Business law is a lot more complex than The Art of the Deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s restricted to those in gowns and wigs. In a rapidly changing world, understanding the law of the land is advantageous in a surprisingly wide range of professions.
As much as some people might like otherwise, lawyers aren’t going anywhere — but that’s not to say that other professionals do not require a working knowledge of the law. In fact, it’s highly desirable. Today’s business world is dominated by liability insurance and risk management, so there are many advantages to understanding the legal terrain in day-to-day working life.
In a highly regulated business environment, many positions have specific obligations that make an office-holder accountable, with serious consequences if they fall short. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission holds directors and secretaries of companies (whether large or small) personally liable for acting in the best interests of the company, maintaining solvency, keeping required records, and awareness of what the company is doing, among other things.
Some vocations — such as accountants, compliance officers, and management — require ongoing education as a part of their professional accreditation. Studying an individual unit (at an Undergraduate or Postgraduate level) — such as Company Law for Business, by a university that’s fully certified by professional bodies such as CPA or ICA — is counted towards admission into professional programs. This allows the freedom to study wherever, whenever, rather than having to attend classes after a long day in the office.
Brave new world
As the first generation of digital natives enters the workforce, expectations of skillsets are beginning to change. Many fields are seeing secretaries become a thing of the past as the younger generation prefer to do their own typing and utilise digital tools for organisation and management.
Not only is the way we work shifting, but the very landscape in which we are working is rapidly evolving. Some of the big technological changes of our time — like online shopping, industry-disrupting apps like Uber, and drone technology — are opening up huge new possibilities … and huge new questions as law tries to catch up to the latest wave of the digital revolution.
Globalisation is seeing greater complexity in supplier relations. A business may source computer equipment directly from a supplier in China, contract web designers in Nepal, and transact with entities domiciled in Ireland.
Being at the forefront of these disruptions has many benefits, but without the right toolkit, it can be a minefield. Studying the subject of International Business Law provides solid grounding on conflicting laws between countries, rights and obligations in business transactions, and applying principles of law to problem solving.
Law is more than just long contracts and carefully worded letters. It requires both a creative and critical mind, and calls on a wide range of knowledge. Today, an understanding of the legislation that governs corporate, property, trade practices, and international transactions is a key up-skilling opportunity in a range of roles across both government and industry.
Examining the processes by which law is created, changed and applied to business and government can provide an advantage in your job performance and personal development. Almost everyone who has worked in a demanding business environment can attest to having worked long hours on a project or document only to have it pushed back by legal at the end of the process. When time is at a premium, a 360 view of the business landscape is an invaluable asset to any team.
Whether seeking career agility or transitioning into a new field by undertaking a degree majoring in business law, or looking to advance your promotion prospects through single unit postgraduate study, business law provides the knowledge and critical thinking skills over and above those that can be learned in the workplace.
Open Universities Australia is geared for busy professionals to study at a pace and time of your choosing. Through us you have access to over 150 online degrees and more than 1300 single subjects from 10 leading Australian universities. For those seeking to comprehensively update their skills, there are undergraduate and postgraduate options to equip you to navigate the challenges of today’s business world.