Prince Cezda Dlamini of Swaziland is a United Nations spokesman (for Millenium Development Goals), the founder of the Ubuntu Institute and a Board of Director for the South African Chamber of Commerce in America. Solange Warner is the founder and president of Ashton International and is the founder of the World Chamber of Commerce. Bobby Bhatt is the Director of Strategic Business Development for SA International, Inc., a global company that provides IT security, consulting and solution services.
These three successful individuals have at least one thing in common—they have each completed an International Business Degree.
Why Pursue An International Business Degree?
In January 2010, President Barack Obama announced the National Export Initiative, a strategy to double the country’s exports by 2014 while still sustaining millions of jobs in the United States. “With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside our borders and the International Monetary Fund forecasting that nearly 87 percent of world economic growth over the next five years will take place outside of the United States, U.S. businesses seeking to find their next customer should consider exporting their goods and services,” states the International Trade Administration’s National Export Initiative webpage.
A press release issued on February 8, 2013 by the Export-Import Bank of the United States shared that U.S. exports, from both small and large businesses, have been in fact increasing and that 2012 saw an export record of $2.195 trillion (about 39% higher than exports done in 2009). The press release also stated that in December 2012 alone, the United States exported $186.4 billion worth of goods and services.
In a video on the National Export Initiative webpage, the President of Antenna Technology Communications in Arizona stated they were exporting their products and services to about 70 countries. “It’s an exciting time and you know there’s never been a better time,” he said. “I think a year ago people were concerned that the world may be falling apart—now there’s belief. We’re back!”
Whether you are striving to be a CEO or a business owner, a corporate social responsibility representative or a financial manager, a financial strategist for an NGO or a diplomatic representative, to work for the IMF or the American Chamber of Commerce, it’s clear that geographic boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, in business and other fields. An international business degree can provide you with the theoretical and practical skills needed to be successful both at home and overseas (whether your position involves international relationships, travel or even moving to another country).
What Will I Learn Completing an International Business Degree?
International degrees are offered at the undergraduate (i.e. Associate and Bachelor) and graduate (i.e. Master and Ph.D) levels. Obviously the academic level you choose to pursue depends on whether you have already gone to university or not, and what level of employment you are striving for. For example, a Bachelor or Master degree will open up graduates to higher level and more specialized jobs compared to an Associate degree.
An Associate degree is an option for those just starting their university career and looking for possible entry-level positions. (Should they choose to return to university, they may be able to transfer some or all of their credits towards a Bachelor degree). Those who have not yet been to university (or who have an Associate degree) and are striving for an international business career would greatly benefit from taking a Bachelors degree. (Bachelor degree graduates often start working in domestic operations and move up to international operations with experience, or start off in relevant entry to mid-level positions, such as an international trade documentation specialist or research analyst). A Masters degree is ideal for those seeking to switch careers into international business or striving for more senior-level positions. A Ph.D is fitting for those interested in becoming researchers, professors or even specialized consultants for prestigious agencies.
There are some colleges and universities that offer their international degree programs online for those looking for a more convenient academic lifestyle.
Curriculum will depend on the school you attend and the degree level you pursue, but here is an overview of courses and experiences that may be offered as part an international degree program:
- English and Communications
- Foreign Language
- Management Information Systems
- International Affairs and Business
- Political Science
- Cultural Diversity
- Business Ethics
- Study Abroad
An international degree can lead to careers with various employers, including private companies (from small businesses to multinationals), government agencies, NGOs, international organizations, banks, financial services firms, travel companies, consulting firms, business associations and more, either based in the United States and abroad. Here are some examples of job titles that international degree graduates pursue.
• Investment Associate
• Foreign Exchange Analyst
• International Trade Specialist
• Business Development Associate
• Global Marketing Representative
• International Loan Officer
• International Sales Representative
• Global Brand Manager
• International Advertising Executive
• Financial Manager
• Financial Analyst
• Import Inventory Analyst
• International Trade Documentation Specialist
• Entrepreneur/Business Owner
• International Human Resources Representative
• Chief Executive Officer
• International Aid Fundraiser or Executive
• International Economist
• Corporate Social Responsibility Facilitator
• International Media Planner
• Cultural Adviser
• International Banking Officer
• Travel and Tourism Operator
• Research Analyst
• International Account Executive