Careers With an MA in Global Risk

16 September, 2021

A man with a white shirt and a tie sitting on a bench researching careers with an MS in Global RiskRisks take many forms, and global connections in geopolitics, economics, ecology, and health mean that the consequences of a single event often reverberate on multiple continents. Each year, new political, economic, and environmental threats emerge with implications that can be felt around the world:

  • The annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, issued by international think tank the Institute for Economics and Peace, showed rises in civil unrest and political instability worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A ransomware attack on an IT software firm, one of numerous incidents to hamper trade and infrastructure in 2021, may have affected as many as 1,500 businesses worldwide.
  • Wildfires, which have become more frequent and severe due to climate change, could damage tourism and labor markets in the western United States for years to come. Meanwhile, the resulting smoke travels as far as northern Europe.

Professionals in global risk management careers address the urgent problems that emerge from complicated relationships by applying quantitative and qualitative techniques for modeling, analysis, and decision-making. Government agencies, corporations, and international and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) all need insights from forward-thinking experts who understand the international dimensions of threats. Earning a Master of Arts in Global Risk equips graduates to succeed in a wide range of positions focused on preparing for an uncertain future in an interconnected world.

Global Risk Management Jobs

Global supply chains and international relationships are more crucial than ever to both geopolitics and the daily operations of organizations in all industries. As a result, there’s a variety of roles for those who can analyze emerging risks and set plans or policies accordingly. The following titles are examples of the increasing career opportunities for those who research, model, and mitigate dangers in a multidimensional context of simultaneous worldwide cooperation and competition.

Salary Estimates for Global Risk Management Careers
Job Title Median Salary
Risk Manager/Analyst $122,217
Director of Risk Management $183,243
Business Management Analyst $86,428
Research Analyst $99,883
Finance Consultant $139,868
Financial Manager $129,898

Note: Salary information has been gathered from job market analytics sites including, ZipRecruiter, and GlassDoor.

Risk Manager/Analyst

Risk managers analyze and assess threats in an effort to minimize the negative outcomes for an organization’s strategic planning or internal operations. The array of responsibilities involved can vary a great deal based on the organizations where these professionals work. While financial risk managers strive to prevent losses due to factors like credit risk or changing market conditions, professionals in other industries focus on making recommendations to eliminate hazards or waste in processes such as manufacturing and shipping.

Today’s global economy frequently requires risk managers to account for the ways that policy changes or upheaval can interfere with an organization’s objectives. In monitoring the Russian invasion of Ukraine, for example, professionals must grapple with the burden the conflict contributed to the already-hampered global supply chain and make recommendations for companies trying to move goods around the world. Analyzing relevant data, these specialists advise organizations on how to function relatively efficiently even under difficult circumstances.

Director of Risk Management

A director of risk management develops and manages environmental remediation projects and programs to mitigate financial, operational, and compliance threats. In this role, professionals take the lead in standardizing emergency responses, coordinating the removal of hazardous materials and waste, and optimizing business strategies to protect the organization’s value.

These professionals must also create and modify company-wide policies and investigate any occurrences that may result in asset loss. An extensive understanding of liability and compliance law is vital to a successful career as a director of risk management.

Operations Research Analyst

Business management analysts build data-driven business strategies and recommendations to improve an organization’s efficiency and solve operational problems. These professionals engage in extensive gap and data analysis and discussions with company leaders. They weigh possible changes to processes, products, or software against financial and operational feasibility to find practical opportunities for growth.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 11% increase in positions for management analysts from 2021-2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Given the constantly changing day-to-day tasks, this role is a great fit for people who enjoy variety and thrive in dynamic work environments.

Research Analyst

From technology companies to healthcare providers, organizations of all types depend on international partnerships to obtain materials, store data, and keep operations running smoothly while controlling costs. When the pandemic brought about widespread shortages for essential commodities as varied as gasoline, cleaning supplies, chicken, basmati rice, and microchips, businesses had to adapt quickly. Research analysts are responsible for anticipating just these kinds of logistical and business challenges with data-driven planning and problem-solving.

Through statistical analysis, predictive modeling, and simulation, analysts identify the risks that could interfere with supplying products or providing services on a consistent basis. To successfully plan for the long term, it’s vital for experts to know best practices for synthesizing relevant information from a wide breadth of sources and investigating changes at the local, national, and global levels. By persuasively communicating that big picture and visualizing data — supported with quantitative insights — to decision-makers, research analysts keep organizations on track toward their goals.

Financial Consultant

Every company wants to ensure that they are making the best investment decisions possible, and many turn to financial consultants to advise them. Financial consultants work with clients at investment firms or financial services organizations to monitor their financial health, provide forecasts on their fiscal year, and create and implement long-term financial strategies to boost profits.

A career in financial consulting allows professionals to work for themselves, set their own schedule, and take control of who they work with and what industry they work in. Because of the freelance nature of this career, strong marketing and interpersonal skills are a must to effectively attract and build relationships with clients that last. Using these particular skills to build trust is especially important now as the global markets respond to pandemic recovery, inflation and a contentious war in Europe.

Financial Manager

Financial managers are in charge of preparing financial statements and forecasts, monitoring organizational budgets, and finding ways to reduce costs. These professionals also analyze market trends to advise senior managers on how to maximize profits. To become a successful financial manager, professionals must understand how to lead a team and make company-wide financial decisions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for financial managers is expected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031. Not surprisingly, over a third of these jobs are in the finance sector and include workplaces such as banks, investment firms, and insurance companies. With inflation on the rise, the forecasts these professionals create and their ability to reduce costs becomes paramount.

Global Risk Management Skills

Global risk jobs each have unique demands, but certain skills are needed across a wide swathe of roles and industries. These are some areas of professional development to focus on:

Quantitative Analysis

Risk management professionals need a firm grounding in statistical analysis techniques and calculus principles. A thorough knowledge of mathematical concepts for examining large, complex data sets is fundamental to understand the full implications of international relationships. Global risk professionals must also effectively use software tools to manage, interpret, and visualize their quantitative findings.


Operating in the real world inevitably means dealing with uncertainty, but robust models enable risk professionals to project future events and guide strategy. This approach involves using quantitative methods to assign probabilities to various outcomes, estimate the relative costs and benefits of each result, and determine values for a range of contingencies. Accounting for the complicated ways that political, technological, social and environmental factors can interact requires risk managers to apply advanced techniques to the most up-to-date and accurate data possible.

Problem Solving

Risk management is about identifying the potential challenges facing an organization or political entity and finding proactive ways to address them. Like any skilled problem solver, global risk professionals need to apply the lessons from past successes as well as failures. By formulating creative solutions, they can make recommendations that help organizations move forward even under adverse geopolitical or economic conditions while minimizing losses.

Decision Making

Every choice made by an organization starts with weighing the potential for rewards against the likelihood of undesirable outcomes. Adopting a global perspective supported by extensive data and rigorous models enables wiser decisions. By presenting quantitative models and solving problems, risk professionals help leaders calculate the best ways to succeed in a marketplace that relies on international financial systems and can be disrupted at any time by emerging crises.


A risk manager must be an excellent researcher, finding valuable insights in a wide array of sources. While quantitative research is the basis for populating databases and creating models, qualitative research can reveal the broader relevance of those findings. Methodical attention to information-gathering allows professionals to deepen their understanding of the complex interactions involved in global risk and perceive the limitations of their predictive models.


To turn statistical analysis into action, technical thinkers need to be able to convey what they have discovered to stakeholders with varied areas of expertise. Persuasive communication in both written reports and verbal presentations is a major advantage for getting important ideas through to multiple audiences. By identifying key takeaways and providing compelling data visualizations, global risk managers can become vital to the decision-making processes within organizations.

Global risk management careers give skilled quantitative problem-solvers the chance to make invaluable contributions to organizations navigating the intricacies of geopolitics. Completing an MA in Global Risk equips professionals with the tools and techniques to perceive the massive consequences of political and economic events and lead informed decision-making. As more organizations see the necessity of planning for catastrophic dangers, from cyberattacks to pandemics, the role of global risk managers is becoming increasingly essential to set the strategies that make it possible to thrive on the world stage.

About the Master of Arts in Global Risk (online)

In the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) MA in Global Risk (online) program, students gain a thorough grounding in quantitative and qualitative risk management tools, modeling, and decision-making frameworks. Our cutting-edge curriculum focuses on the specialized knowledge and research skills to analyze complex situations, mitigate dangers, and take on leadership roles.

Featuring a faculty of groundbreaking researchers and experienced leaders, the Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a supportive environment that encourages collaboration and ongoing improvement. Our students participate in two in-person residencies and have opportunities to expand their professional networks. Johns Hopkins University ranks among the top 10 national universities and top 10 global universities, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report and was named one of the best schools for international relations by Foreign Policy Magazine.

Disclaimer: This content has not been peer reviewed and is for informational purposes only.

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