International Business

As our world becomes more connected through technology and the global marketplace, the demand for workers possessing degrees in International Business is growing rapidly.  Many domestic corporations are currently establishing offices overseas, and they need culturally competent and well-trained business people to act as representatives for their companies. International Business graduates are likely to be responsible for facilitating communications and business deals; especially needed are those with a high degree of both expertise in their field and cultural sensitivity.  Successful employees should demonstrate strong leadership skills, consistently ethical behavior, and adaptability to rapidly evolving technologies.  Put simply, this career is all about learning how to effectively conduct business on the global scale.

Although there are certainly many jobs available to those who earn their Bachelors’ degrees in International Business, obtaining a Master in Business Administration (MBA) or a Master in International Management (MIM) takes an additional one to two years, and increases career options and access to better paying management and administrative positions. As opportunities and salaries increase, the job market for International Business graduates has become more competitive. In the past, having an MBA was more than sufficient to secure a high-paying job but today, students may want to consider obtaining a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), equivalent to a PhD, and additional specialized business certifications. The DBA is also strongly encouraged for those who are interested in careers in research or academics.

There are many job options for students who wish to pursue degrees, particularly advanced degrees, in this field. You can work in an overseas corporate office, in which case it is important to consider how you feel about extensive travel abroad, often with long and/or odd hours. There are jobs available in the government sector in fields such as education, healthcare, and aerospace.  Another option is consulting, usually in the short-term, within specific areas of business such as banking, law, technology, and international trade. Working as an international accountant, which often requires an MBA and specific accounting licensure qualifications, involves expertise in tax law and currency exchanges, along with an understanding of how to read and create financial statements, in the format required by other countries and their respective laws.  An international economist studies the market, analyzes trends, and makes projections about countries that companies are doing business with overseas.  International banking is another lucrative field with excellent job prospects, because of  emerging international markets.  Jobs are available within domestic banks that hold foreign accounts and in internationally owned institutions that do business in the United States.

Students majoring in International Business can expect to take classes in management, economics, business law, international finance, foreign languages, international marketing, and international operations.  Becoming proficient in a second language, and possessing a high degree of knowledge about software programs and their constantly-evolving technologies, are considered crucially valuable skills in today’s market.

This major is best suited for students who are interested in business, traveling, and learning about other cultures and languages.  It helps to be flexible, a strong communicator, and good with numbers.  You should possess an excellent understanding of multicultural business etiquette and world affairs.  There is a fast-growing demand for professionals in this field, and above-average job growth projected over the next decade, so majoring in International Business could be the first step towards having a successful and fulfilling career.

Career Paths for International Business Majors

  • Business analyst
  • Foreign affairs specialist
  • International buyer
  • Management specialist
  • Bilingual educator
  • Customs broker
  • International trade specialist
  • International marketing specialist
  • International banker
  • Cultural advisor
  • Import compliance specialist
  • International economist
  • International accountant
  • Corporate trainer
  • Global sourcing specialist
  • International financial officer
  • International consultant
  • Foreign service officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Translator/Interpreter

Websites such as www.glassdoor.com and www.indeed.com are just a couple of the resources available for finding jobs and internships in International Business around the world.