Congratulations on completing your undergraduate degree. Now comes the next level: Which one will you choose-the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or the Juris Doctor (JD)? Or will you do a combined dual JD/MBA? Doubtless, when it comes to credentials, they are both highly respected. So, which is better for you?
MBA vs JD: Admission Requirements
Most business schools will need you to have a bachelor’s degree in either business or a business related field. But some are flexible, accepting applicants with a bachelor’s degree in whichever discipline. If you have impressive test scores or work experience, you’ll be at a greater advantage. By ‘impressive test scores’, most MBA programs will require you to take a GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and score a 540. Anything above 600 is deemed to be good and will give you higher chances of admission.
The Law Schools also require you to be a holder of a bachelor’s degree. Here, you it can be a degree in any discipline, the most common being pre-law and political science. Other favorites are English and Liberal Arts. Any law program that has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) requires that you take the Laws School Admissions Test (LSAT). The average score there is 150, with a score of 160 and above being able to secure an admission.
What they prepare you for:
An MBA throws you into the corporate world. It prepares you for executive and management positions in the business world. You can choose from the wide array of options available, but popular ones include business management and finance.
The JD degree qualifies you to practice law. Demand for lawyers is set t increase on an average 10% all the way through to 2022. Some like environmental and tax law will are predicted to grow faster than others.
Can you do both?
Certainly you can. Pursuing a dual JD/MBA does have its drawbacks, but it comes with a range of benefits. First is the time. While going for each program separately will take you 5 years, the dual program lasts about 4 years. If you know that you’ll want both degrees eventually, it would be prudent for you to consider taking them together. Next is flexibility, in that it is made very easy for you to switch careers. Say you want t do a couple of years in corporate law, and shift later to finance. You’d be able to make the move seamlessly. Let’s not forget the issue of versatility and networking.
But it’s not a bed of roses. Most JD/MBA programs cost more than $50,000 than a solo JD or MBA degree program. And it also means more time and effort away from the workforce. Solo degrees require you to take a 2-3 year break. A dual degree will cost you more time. Then there’s the issue of the curriculum. On their own, the two degrees are notoriously challenging. Combine them, and you simply have to be certain it’s what you want.
Both degrees give you an excellent opportunity to obtain a secure, well-paying career. That having been said, though an MBA offers you a higher potential top-end salary, it comes with a lower average salary, and a slightly more risk of unemployment. On the other hand, a JD gives a higher average salary and has an exceptionally low jobless rate. However, it has a lower potential for getting you astronomical earnings.