Many students attend college with the intent of getting either a business degree or a legal degree.
Both career fields are viable options because they are typically high-paying and offer several different career paths. Business and legal jobs are available in both the public and private sectors, with some possible overlap depending on your chosen career.
With so many job possibilities, the exact skills you need for either a legal or business career can change. Even the state you want to work in may change what skills or certification is needed. Business and legal jobs usually offer plenty of room for advancement.
It is common for employees to return to school or take additional certification classes to advance to a higher position, but some students prefer to stay in school longer so they can immediately apply for a higher-ranked position. Which option you choose largely depends on personal preference. While numerous business and legal careers are available to choose from, some of the most common business and legal professions are listed below.
Bookkeeping careers are primarily associated with business degrees, but many legal jobs require a bookkeeper as well. Even if you do not work for a legal firm, bookkeepers are expected to have a basic understanding of business law.
Bookkeepers are responsible for managing all the financial information for a company. This includes listing business expenses, recording salary information and reporting general profits and losses for the company. Bookkeepers are necessary for most businesses, although smaller businesses may handle all the bookkeeping on their own. With larger businesses, this is not an option.
The two most important skills in bookkeeping are math and computers. Bookkeepers deal with numerous records, so organization skills are important. You must be detail-oriented if you want to succeed as a bookkeeper. The only technical requirement to be a bookkeeper is a high school diploma, but most businesses expect bookkeepers to have additional qualifications.
You may be able to waive the additional educational components with work experience, such as working in an accounting firm for several years before you become a bookkeeper.
The more experience you have as a bookkeeper, the more job opportunities are available. Large companies are hesitant to work with less experienced bookkeepers, and they may not accept your application if you do not have several years of bookkeeping experience.
This happens even when you have post-secondary degrees boosting your resume. The most advanced bookkeepers often act as the heads of financial management or accounting for a company. These jobs often require managerial skills, on top of all the other training to become a bookkeeper.
Real Estate Careers
Real estate jobs primarily focus on business, although some legal knowledge regarding housing rules and regulations is helpful. Real estate agents learn these laws without enrolling in a legal class. The main responsibilities of a real estate agent are helping clients buy, sell or rent homes.
To succeed as a real estate agent, you must understand the national and state housing market. The housing market is constantly in flux, so you must be willing to periodically perform research to stay up on the latest housing trends. Real estate agents must receive licensing and certification as per state rules.
Real estate agents do not earn traditional income. Instead, real estate agents earn a percentage of all property sales made. New real estate agents have a harder time in the beginning since it takes time to develop a client base.
Reputation is usually important as a real estate agent. Most of your clients come from previous clients recommending your services. Once you build a client network, you have a greater chance of reaching out to higher-paying clients, which in turn increases your overall profits.
Self-motivation is often an important skill as a real estate agent. You must be willing to perform research on your own and reach out to clients. Communication is equally important as a real estate agent. You must not only communicate with your clients but with property sellers in the area as well.
Event Planning Careers
Event planning involves different skills. Event planning largely focuses on business skills, but legal knowledge is important as well. The type of legal knowledge depends on what field you specialize in, such as when you organize conventions, you must be familiar with building codes.
Local regulations must be followed as well. Smaller event planners may not have as many legal concerns. As an event planner, you are responsible for managing the location where the event is hosted, creating a guest list and making sure the event runs correctly.
Communication is important for an event planner. You must be able to effectively listen to your client and turn their dreams into a reality. You must be comfortable telling your clients when they are dreaming too big.
Event planners must be able to multitask. As an event planner, you handle strict deadlines and manage difficult schedules based on your needs and the needs of the client.
The exact requirements to be an event planner change depending on your chosen field. Most event planners have at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, although this is not technically required. New event planners often work through a company, but many go on to be self-employed.
Paralegals are informally known as legal assistants. Paralegals work with a law firm and help with various administrative tasks. Paralegals certify documents and perform legal research for their law firm. They reach out to clients and arrange meetings with witnesses. Most paralegals go on to get their own law degree.
Typically, paralegals need at least a bachelor’s degree. You may be able to get a job without a degree and instead get on the job training from a law firm. Both legal knowledge and communication skills are critical for paralegals.
Private Investigator Careers
Private investigators must generally have a strong knowledge of the law. Private investigators are commonly hired by businesses to look for evidence of fraud, but they work with private clients to gather information in other areas as well. Law firms typically keep a private investigator on hand to help with cases. Private investigators commonly work alongside security firms. Many private investigators are self-employed.
Being a private investigator does not require a specific degree, but it helps to have some sort of background in criminal justice. Clients may only hire private investigators with certain degrees depending on their case.