ALTA Springboard Takeaways: Addressing the Looming Title Industry Knowledge Gap

Topics: Industry News

Written by TJ Peck, Operations Assistant/Agency Representative
AmTrust Title Insurance Company

The title industry is facing a major challenge in the coming years: a significant gap in professional title knowledge and expertise. With the average title professional being 48 years old and every Baby Boomer reaching or exceeding the retirement age of 65 by 2029, the industry is staring at a great employment cliff within the next 5 to 10 years. Many of the knowledgeable professionals in the industry will be eligible or close to retirement, leaving a significant gap in expertise.

This knowledge rift poses a serious threat to the industry, and it is crucial that title companies take proactive steps to address it.

AmTrust National Agency Representative TJ Peck was a 2024 ALTA Springboard facilitator. During the April event he led a group discussion where he posed this issue to a group of title professionals. In the following article TJ shares the group consensus on how to address the looming industry knowledge gap. 
From the start, our discussion group agreed that by investing in the development of the next generation of title professionals the industry can ensure that it retains its institutional knowledge and remains relevant, far into the future. We examined how this can be achieved through initiatives such as high school work experience programs or internships, hiring teachers or other professionals changing career field, and mentorship programs.

High School Work Experience/Internships

Throughout the entirety of Springboard, we heard this sentiment repeated multiple times, “Title is an industry where you can be wildly successful without a college degree.” Title professionals know that practice and experience are the greatest teachers. In this vein, the group discussed the possibility of bringing in high school students or recent grads through local work experience programs or offering summer paid internships would assist with “building the bench” of future title experts.

According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, about 70% of former interns receive a job offer. When you couple this with a report from Bureau of Labor Statistics stating that 62% of high school graduates enroll in college, we are able to see a delta of close to 30% of students who may be pursuing a different work or education path. For those students, a title internship or work experience program could provide a viable opportunity for an alternative career path that can grow based on the experience.

Creating a work-experience or internship program for young professionals may have some associated state requirements, however they are not insurmountable. You may also be able to qualify for various employer programs through your state Chamber or Education department. These experiences would serve as an excellent opportunity for title to source young professionals, and begin training a new generation of experts in the industry.


Hire Teachers or Professionals Changing Career Field

There are currently around 300,000 teachers that have left the education field in the last few years, which translates to a potential candidate pool over double the current title industry professional population[JM1] . 
As a former public-school teacher turned title professional, I may be a bit biased, but one can extend the pool further to “professionals changing career field”. With either population the point is to look outside of the title industry to bring in candidates a great base of professional skills already ingrained and an eagerness to learn a new field.

A focus on former teachers (or ones unable to find a local district) could be a huge positive return for companies looking to collect new talent. Teacher education programs contain many transferrable skills to title, including communication skills, data and results driven decision making, and interpersonal skills. Teachers are also already familiar with licensing and CE/CLE expectations, as well as working within federal, state, and industry standards as a matter of daily use in comparison to other career paths. There are currently around 300,000 teachers that have left the education field in the last few years, which means that the pool is over double what is in our industry currently.


The group also supported the necessity of internal mentorship programs that create contingencies for filling key roles within title. A major concern is that if a position is empty due to retirement the knowledge gap is too large to fill, and could negatively impact company capabilities. Viable mentorship programs train up ‘the bench’ of employees that can slide into roles that become empty due to retirement. Successful mentorship programs must also be repeatable and in for some roles, continual.

Per MentorcliQ, 84% of all Fortune 500 Companies have a formal Mentorship program (and 100% of Fortune 50 Companies). The large companies understand the value of these relationships, so much so that over 97% of participants find it beneficial. Mentor programs have also led to a 50% increase in employee retention.
Having a mentorship program in place at any level is a great boon to our industry as we would be able to foster the exchange of decades of experience in a controlled setting. This knowledge can be written down, put in to use, and passed along with new experiences to current and future employees.


The ALTA Springboard event offered some excellent potential solutions to the staffing issues that our industry will face in the next 5-10 years. Rather than hiring people who are not qualified or taking replacements from rivals, the industry can cultivate future generations, look for different sources of talent, and train replacements through work-based mentorship. A comprehensive change to bench building can be the answer the industry needs to keep its institutional knowledge and remain relevant for a long time.

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