International business can be an exciting and dynamic career choice, with options to work in many different countries worldwide. Whether you focus on trade, production, marketing, advertising or shipping, in an international company you are part of a larger whole that works to provide customers around the world with products and services they need and enjoy.

Federal job growth statistics illustrate the potential opportunities in the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects rates of growth ranging from 12% for marketing managers to 46% for translators and interpreters between 2012 and 2022.

Regardless of your personal interests, expect your educational qualifications to play a major role in determining which doors are open to you in this industry.

What Degrees are Available?

At the undergraduate level, a common degree choice may be a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration or a Bachelor of Science in International Business. A bachelor’s degree is often considered the minimum requirement for many entry-level positions in international companies. For executive positions, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in International Business may be a requirement.

International business courses typically focus on marketing, finance, trade, policy and international law. Additional courses may include foreign languages or communication. The overarching theme is a focus on management. By studying international business in a degree program, you could take a step toward a leadership role in a multinational company.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Degree?

Generally, an associate’s degree takes two years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree takes four years. An MBA degree and other graduate programs usually require an additional one to two years after completing a bachelor’s degree.

What Careers can International Business Majors Pursue?

Many international businesses focus on the sale and distribution of consumer goods and other products across borders. As a result, career opportunities and professional paths may reflect this focus. For example, individuals with an associate’s degree might find their way into the field as a bookkeeper with a multinational corporation, while employees with a BA in Business Administration may enter as sales agents or account managers. Attaining an MBA or other master’s degree may position individuals for career specializations in areas such as global market research or compliance.

Certifications for International Business Majors

Some professionals seek to further their qualifications by supplementing their education with respected credentials, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. For international business majors, the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) certification offered by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) can highlight an individual’s proficiency in international trade and global business practices.

Other Qualifications

Beyond attaining a business degree from a respected and regionally accredited university, individuals may become stronger candidates for international business careers if they have education and training in related areas, such as economics and finance. Additionally, if an organization focuses on business dealings with a specific country or region, it can be advantageous for job candidates to demonstrate familiarity with a particular language and culture.

Regardless of their eventual work location, international business candidates should emphasize strong communications skills and the ability to adapt to diverse settings and situations.

Pathways to Success

Whatever path you choose, obtaining a formal education in international business may help you secure employment with one of the many companies that produce the goods used every day by consumers worldwide. By taking the time to research degree options and identify your own interests, you may put yourself on the path to a rewarding international career.

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