What Can I Do with a Degree in International Business?

Learn more about what you can do with a degree in international business. Find information on international business careers, salary, job outlook, and schools. View popular schools that prepare students for careers in international business.


Globalization has expanded the boundaries of business significantly over the course of the last four decades. Companies that once only operated in the United States have found new opportunities for product development, manufacturing and marketing in foreign lands. These opportunities have lead to increased revenues and profits for organizations have been successful. Many companies now directly or indirectly utilize some type of international operations to help support their business models. Cost savings, new markets and the ability to grow operations are all benefits of international business expansion.

At the heart of the globalization of business are international business professionals. Individuals in varying fields including management, marketing and finance that are able to provide support across international borders can command high salaries and unique job opportunities. Jobs in international business typically include travel to foreign countries and working with professionals from a diverse range of cultures. In these positions, professionals are able to understand the scope of international operations and the impact of important issues such as supply chain management, international logistics and cultural diversity. International business requires a synthesis of skills including management, cultural awareness and basic business practice. As technology further reduces barriers to international commerce, the demand for professionals working in international business will increase.


Careers in international business are contingent upon the professional’s specific area of specialization. Business positions held in domestic business operations can be expanded to the international realm with the right training and education. For instance, marketers working in US firms may choose to expand their expertise to work in international marketing for an organization. International marketers are responsible for understanding differences in culture to determine the best way for the organization to sell its product. Professionals seeking careers in international business may also choose a career in management analysis. Management analysts work with companies to ensure that operations can be expanded across international boundaries. Management analysts must work in unique cultures and provide supports for streamlining operations. Professionals working in executive positions in the organization, such as the chief executive officer (CEO) may also be involved in international business. As organizations expand across international boundaries, CEOs will be responsible for moving the organization’s forward.

Industry Salary Info

Salaries for international business professionals will vary based on the area of specialization for the professional. Most international business professionals will be required to have at least a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) to enter into the field. The high level of education required for positions in international business coupled with the unique requirements of the job (e.g., significant amounts of travel and long work hours) enable professionals in international business to command generous salaries. For instance, professionals working in international marketing typically acquire salaries that range from $66,824 to $121,402 annually. Professionals employed as management analysts have average annual salaries that range between $42,500 and $234,820. Chief executive officers can command salaries in the millions of dollars including base wages and perks such as stock options and profit sharing. Most international business positions are full-time and provide professionals with access to extensive benefit packages that include health and life insurance, investment opportunities and paid vacation.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for international business professions is quite good overall. Demand for professionals in many positions is increasing due to rapid pace of globalization and the ability of businesses to expand their operations abroad. As more organizations attempt to expand their operations internationally, business professionals that are capable of managing all aspects of operations will be needed. Although demand in most areas of international business is increasing, competition for specific jobs in the field will be quite intense. For instance, professionals seeking positions as CEO may find that opportunities in this area of international business are limited. Business professionals with an MBA and experience in some aspect of international business or relations will have access to more job opportunities. Experience in the field will provide the professional with needed skills for communication and management in different cultural settings. These skills will be essential to the success of the international business professional.

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