Is International Business a Good Major? [2021 Guide]

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Is international business a good major? Getting your degree in international business could help prepare you for an exciting and lucrative career in international or multinational corporations, government agencies, or financial institutions.

Is International Business a Good Major

A bachelor of international business will teach you key business principles. It will also equip you with strategies for working in cross-cultural settings and navigating the laws and regulations of other countries.

This degree may be the first step in your global career.

Is International Business a Good Major?

Financial Analyst working in his office

Yes, international business is a good major for many undergraduate students. With an average salary of $105,660 and 5% job growth for management occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics), majoring in international business can help you launch a career in this globe-spanning field.

Common international business careers include logistician, marketing manager, financial analyst, operations manager, and human resources manager.

In today’s connected society, many companies have overseas offices or market their products in multiple countries. Unfortunately, what works for domestic operations may not always directly transfer over to international operations. International business degrees are designed to equip you with specific skills for success in global markets.

You may learn how to communicate with people of different backgrounds, navigate imports and exports, tailor your services to various demographics, and coordinate diverse operations.

Your education in international business can help provide a foundation for global success that sets you ahead of other business majors. That may put you on track for management roles.

Having an international business degree could also prepare you for a government career. Whether you’re interested in economics, policymaking, or foreign relations, you may often fall back on the lessons learned during your bachelors program in international business.

International Business Major Curriculum

General and Operations Managers in a meeting

For your major in international business, you’ll likely take a core set of business classes as well as courses specific to operations in multinational and international settings. Examples of courses include:

  • Communicating Across Cultures
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Global Finance and Economics
  • International Banking
  • International Business Law and Ethics
  • Introduction to International Business
  • Management in Multinational Companies
  • Marketing Around the World
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic Management for Global Settings

There may be opportunities to select electives that correspond with the type of business you want to conduct or the part of the world in which you’d like to work. You may also travel overseas as part of your program or even complete an internship in another country.

Top 5 Things You Can Do with an International Business Degree

Logistics Manager giving instructions to staff

Just as in domestic business, job opportunities in international business are diverse. International companies require people who can fill standard business roles, but they also need experts who can address the specific demands of working in cross-cultural settings.

1. Logistician

As a logistician, you’d be responsible for coordinating aspects of the supply chain. This can be especially important in international business since materials or products often need to be transported across borders.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24% of logisticians are employed in manufacturing settings. Another 18% work for the federal government. Other top employers include wholesale trade organizations and scientific services companies.

2. Marketing Manager

Marketing Manager brainstorming with team

International businesses market their products in countries around the world. Marketing managers study product demand in various regions and determine the best advertising strategies.

Before becoming a marketing manager, you’ll probably need to work your way up through the marketing department. You might start as a market research analyst, a job that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pays an average of $63,790 annually and is growing at an 18% rate.

3. Financial Analyst

Many international business roles relate to finance. Financial analysts provide insights into the best investments to make, and they look for trends in financial data.

For international organizations, this information can help determine which new markets to move into or how to improve operations in a particular region. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the top 10% of financial analysts earn over $156,150 each year.

4. Operations Manager

Operations managers are often some of the top executives in an organization. They may oversee the day-to-day activities of the business, and they may also formulate plans and policies.

Management jobs with overseas companies may require knowledge of a country’s culture and laws. Operations managers often work for wholesale and retail trade organizations. Other employers include construction, manufacturing, technical services, and professional services.

5. Human Resources Manager

Human Resources Managers having a chat

Human resources managers coordinate personnel and deal with issues related to staffing, such as hiring, training, and compensation.

For multinational organizations, HR professionals may need to rely on different sets of tax or employment laws for each jurisdiction in which they do business. Before becoming a manager, you might be a human resources specialist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that HR specialists usually earn between $37,180 and $105,930 annually.

International Business Careers

International Business Careers

With a degree in international business administration, you could work for an American company that runs operations overseas. You could also work for a foreign company that has a presence in the US.

There’s also the possibility of frequent travel, carrying out responsibilities both at home and abroad. International and multinational businesses offer many of the same positions as domestic companies.

If you’re interested in logistics, advertising, human resources, or finance, you could combine that passion with a career in international business. You might start with entry-level positions and work your way toward management roles.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management careers pay an annual average salary of $105,660.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $184,460
Marketing Managers $136,850
Political Scientists $122,220
Human Resources Managers $116,720
Economists $105,020
General and Operations Managers $100,780
Management Analysts $85,260
Financial Analysts $81,590
Logisticians $74,750
Market Research Analysts $63,790

Experience and further education may help you secure management positions and move higher up the income chart. Potential employers may include manufacturing, trade, or professional services companies. Other options include banks and investment firms.

The government is another prime employer of international business experts. Federal agencies need professionals who understand global markets, economic affairs, and cross-cultural relationships. You could also play a political science role, advising lawmakers on foreign dealings.

This degree could be useful for a job in the nonprofit world as well. Your skills might be especially valuable when it comes to expanding the efforts of international relief organizations.

How to Know If a Degree in International Business Is Right for You

Living and working in a foreign country often presents challenges that you don’t typically face in your everyday life back home. Being a creative thinker and having great flexibility can help you succeed in an international business career.

Whether you work domestically or abroad, you may frequently interact with people from different cultures. As you do, strong communication skills, openness to other viewpoints, and a desire to learn about different cultural backgrounds may prove invaluable.

What Can I Do with an International Business Degree?

Chief Executives in a meeting

If you want to work overseas, an international business degree could help you get there. You may even complete an international internship while in school that could help you build global connections.

Overseas companies may hire you for your skills in marketing, finance, logistics, or communications. Many banks operate offices around the world. Your knowledge of investments and risk management could prepare you to work for one of these international institutions.

Government jobs are often available to international business majors as well. For example, the Treasury Department needs employees who understand economic models and global markets.

What Is an International Business Degree?

Chief Executive meeting with foreign investors

For a degree in international business, you’ll study many of the same subjects as other business majors. Courses may include finance, public relations, business law, and employee development. Unlike many of the other students enrolled in the business program, though, you’ll also take classes with a global emphasis.

For example, you may explore how to conduct HR activities when working with people of different cultural backgrounds. You may also discuss how foreign regulations influence companies’ importing and exporting practices. International business programs sometimes offer opportunities to study overseas as well.

Why Study International Business?

Market Research Analysts meeting

The business world is increasingly interconnected. What happens on one side of the world can have far-reaching effects on the other side. Even companies that don’t directly deal in overseas markets need to understand the implications of international happenings.

An international business management degree can help equip you to tackle this challenge. You may work at home or overseas and lend unique insights into decisions about investments, policies, and operations. A degree in international business can open doors to a career in manufacturing, retail, government, nonprofit work, and banking.

What Is an International Business Degree Good For?

General and Operations Managers in a conference

These days, getting an international business degree can be a smart way to start your business career.

Nearly every organization, whether it runs only domestic operations or has offices all over the world, has to negotiate with foreign companies or consider global markets now and then. With a background in international business, you may have the knowledge to tackle those responsibilities.

Organizations may depend on your skills when it comes to global communication, trade, or investments. As a result, this degree could be an attractive addition to your resume.

What Do International Business Majors Do?

Economists meeting in a cafe

International business majors perform many of the same jobs as other business graduates. For example, you may specialize in human resources, accounting, procurement, or advertising.

International business graduates often carry out those responsibilities in global settings. That could mean working in an overseas office for a foreign or American company.

Not all international business majors move far away, though. Many work for foreign employers in the US. Others have jobs with nonprofit organizations or federal agencies that are involved in international relations.

What Jobs Can You Get with an International Business Degree?

Economist working on his laptop

Many business students end up with jobs in the professional, technical, and scientific services sector. Others work in enterprise management, manufacturing, government, or trade. Additional opportunities are available with investment firms or banks.

Within those varied sectors are a variety of jobs for international business majors. Opportunities include roles in finance, marketing, public relations, logistics, advertising, human resources, and more.

With a degree in international business and years of experience, you may have opportunities to take on management roles in global organizations.

Is a Degree in International Business Worth It?

HR Managers in a coffee shop

Yes, an international business degree is worth it for many students. With an average salary of $105,660 and 5% job growth for management occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a degree in international business administration can help you launch a career in this diverse field.

Common international business careers include general manager, policymaker, supply chain specialist, chief executive, and financial manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in business and finance bring in an average salary of $69,820 per year.

Many business management jobs are also available to experienced workers who only have a bachelors degree.

Getting Your Degree in International Business Online

Getting Your Degree in International Business Online

Working in a global environment is both exciting and challenging, but a degree in international business can help provide the preparation you’ll need.

You may graduate with a better understanding of business administration, foreign relations, and cross-cultural communication. Your international business bachelors degree may stand out to employers who conduct business in international or multinational markets.

In addition to helping you get your foot in the door, this course of study might lay the foundation for advancement to management roles. An international business degree doesn’t have to wait. With online study, you may fit coursework into your busy schedule. You can get started by checking out accredited online programs.

Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks