Banking groups around the country are working with colleges and universities to draw more young people into the industry — especially to small banks.

Representatives from 17 academic institutions gathered this summer, for example, to share best practices for building academic banking programs, said Lisa McBride, the Risk Management Association’s director of professional development, who helped facilitate the meeting.

The RMA, a nonprofit association that aims to advance the use of sound risk management in the industry, started its academic initiative in 2015 and now offers its commercial credit risk analysis content to universities and colleges. The association also offers a Credit Essential Certificate that many schools use as final exams for the banking course.

Several industry organizations, associations, and regulatory agencies are working on similar projects and programs to build interest in the industry among younger generations. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. keeps a tally of two- and four-year banking programs around the country. As of April, the FDIC counted 33 four-year programs and 39 two-year programs.

Efforts to develop banking education programs have increased over the last couple of years, said Jim Edrington, the American Bankers Association’s chief member-engagement officer. That could be in part because competition for talent has increased as unemployment numbers shrink, said Edrington, who is on the advisory board of Marquette University’s banking program.

Read more in American Banker.

Editor's Note: WBA has a similar effort currently underway to college campuses across Wisconsin. You can read more about that effort and what you can do to help at