MSC-RMI"

What do you think? Am I missing out by not getting the CPCU when I know all of the subject matter?

Re: Interesting CPCU quandary...

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:34 am
by nicdorda
While I agree that your studies will give you similar information as pursuing a CPCU designation, the designation provides quite a bit of value than just a demonstration of knowledge.

Becoming a CPCU will give you access to the CPCU Society, local chapters and other special interest groups. I did not think this access would matter much when I achieved the designation ten years ago. I was relatively young (25) and I had a few undergraduate courses that used CPCU books as textbooks. At the time, I was motivated in completing the designation because my company at the time paid for the conferment destination (Hawaii).

However, when I worked for an insurance consulting firm, having access to the CPCU network was extremely valuable in getting contacts and ultimately business from certain companies. Working in InsurTech, I think you would appreciate this access to help your company market it's services. The CPCU designation and network has also been helping in me landing other jobs as well.My background is in personal lines pricing/actuarial work, but my involvement with the CPCU chapter has given me a chance to learn more about commercial lines, workers compensation and risk management. My local chapter involvement has also helped me learn other skills like event planning and social media marketing that I wouldn't have gained from my regular job.

Also, please note that this industry is changing rapidly. Being an active CPCU does give you access to TONS of industry webinars for FREE as well as discounts for other CE or designations. Moreover, once you have your CPCU, if you are interested in pursuing other designations, often it is only one or two additional exams to earn it.

I can recognize that it may not be possible to complete the degree and do the designation. I barely made it when I was doing an MBA and getting CPCU at the same time while working full time. However, please consider the additional value the designation offers and possibly completing in the future.

Re: Interesting CPCU quandary...

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:28 am
by navymusic
Great points! In addition to the excellent comments by nicdorda regarding networking with others outside one's current particular specialty, I've never been clear how deeply into the weeds an MBA curriculum might dive on topics like detailed standard coverage form analysis, the risk management process, and reinsurance -- topics that are studied in depth in CPCU. On the other hand, perhaps all risk management and insurance professionals don't necessarily need that knowledge?

All I know is through a long career as a producer, a commercial underwriter, an underwriting manager, a product development specialist, form drafter and coverage instructor, I've never regretted my CPCU studies.

Re: Interesting CPCU quandary...

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:33 am
by seanjb55
Thanks so much for the responses guys-- Good insight into the added value of the designation. I am working full time and attending graduate school, no matter how closely my courses follow the CPCU course, there is still a degree of studying required pre-test. That is a huge commitment to pursue all three at the same time, so I really just needed some input on if the extra time commitment is worth it.

Re: Interesting CPCU quandary...

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:26 am
by navymusic
Multiple times over forty years, I have personally witnessed decisions to hire one qualified candidate over another boiling down to the fact the winning candidate had earned the CPCU designation. Now, not all of those CPCUs may have been the best performer after their hiring -- but they had gotten the job! I'm simply saying having the CPCU could "tip the scales" in close hiring decisions.