A business law degree may be useful for a number of occupations. Other than becoming a lawyer, one may pursue a career as a financial analyst, insurance underwriter, or management analyst. This article explains how having a formal education in business law may help in these fields, as well as employment outlook and salary statistics for each.
Business law education starts with an undergraduate degree in a related field. One of the most common options is a B.S. in Business Administration, which often features a specialization in business law. Degree programs will vary from school to school, but most feature a similar set of core classes that cover topics such as accounting, statistics, and organization theory. Students who want to continue their education can apply for a dual JD/MBA degree, which provides education and training in both business and legal matters. Graduates with a concentration in business law typically pursue employment within corporations, law firms, or government institutions. Some may become lawyers, but other job options are available at various levels.
|Career||Financial Analyst||Insurance Underwriter||Management Analyst|
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree at minimum; MBA may be preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||12%||-11%||14%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$80,310||$65,040||$81,320|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Options for a Business Law Degree Program Graduate
Having a degree in business law can ensure numerous possible career paths, ranging from corporate to government positions within a variety of industries. Salary will depend on the type of job obtained, demand for this specialty, and the level of education a candidate possesses.
Working as a consultant with a degree in business law can be demanding and competitive; however, there is high earning potential with this career option. Some employers may expect management analysts to have earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on legal studies and business law; however, in some cases, a recent graduate of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Law program may be hired. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015 the median annual salary for this career was $81,320. In addition, the BLS reports that the lowest ten percent in this profession earned $45,970 or less, with the highest ten percent earning $150,220 or more.
Business law degrees also prepare graduates for specialized management analyst careers with a focus on state and federal government, as well as the management strategies of companies and enterprises. The BLS states that as recently as May 2015, professionals working with the federal executive branch as a management analyst had a mean annual salary of $87,750, while those working with companies and enterprises in a specialized management analyst position averaged $90,160.
These positions are typically highly competitive, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an educational requirement for the top positions; however, recent graduate of a bachelor's degree program in a related field can earn a place in this career field. In addition, employment opportunities continue to grow as businesses expand globally. According to the BLS, in May 2015 the median salary for a financial analyst was $80,310. Salary range is dependent on experience and education, and in the same year, the lowest ten percent of financial analysts earned $49,450 or less, while the highest ten percent earned in excess of $160,760, as reported by the BLS.
Working as an insurance underwriter can be an easy transition for a recent graduate of a degree program in business law, including several specialty options such as life, mortgage, health, or property and causality insurance. These professionals review insurance applications and determine whether or not a candidate qualifies. They are also responsible for for generating premiums and coverage amounts. According to the BLS the median salary for an insurance underwriter was $65,040 in May 2015. The BLS also states that in 2015 the highest ten percent of underwriters earned $116,600 or more, with the lowest ten percent earning less than $38,960.
A JD or JD/MBA program with a business law focus can prepare graduates for a career as an international lawyer. An entry-level international lawyer hired with a firm can expect to complete tasks such as drafting papers and motions to be filed in court, interviewing clients and potential witnesses, and reviewing documentation that could be potentially used as evidence. International lawyers may represent banks, insurance companies, and other multinational corporations. Graduates typically focus on the legal applications of business operations.
Salary will range greatly depending on the size of the corporation or firm that an international lawyer will be employed by. For example, the BLS reported that in May 2015, a lawyer could anticipate a salary of around $175,930 if working directly for a company or enterprise. For lawyers employed by the federal executive branch, the BLS anticipated an average salary of $134,400 in May 2015.
Although the BLS forecasts faster than average growth for both financial analyst and management analyst positions, applicants are likely to face strong competition for these high-paying jobs. Competition for insurance underwriting positions will also be strong, as the number of jobs is expected to decline by 11%. One way jobseekers in any of these fields can be more conspicuous to employers is to have a business law degree.