ALTHOUGH OUR ECONOMY MAY STILL BE SLOW, those entering careers in law and business are finding a healthy number of opportunities. Many of these careers are considered recession-proof. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of lawyers in the U.S. topped 1 million in 2003 and record numbers are taking the LSAT. Job opportunities should be plentiful, according to overlawyered.com.
On-campus recruitment shows no signs of slowing down at many law and business schools. "We've been bracing for adjustments from recruiters but there haven't been any yet," says Roger Stegman, dean of student affairs at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. In fact, corporate recruitment efforts at the school have doubled in the past three years and applications to the Gabelli School of Business have increased 55 percent.
IT TAKES SCHOOLIN'
AJD (juris doctor or law degree) or MBA (master's in business administration) requires two or three years of professional school beyond the four years of undergrad study. Although you can major in anything as an undergraduate, many future lawyers study English or philosophy, and many pre-MBA students take business, math, and marketing courses.
Keep in mind that an advanced degree can set you back more than $200,000 in tuition and lost income from not working chose years you're in school. However, your future income can pay off big. Many new B-school (short for business school) grads have seen their starting salaries rocket by 80 percent beyond their pre-MBA wages.
Career experts all agree: The most important thing you can bring to business and law is good communication skills. "You need to be detail-oriented, and have good research and analytical skills," says Susan Giundi, director of career services at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor.
Depending on their area of expertise, liberal arts grads do well in business. English majors tend to be good at presentations and writing persuasively, and may go into marketing and advertising. Math majors are recruited for banking, and history majors make excellent researchers. Even philosophy majors, who are taught to work through arguments, have been finding jobs with corporations.
With just a two-year associate's degree, you can work as a computer network administrator, office administrator, paralegal, court stenographer, or legal assistant.
WHERE THE JOBS ARE
One of the biggest demands comes from consulting firms, which top the list of employers seeking new college graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). "Many organizations are now outsourcing projects instead of doing them in-house," says Camille Luckenbaugh, spokesperson for NACE. "That's a reflection of how the work world has changed."
Another hot business field is hospitality management. "Our seniors are getting five to ten job offers each," says Sarah Parks, director of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
LOCATION: Missoula, MT
JOB: President and CEO of 2 X Inc.
EDUCATION: Business, marketing, and legal training may be helpful. McNulty-King graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor's degree in zoology. More importantly, she played professional basketball and learned …