Need for Compliance Officers Skyrockets

Business man signing a contract

School of Business Partners with UConn Law to Offer New Certificate in Corporate/Regulatory Compliance

The University of Connecticut School of Business and the School of Law have partnered to create a certificate program in Corporate and Regulatory Compliance in response to the business community’s growing demand for risk-avoidance expertise.

“This is one of the fastest-growing specialties in business today and, with the right credentials, experts are commanding top jobs,” said Business Law Professor Robert Bird. Bird is one of the co-founders of the graduate-level program with Peter Lindseth, the Olimpiad S. Ioffe Professor of International and Comparative Law and Director of International Programs at UConn Law. 

Students will take four courses, typically one per semester, to complete the certificate. The courses will be offered in Hartford and begin in Spring 2017. Applications are now being accepted. To learn more, please visit

“Compliance is emerging as a hybrid law-management collaboration across a broad range of organizations,” Bird continued. “The need for compliance officers is skyrocketing. Regulatory changes and increasing complexity are driving the demand. This certificate is intended to serve graduate students in law and business, as well as post-baccalaureates interested in commencing or augmenting a career in compliance. We also expect to draw compliance managers and leaders who want to improve the effectiveness of their company’s compliance team.”

“The recent explosive growth in compliance jobs illustrates the dynamism of today’s legal market,” said UConn Law Dean Timothy Fisher. “We equip our graduates to thrive in the current job market, and the skills we are teaching are relevant not only to compliance but to many of the career paths they will pursue.”

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to master key compliance regulations, lead a compliance program, cultivate an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law, and undertake value-capturing initiatives that support their company’s business.

Students in the 12-credit program enroll in a variety of courses that focus on legal and case studies; global business compliance; responsibility, accountability and ethics, and more.

A 2015 survey of companies revealed that their biggest compliance and regulatory concerns include: building a culture of compliance, boosting data privacy and security, creating a diverse workforce, and keeping pace with the changing compliance landscape. Fifty-eight percent of companies surveyed said that reinforcing and promoting ‘corporate integrity’ helps productivity, profitability, employee engagement and risk reduction.

Furthermore, large fines and other penalties have rocked companies, especially banks, into a ‘compliance hiring spree,’ as U.S. and other governments focus on business laws and regulations and increase their enforcement efforts, Bird said.

The pursuit of this field pays substantial dividends for potential candidates. Chief compliance officers at large companies typically earn between $160,000 and $232,000 a year.

“There is a tremendous interest in the business community for this program,” Bird continued. “There simply isn’t enough expertise for the companies who are craving this kind of knowledge and guidance. At the School of Business, one of our missions is to help the business community to achieve success and by removing or reducing corporate risk, we are taking a large step in that direction.”