Some Ohio State students may soon want to start looking at careers in insurance.
Ohio insurance companies may have more job openings by 2020 than people to fill the openings because of retiring older workers and the expansion of insurance companies in Ohio, according to the Insuring Ohio Futures campaign website.
Gov. John Kasich’s office partnered with the Ohio Department of Insurance to promote the Insuring Ohio Futures Campaign, which is aimed at educating college students on the increasing job availability in the state’s insurance industry.
According to Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Ohio ranks seventh in the nation for the number of insurance jobs with more than 250 insurance companies based in-state, contributing to roughly 100,000 jobs within the industry.
The Insuring Ohio Futures campaign was formed in March 2013, according to its website.
In a Tuesday videoconference with The Lantern and other college media outlets, Taylor, who is also the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, said the insurance industry will face big changes in the coming years.
“As we face the impact of retiring baby boomers, there will be a lot of turnover in the industry,” Taylor said. “These are stable, good paying jobs that include a number of professions, professions not everybody thinks about when they think about the (insurance) industry.”
Taylor said there are a variety of jobs in the insurance industry that pay above the median income in Ohio and offer college students opportunities to move up the ladder and gain promotions.
“There is more to insurance than just sales. Insurance companies in Ohio need accountants, actuaries, adjusters, attorneys as well as physicians,” Taylor said, adding that customer service and marketing positions are also becoming available.
Some Ohio State students like Zeina Hidmi, a second-year in pharmacy, are unsure of the purpose behind the Insuring Ohio Futures campaign, though, and think the governor’s office might be overstepping its boundaries.
“I think it is too out of line for the state governor’s office to get involved. Maybe it should come from the student government at universities, but the state government should not be advocating for private companies,” Hidmi said.
Taylor said the motives behind the Insuring Ohio Futures campaign are to stimulate the Ohio economy and make it more business-friendly.
“What we’ve been trying to do from a state perspective is make Ohio a better place to do business and have less mandates and regulations, not more — a place where businesses can come be successful and employ more Ohioan(s). It’s about good job opportunities for all Ohio citizens,” Taylor said.
College students are not the only group the Insuring Ohio Futures campaign aims to inform. Taylor said education of veterans has been emphasized as well.
“It’s just as important to focus on our military folks, veterans who are coming back to Ohio and have specialized skills and knowledge that very quickly and easily translates into an industry like insurance,” Taylor said.
Samuel Montana, a second-year in psychology, said he thinks more young people would consider going into the insurance industry if they knew there were jobs there.
“I don’t think the idea of a career in insurance sounds interesting to many students, but if they have a degree and are trying to provide for their families in a struggling job market, it seems like a great way to go for me,” Montana said.
Montana said he doesn’t see a downside to educating people on the options available.
“I’m not for a lot of government regulation and involvement in the economy, but I don’t see how this campaign could be a bad thing for the state,” Montana said.
College Democrats did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment Tuesday night.