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Business Degrees and Contracts: Exploring Your Career Options

Editorial Staff

Business Degrees and Contracts: Exploring Your Career Options

Contracts make the business world go round. Whenever a deal is struck, a solid contract should be in place to protect both parties involved from legal risk and financial ruin. Every business major naturally learns the ins and outs of contract management as part of their degree. This helps you develop the business acumen, negotiation, and risk mitigation skills needed to develop strong business relationships and succeed in the working world. Whether you want to pursue traditional career paths in contract management or insurance, or try your hand at entrepreneurship, contract savviness can indeed take you places, professionally exciting and financially rewarding places. The average business graduate earns $69,000 per year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals.

Exploring Career Paths: Contract Manager 

So if you’re majoring in business and want to pursue contract-related work, you could decide to become a contract manager — someone in charge of creating and managing contracts for a business. As a contract manager, the responsibility of contract creation lies squarely on your shoulders, and you’ll make sure the process is as fast and efficient as possible from creation and negotiation through to execution and closure. 

Contract managers are in high demand across multiple fast-paced industries, including government, healthcare, construction, and IT. You can probably imagine why. Contracts can be dense, complicated, and time consuming to read, which is why they’re often not read in full at all. Yet this can be a fatal mistake for businesses. Reading each section carefully is a must to protect the integrity and financial standing of any organization from risk and ruin. That’s where contract managers come in. They thoroughly read the contract over, understand key obligations, terms, and risks, and communicate these points to the business owner or department head. Contract managers are also paid well. In the U.S., the average contract manager makes $100,024 annually, while entry level positions start at $75,007 per year.

Entrepreneurship: Start, Run, and Grow Your Own Business

A business degree and a solid understanding of contracts can also come in useful if you want to launch your own business. In fact, 56% of business owners have an associate’s degree or at least some college behind them. Whether you want to sign a commercial lease to rent out a store, hire an independent contractor to develop your brand, or work with a supplier to purchase office equipment, a contract should be in place to define core details of the business transaction at play and protect your business from potential legal and financial trouble later down the line. 

Yet no matter how confident you may be in your contract abilities, it’s always smart to have a third-party look over the contract, especially as a first-time entrepreneur. An experienced attorney familiar with the law in your state will know what to look out for and how to get you the best terms possible. So get their input on what needs to be changed before signing on the dotted line. Then decide if you want to follow their advice, before getting in touch with your business partner to put forward your suggested changes.

Insurance Underwriter 

Another career route worthy of exploration is insurance underwriter. In this role, it’s up to you to decide who gets insurance and under what policy terms and conditions. Insurance policies are basically legal contracts between the insurer and the insured, which is where your contract knowledge comes in useful. You’ll be responsible for reading them over to understand coverage details, the obligations of the policyholder and insurer, and the risks involved in providing insurance. The power to decide whether or not to accept insurance applications ultimately lies in your hand. Insurance underwriters in the U.S. earn $76,880 on average, which is a significant bit more than the average salary for all occupations, $59,384.

It’s safe to say contracts make the world go round. As a business major with a strong understanding of contracts, you have many fulfilling and financially-rewarding career options open to you from contract management or insurance underwriter to business owner. Whichever direction you go in, a bright future certainly lies ahead. 

SEE ALSO: Beyond the Books: Exploring Extracurricular Learning for College Students

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