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Harry Cassin
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U.S. News: Compliance Officer is hot job for MBAs

U.S. News and World Report said Monday that aspiring MBA students should consider a career as a compliance officer.

The recommendation was one of five career paths that “offer robust job growth, generous salaries and low unemployment rates, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Susannah Snider, the Personal Finance editor at U.S. News, reported that compliance professionals “can find employment in a wide swath of fields, from health care to telecommunications and finance.”

Compliance officers have become subject-matter experts, Snider said.

In the pharmaceutical field, for example, they’re “experts in dealing with the Food and Drug Administration.”

In the financial services industry, compliance officers “know the ins and outs of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act and international banking regulations.”

Other careers on U.S. News’ list of the Best Business Jobs for 2017 were business operations manager, financial manager, medical and health services manager, and accountant.

Susannah Snider’s article, “Explore 5 Hot Jobs for MBA Graduates,” is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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1 Comment

  1. While the inclusion of "Compliance officer" in U.S. News' 5 Hot Jobs for MBA Graduates is newsworthy, it entirely misses the state of reality in the ethics and compliance job market. The tag line for this entry should read "MBAs Need Not Apply."

    Given the history of ethics and compliance programs, it is no coincidence or surprise that the function (and the Chief Ethics and Compliance role in particular) is largely dominated by advanced degrees in law and not finance or other related areas. If you believe that the primary role or responsibility of the CECO is to provide legal judgement or to "defend the company," then a JD is the educational prerequisite of choice.

    If however, you believe that the role of the CECO is more about mission, vision, strategy, program, culture and metrics, then an MBA may be the prerequisite and functional diversity your program needs. MBA's typically prepare students for a broad role in managing businesses and organizations. They speak the language business and develop important skills such as leadership, setting strategy, building teams, and measuring performance. These skills are perfectly matched for leading and managing today's complex, global and multi-dimensional ethics and compliance programs.

    While we would like to think that MBAs are perfectly suited for the CECO role (as an MBA and not a JD, I do), the reality is that many companies still prefer and recruit for the safety of "privilege" and defending the company than the expertise of business administration. Maybe in Compliance 2.0 we will see more MBAs ascend to the role of CECO. In the meantime, for most CECO opportunities, MBAs Need Not Apply.

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