Venture Capital Risk Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Risk managers need a comprehensive understanding of both business and financial principles, so it’s a good idea to take as many business, economics, mathematics, and accounting classes in high school as possible. English and speech classes will help you to develop strong communication skills, which you’ll need to write detailed reports and convey your findings and recommendations to managing partners. Other important classes include computer science, history, and government.

Postsecondary Education

If you want to work at a venture capital firm, you’ll need to attend a top-tier college and earn excellent grades. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in risk management, insurance, accounting, finance, economics, or business is required to work as a risk manager. Some venture capital managing partners like to hire those with a master’s in risk management or business management.

For a list of the colleges and universities in the United States and Canada that offer degrees and certificates in risk management, visit

Other Education or Training

Many risk managers participate in continuing education classes to keep their skills up to date and qualify for certification or re-certification. These opportunities are provided by professional associations at the national, state, and local levels. For example, the Global Association of Risk Professionals offers classes such as Foundations of Financial Risk (for entry-level professionals) and Financial Risk and Regulation (for mid-to-senior level professionals). The Professional Risk Managers’ International Association, RIMS—The Risk Management, and the Public Risk Management Association also provide professional development opportunities. Risk managers can also take classes at colleges and universities to keep up on the latest risk management strategies.


Many professional associations offer short-term certificate programs, which provide novices with a chance to learn about the field or help experienced practitioners keep their skills up to date. Most involve a combination of online study/in-person classes and the successful completion of multiple-choice and written examinations. For example, the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association offers the associate professional risk manager; credit and counterparty manager; market, liquidity, and asset liability management risk manager; and operational risk manager certificates. Visit to learn more. Here are a few other risk management/investment management certificates:

  • International certificate in risk management (offered by the Institute of Risk Management,
  • Investment management analyst certificate (Investments & Wealth Institute,

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Several associations offer certification programs for risk management professionals, including:

  • Global Association of Risk Professionals (financial risk manager,!/frm)
  • RIMS—The Risk Management Society (RIMS-certified risk management professional,
  • Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (several risk management certificate programs,
  • CFA Institute (chartered financial analyst credential,

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Chief risk officers need at least 10 years of experience in lower level risk management positions or in other venture capital careers. Risk managers must have at least five years of experience in risk management, and risk analysts need a year or two of experience (a combination of an internship, co-op, or part-time job) in a risk management position at a corporation or in an another alternative investment sector such as private equity or hedge funds.

You will need excellent judgment, strong communication and interpersonal skills, and confidence in order to effectively convey and support your recommendations regarding risk areas—especially because other members of the firm may not always agree with your conclusions. Other important traits include good problem-solving skills, intellectual curiosity, strong quantitative skills, and the ability to use risk management software.