The field of international business is now more important and bigger than ever before. It involves all commercial transactions, which include transportation, logistics, investments, sales, and governmental and private transactions, but specifically beyond political and geographical boundaries. These transactions can be for profit, in cases of commercial entities, or not for profit, in cases of governmental actions. However, in all cases, experts in international business are responsible for ensuring that resources are properly sent from one nation to another.
To make things more confusing, there are now many multinational enterprises, or MNEs. These are companies that are found all over the globe, using production facilities and operations in a range of different companies. Examples of these are Sony, LG, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, BP, and Shell. All of these types of companies require experts in the field of international business to ensure that they remain profitable, and to make sure that they meet all relevant regulations. Those who have studied international business are aware of different political systems, legal systems, languages, economic policies, labor standards, accounting standards, environmental standards, living standards, corporate and local culture, tariffs, foreign exchange markets, trade agreements, important and export rules, education, the climate, and more.
According to a report by All Business Schools, job growth for international business experts is hard to determine, because they can be found in so many different areas of business. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has not made a category for international business, classifying it instead as part of all management occupations. However, those statistics do show that there is likely to be an increase in demand for business managers. And since trade and commerce are becoming more and more global, it stands to reason that there will also be an increased demand for international business experts.
The All Business School report collated data on growth projections between 2014 and 2024 for a number of specific management occupations in which international business is often required. According to their projections:
- Management analysts can expect to see a faster than average 14% growth.
- Budget analysts can expect to see a slower than average 3% growth.
- Human resources managers can expect to see a faster than average 9% growth.
- Financial managers can expect to see an average 7% growth.
- Translators and interpreters can expect to see a much faster than average 29% growth.
- Marketing managers can expect to see a faster than average 9% growth.
All Business Schools, Payscale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have reporting on various positions in international business:
- International Business Managers
- Management Analysts
- International Marketing Managers
- Project Managers
- Business Development Managers
- Marketing Managers
- Operations Managers
- Marketing Directors
- Business Development Directors
- International Sales Managers
All Business Schools has compiled data from different management occupations together with the BLS, reporting that:
- International Business Managers earn an average annual salary of $115,320.
- Management Analysts earn an average annual salary of $80,880.
- International Marketing Managers earn an average annual salary of $123,450.
Payscale.com has reported on common job roles and associated salaries for those with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with an International Business Concentration. This showed that:
- Project Managers, (Unspecified Type / General) earn an annual salary of between $53,723 and $104,138.
- Business Development Managers earn an annual salary of between $64,329 and $160,000,
- Marketing Managers earn an annual salary of between $44,385 and $128,195.
- Operations Managers earn an annual salary of between $39,000 and $124,800.
- Marketing Directors earn an annual salary of between $46,900 and $161,500.
- Business Development Directors earn an annual salary of between $66,977 and $198,764.
- International Sales Managers earn an annual salary of between $48,585 and $111,761.
Geographical location is a factor that influences how much somebody earns in the field of international business. It should be noted, however, that in those areas where salaries are higher, the cost of living is also higher. Payscale.com has reported on the cities offering the highest salaries:
- Houston, Texas, with average annual salaries of $94,546
- Chicago, Illinois, with average annual salaries of $91,500
- Miami, Florida, with average annual salaries of $85,000
- New York, New York, with average annual salaries of $100,693
- Atlanta, Georgia, with average annual salaries of $99,605
- Washington, District of Columbia, with average annual salaries of $116,761
- San Francisco, California, with average annual salaries of $114,929
One other thing that the Payscale.com report looked at is how much different companies pay for those with an MBA with an International Business concentration. The report showed that those working for:
- Estee Lauder Companies Inc., earned an average annual salary of $80,000.
- General Electric Co., earned an average annual salary of $88,023.
- Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, earned an average annual salary of $95,000.
- The Boeing Company, earned an average annual salary of $97,908.
- M&T Bank Corp., earned an average annual salary of $41,546.
- Dish Network Corporation, earned an average annual salary of $163,117.
- R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, earned an average annual salary of $90,870.
- DTE Energy Co., earned an average annual salary of $68,784.
- Medtronic, Inc., earned an average annual salary of $90,000.
- Northrop Grumman Corporation, earned an average annual salary of $111,509.
- FCA Corp., earned an average annual salary of $176,874.
- AT&T Inc., earned an average annual salary of $105,000.
- Amazon.com Inc., earned an average annual salary of $95,865.
- Chase Bank, earned an average annual salary of $116,603.
- Caterpillar, Inc., earned an average annual salary of $85,000.
- Thales Avionics, Inc., earned an average annual salary of $88,500.
- United States Steel Corporation, earned an average annual salary of $69,950.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., earned an average annual salary of $126,500.
- General Motors Corporation, earned an average annual salary of $108,196.
- Summit, earned an average annual salary of $128,000.
- BigCommerce, earned an average annual salary of $139,821.
- The ABB Group (Asea Brown Boveri), earned an average annual salary of $78,150.
- Infinity Insurance Company, earned an average annual salary of $80,000.
- Shell Oil Company, earned an average annual salary of $122,249.
- Jones Lang LaSalle, earned an average annual salary of $97,500.
- British Petroleum (BP), earned an average annual salary of $92,500.
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, earned an average annual salary of $115,000.
- Sulzer Pumps, earned an average annual salary of $130,000.
- Diageo, earned an average annual salary of $110,000.
- Las Vegas Sands, earned an average annual salary of $90,000.
A career in the field of international business will usually require a good education, and this starts with a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, students will find that pursuing a degree is now easier and more convenient because many of these courses are now available online. One example of a bachelor’s degree in international business is that offered by Southern New Hampshire University. Their BS in International Business is also available online, and its curriculum includes:
- Global Financial System
- International Management
- International Business Project
- International Strategic Management
- Multinational Marketing
- International Managerial Accounting
- International Economics
- Principles of Management
To really advance your career, obtaining a master’s degree in international business will be needed. It is believed that this will give you advanced skills and knowledge in your field, and set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. As with bachelor’s degrees, many master’s programs are now also offered online, which makes it easier than ever to complete a degree without having to completely stop working.
A lot of universities now offer the Master of Business Administration degree with an International Business concentration. However, some schools continue to offer an international business degree on its own. A good example of such a degree is offered by Hult University, specifically the Master of International Business.
Schools will have some differences in their admission requirements. However, they are usually quite similar because what they need to find out is whether or not the applicant has the capability to complete a program at graduate degree level. For instance, the admissions requirements for Hult University are:
- Bachelor degree or equivalent
- Proficiency in English
- Current resume
- Personal essay (400-500 words)
- Two letters of recommendation
- Copy of your Bachelor degree or equivalent
- Transcripts (in English) from all universities attended
- Evidence of English proficiency, if it is not your native language
- GMAT or GRE
- Being globally-minded
- Speaking more than one language
Schools will also have differences in their curricula, so make sure to check before enrolling that the program you will undertake is properly accredited as this will ensure that the course complies with the relevant standards.
One example is the curriculum at Hult University, which includes:
- International Business
- International Marketing
- Global Economics
- Leadership Skills
- Financial Management
- Operations Management
- Capstone Simulation
- Business Challenge
- Global Strategy
A lot of investment in terms of time and money is expected when you pursue an education, especially a master’s degree. For some students, getting financial assistance is the only way to overcome this hurdle in the pursuit of the degree that they want. Fortunately, most colleges and universities would be able to signpost you to financial aid, and they may also have scholarships and grants available that you can apply for. At the same time, there are a number of external scholarships that you may want to consider. These include the:
- Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarship, valued at between $2,500 and $5,000.
- BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow Scholarship, which is a full scholarship.
- Celia M. Howard Fellowship, to the value of $10,000.
- Don Riebhoff Memorial Scholarship, to the value of $1,000.
- Executive Women International Scholarships, valued at between $1,000 and $5,000.
- Henry A. Zuberano Scholarship, to the value of $1,000.
- Malcolm Baldrige Scholarship, valued at between $2,000 and $4,000.
- Marjorie M. Shostak Scholarship, valued at $1,500.
- Mary Kathleen Berry Study Abroad Scholarship, valued up to $7,500.
- MillerCoors National Scholarship Fund, valued at $3,000.
It should be pointed that applying for a scholarship means that you have to meet certain requirements. These include studying at a certain school, taking on a certain concentration, aiming to work in a certain field, demonstrating financial need, holding a minimum GPA, belonging to a certain minority group, being a member of a professional organization, or being of a certain gender.
Obtaining a career in the field of international business does not require certification but it will certainly help. Through certification, you demonstrate that you are committed to your professional development. That said, it must be noted that getting a certification does require more investments in terms of time and money, and you often have to maintain that certification by regularly completing continuous education credits. Nevertheless, most people would agree that this is a worthy investment, as it opens more career doors.
Some certifications that you may want to consider in the field of international business include:
- Certified International Trade Professional – CITP
- IIEI Certification
- Certified International Credit Professional (CICP)
- Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP)
- Business Continuity Professional Certifications (CBCP)
Becoming a member of certain professional organizations as soon as you decide to study towards an international business degree, even at bachelor’s level, is advisable. There are many advantages in being a member, such as the availability of scholarships and grants, the fact that you will always be at the forefront of new developments within your field, you may find it easier to complete certifications and continuous education credits, and you get to build a professional network that will prove to helpful in your career.
Some of the associations in the field of international business management you may want to consider are the:
- International Business Association
- Academy of International Business (AIB)
- International Business Structuring Association
- International Business Brokers Association (IBBA)
- Finance, Credit, and International Business (FCIB)
- International Business Salary and Job Outlook. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.allbusinessschools.com/international-business/salary/
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), International Business Degree Average Salary. (2017, Apr. 22). Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Business_Administration_(MBA)%2C_International_Business/Salary
- Learn How to Conduct Business Abroad by Earning an Online International Business Degree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-international-business
- Master of International Business. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.hult.edu/en/masters-degree/master-of-international-business/