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International Business Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on June 30, 2020

Why We Love It

  • $69,180
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131041.htm for 13-1041 Compliance officers 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

If you’re interested in world travel, know—or plan to learn—multiple languages, and have a sharp mind for business, a bachelor of science in international business may be the right degree for you. An international business degree covers business and management topics, but it does so within a world view, providing students the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic skills needed to succeed in global business.

What is a Degree in International Business?

A general business administration or management degree is great preparation for individuals who want to work within the U.S., but for those who aspire to use their talents globally or abroad, it is insufficient. Business runs differently outside of the U.S., and success is dependent on a detailed understanding of the languages, customs, cultures, and laws of foreign countries. In an international business program, you’ll learn the best practices of business administration and management alongside these other topics.

International business students typically choose an international region to focus on during their studies, which could include Latin America, Asia, Europe, or the Middle East, among others. Then, they take a deep dive into the interworking of business in that region, learning to speak the language, getting familiar with applicable laws, and studying the religion, culture, and customs of that region. This enables students to succeed in global sales, trade, and sourcing roles, as well as careers in international relations.

Recommended Schools

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in International Business?

  • Global Financial Systems
  • International Management
  • Multinational Marketing
  • International Managerial Accounting
  • International Economics
  • International Business Law
  • Introductory & Advanced Language Study
  • International Financial Management

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in International Business?

With advanced in internet technologies have come opportunities for many businesses to expand their operations globally, trading and selling to individuals internationally and hiring employees from countries all over the world. But with these opportunities have come complications with cultural differences, differing customs, and—especially—different laws and regulations. For this reason, individuals with international business and language skills are expected to be in high demand.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in International Business will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online International Business Degree

Studying international business is an attractive choice for many of the students and online programs in the field are getting more familiar. Students have to complete around 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor degree. You may also choose to study master’s degree if you already a bachelor degree in a related field.


What Can You Do With an International Business Degree?

Globalization has greatly changed the world with millions of products traded between countries every day. It is very common now that a product is manufactured in parts distributed between different countries around the world. Companies may choose to build their factories oversees to gain benefits from low taxes, availability of resources or skilled workers.

As a result of this trend, the importance of international business as a degree increased significantly. International business is not the same as local trade. Business across the borders of different countries involves the exchange of currencies, abiding to different laws and using different languages. International business is affected much more with politics or conflicts between countries which is not common for local trade.

Graduates of international business programs are critically needed by multinational companies. The study helps them have better understanding of the trade. Their choices and decisions are crucial for competing with other international companies.

What does an international business student learn?

Students of international business degree programs study courses related to business, politics, law, marketing in addition to cultures of different countries. There are three types of bachelor degree programs focused on international business: Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in International Business and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Although the focus of these programs is different, there are some common courses:

  1. International Business: this is an introductory course to the program introducing the diversity between environments in addition to management, financial and marketing issues facing international organizations.
  2. International Trade Policies and Practices: this course introduces the common policies and practices in international trading with the major differences compared to local trading.
  3. International Marketing: marketing over the boarders can differ significantly from marketing locally. This course introduces the techniques to enter a market in addition to the influence of culture on the choice of marketing strategies.
  4. International Management: this course introduces the principles for managing multinational organizations taking into consideration cultural diversity at home and abroad.
  5. International Banking and Finance: this course introduces the legal and regulatory affairs related to the banking and finance in different countries.
  6. Global Supply Chain Management: managing the logistics of raw materials, intermediate and products overseas is a significant challenge. This course deals with the availability of resources around the world and the transportation routes.
  7. International Strategic Management: this topic integrates the concepts and topics of planning and building a sustainable model for competing in the international market.
  8. Computer applications in business: this course focuses on the use of computer programs or applications for business management which is critical in the modern world.
  9. International Business Management: students get in this course a chance to get practical experience in the field of business management. Students have to analyze the financial statements, internal and external environments, strategies and policies. Students have to make decision regarding the entry to new markets, sales and marketing.

Now I have the international business degree…where can I work after graduating?

Graduates of international business programs have an advantage of understanding the world market in various countries. They are preferred choice for multinational companies and organizations. Graduates are required in all different types of businesses making high demand for them worldwide. International business careers are highly paid. However, the careers are highly challenging and students are expected to have some experience in internships before graduating.

  1. Marketing manager: marketing managers are responsible for setting and implementing the marketing plans for the company. They need to study the international market need for the offered products, allocate and start new marketing campaigns, coordinates with sales managers and company’s leadership. They must also have creative and artistic vision.
  2. Human resources manager: they are responsible for recruitment, training, managing workforce and talent resources, monitoring performance and ensuring welfare of employees. Human resources managers in international companies have to deal effectively with the cultural differences between people from different countries.
  3. Financial analyst: financial analysts issue financial reports, evaluations and plans for future investments. They play the major role in setting the policies and strategies for achieving the financial goals of a company.
  4. Economist: they work with finance and management on the level of countries or multinational organizations as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or the United Nations. Their role is to analyze countries’ economy including employment, exchange rate, productivity, wages and other types of governmental data.
  5. Policy analyst: they work to analyze the effect of implementing new policies on the economy. These policies can be related to environment protection, homeland security, healthcare, labor rights or other policies. Their role is to set the guides for future policies and to determine the proper responses to changes in policies.
  6. Management analysts: they commonly work as consultants to provide advice to companies who want to restructure or fix management issues. They may also work with companies during expansion to other markets or to set the structure of a subdivision for a specific project.

Should I Choose an international business degree?

If you have passion in business and enjoy working with diverse people from different countries and cultures, then international business is probably your right choice. Studying international business will help you develop a set of useful and unique skills:

  1. Emotional intelligence: making the right choice in the right time.
  2. Adaptive thinking: your work may include travelling a lot around a rapidly changing world to work in completely different environment which requires having the ability to adapt quickly.
  3. Excellent networking ability: building your diverse and large network is a key step towards success in the business world.
  4. Cross-cultural communication skills.

Recommended Schools


Best Jobs for International Business Degrees

The advantage of a bachelor’s degree in international marketing is its demand. Demand for interpreters, translators, and international management analysts is growing at a rate much faster than average, so there should be plenty of opportunities for graduates to find careers in these fields. Additionally, many graduates work as business consultants for companies considering global expansions or hiring.


How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your International Business degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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Take Language Courses Independently

If you’re able to take language courses in high school, invest in language education software, or travel internationally to immerse yourself in the use of another language, you’ll have an advantage when starting your program. You may be able to test out of required language courses, saving you tuition fees, and you may even be able to earn experience and an income working as a translator or interpreter while in college. Additionally, you’ll be well-prepared for internships abroad during college.


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About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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