what can i do with a international business degree

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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Global business practices are evolving, and organizations are opening up to foreign ideas and inventions. Pursuing a career that works in the international market can be a lucrative and fulfilling path. An international business degree can give you an understanding of the systems and management practices that businesses use all over the world. In this article, we discuss 20 jobs you can get with a degree in international business.

20 international business degree jobs

Here are the top career opportunities for business degree holders. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link by each job title below:

1. Accountant

National average salary: $54,661 per year

Primary duties: Accountants manage the finances and financial information of an organization. They track payments, create and analyze financial reports, prepare budget forecasts, process tax payments and returns, audit financial information, manage payrolls and control expenditures.

Related: Learn About Being an Accountant

2. Public relations manager

National average salary: $59,773 per year

Primary duties: Public relations managers oversee and build a company’s reputation through carefully targeted PR strategies and campaigns. Their responsibilities include planning publicity campaigns, writing and developing press releases and promotional materials, attending and organizing promotional events, performing market research and building relationships with clients, stakeholders and the public.

3. Logistics manager

National average salary: $62,335 per year

Primary duties: Logistics managers monitor the movement, storage and distribution of supplies in a company. They evaluate budgets and expenditures, process shipments, negotiate contracts with carriers, plan and monitor inbound and outbound deliveries, train and supervise warehouse staff and control inventory. Logistic managers use IT software to monitor shipping and inventory.

Related: Learn About Being a Logistics Manager

4. Bank officer

National average salary: $4,808 per month

Primary duties: A bank officer acts on the bank’s behalf. They prepare financial statements, lead and supervise staff, prepare reports, oversee banking procedures, promote and market bank’s services, monitor performance and analyze budgets. Bank officers also stay current with market dynamics and ensure that activities are in line with banking and safety laws.

5. Advertising manager

National average salary: $65,255 per year

Primary duties: An advertising manager oversees the creation and implementation of promotional campaigns. They design and implement advertising campaigns and strategies, coordinate with the accounts department on budget and expenses and develop plans to increase sales and client satisfaction. Advertising managers coordinate with creative heads and team members toward a timely execution of advertising campaigns in line with the client’s specifications.

Related: Learn About Being an Advertising Manager

6. Finance manager

National average salary: $66,276 per year

Primary duties: Finance managers are responsible for planning and making profitable financial decisions that move a business toward its long-term goal. They develop business plans, manage budgets, monitor cash flow, perform strategic analysis, develop financial models, prepare financial reports, identify cost reduction opportunities and design strategies to minimize financial risks.

Related: Learn About Being a Finance Manager

7. Auditor

National average salary: $67,745 per year

Primary duties: An auditor reviews the financial records of an organization and reports findings to concerned parties like the government, shareholders, investors or loan companies. They also investigate a company’s internal operations, evaluating financial statements and its approach to risk management. External auditors can either work independently or as part of an auditing firm.

Related: Learn About Being an Auditor

8. Marketing manager

National average salary: $69,370 per year

Primary duties: A marketing manager develops and implements strategies to attract customers to a business and improve its market positioning. They collaborate with the executive team to develop a marketing strategy, analyze competitors and market trends and oversee marketing campaigns. Marketing managers are in charge of managing marketing budgets and often work with in-house or third-party agencies to create promotional materials.

Related: Learn About Being a Marketing Manager

9. Human resources manager

National average salary: $71,422 per year

Primary duties: Human resource managers plan, organize and coordinate administrative activities in organizations. They interview, recruit and hire new staff members. Human resource managers also act as a link between employees and management personnel. They conduct orientation for new employees, resolve disputes among staff members and give out disciplinary measures. A human resource manager consults with other unit heads regarding team member’s behaviors and supervise support staff.

Related: Learn About Being an HR Manager

10. Stockbroker

National average salary: $72,794 per year

Stockbrokers manage the financial portfolios of organizations by buying and selling shares and securities on behalf of their clients. They analyze the performance of shares and securities in the stock market, offer investment advice to clients, evaluate financial reports, keep abreast of stock market changes and advise clients on new investment opportunities. Stockbrokers work with stockbroking firms or as independent contractors.

Related: Learn About Being a Stockbroker

11. Business analyst

National average salary: $79,124 per year

Primary duties: Business analysts examine organizations’ operational frameworks and design systems to improve functionality. They evaluate the technological structures in place, create business analyses, identify problems and develop financial models. Business analysts often work alongside IT and financial teams.

Related: Learn About Being a Business Analyst

12. Supply chain manager

National average salary: $79,272 per year

Primary duties: Supply chain managers oversee a company’s supply chain strategy for improved business efficiency. They determine supply chain KPIs, plan and update logistics strategies, monitor logistic operations, update inventory, collaborate with vendors and analyze operational performance. Supply chain managers are also responsible for supervising and training supply chain staff members.

Related: Learn About Being a Supply Chain Manager

13. Foreign exchange trader

National average salary: $84,509 per year

Primary duties: Foreign exchange traders manage an organization’s foreign currency trades in worldwide commodity markets. Their responsibilities include maintaining an organization’s foreign currency market position, carrying out foreign exchange trades, establishing and communicating exchange rates based on market fluctuations, researching market changes and advising international clients on market trends and fluctuations.

14. Procurement manager

National average salary: $86,211 per year

Primary duties: Procurement managers coordinate the acquisition of products and services for an organization. They monitor market trends, develop cost-effective acquisition methods, estimate budgets for purchases and create and maintain relationships with suppliers. The job also involves developing risk management procedures and preparing procurement reports.

Related: Learn About Being a Procurement Manager

15. Policy analyst

National average salary: $87,099 per year

Primary duties: Policy analysts drive organizational goals by investigating and developing methods of improving public policies. They identify current or imminent problems, review policy drafts, make cost-benefit analyses and propose alternatives to current policies. Organizations that employ policy analysts include research institutes, governments, corporations and think tanks.

16. Investment banking analyst

National average salary: $87,258 per year

Primary duties: An investment banker creates and implements financial plans and advises organizations on how they can achieve their financial goals. They often raise capital for businesses by issuing debt and selling equity. They identify new business opportunities, oversee mergers, negotiate financial deals and prepare financial documents. Investment banking analysts work closely with other professionals like public relations consultants, accountants and lawyers.

17. Management analyst

National average salary: $88,459 per year

Primary duties: Management analysts evaluate and analyze an organization’s data, identify issues and develop and implement solutions. They analyze company information like business plans, goals, employee framework, financial status and future ventures, and design strategies to improve performance. Management analysts develop and conduct risk analysis, analyze investment reports and develop strategies that enhance the market value of an organization’s products or services for increased profitability.

18. Product manager

National average salary: $102,151 per year

Primary duties: Product managers oversee the entire process of a product’s development. They identify market gaps and product opportunities, design product features, identify target customers and develop product strategy. Product managers work with the design and marketing team and report progress to management. The job also involves reviewing production schedules to ensure product availability. Product managers often work with multinational businesses and manufacturing companies.

Related: Learn About Being a Product Manager

19. Business adviser

National average salary: $102,847 per year

Primary duties: Business advisers design and execute strategies to improve financial management and business efficiency. They perform risk analysis, analyze financial records, prepare budgets, evaluate marketing and sales strategies and identify opportunities for business growth. They also recommend operational changes, execute business strategies and develop and maintain professional networks. Business consultants could provide mentoring and tutoring services to organizations.

20. Economist

National average salary: $109,940 per year

Primary duties: An economist studies market trends and offers advice to businesses and governments on financial and socioeconomic issues. They develop and analyze financial and socioeconomic data, conduct surveys, develop models for economic forecasting and review the economic impact of laws. Economists employ a variety of software programs to analyze data and often refer to historical trends to make forecasts.

An international business career enables you to travel around the world, interact with high-level clients, and shape organizational outcomes. It’s a career that cuts through complex intercultural issues—helping you make a lasting impact on global organizations all while positioning yourself for professional advancement.

With a growing world economy, many corporations have offices overseas and are looking for international business employees, such as management and financial analysts, marketing managers, HR professionals, executives, and economists. These companies include IBM, General Electric, Apple, General Motors, Amazon, and Facebook.

“You are well-positioned for a multitude of careers by being able to appreciate the dynamics of how to work cross-culturally,” says Gail Marcus, adjunct professor in Northeastern’s Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations program. “By studying for a career in international business, you are preparing yourself for the world of the future.”

Download Our Free Guide to Breaking into Global Studies and International Relations

A guide for what you need to know to prepare for, and work in, today’s globalized world.

If you’re looking to enter international business, keep in mind that the majority of global roles prefer or require an advanced degree. According to a 2017 report from Burning Glass Labor Insight, 57 percent of employers prefer or require a graduate degree for positions within international relations.

A graduate degree, therefore, may be the best path to advance your career, whether you’re looking to earn a promotion, boost your income, enhance your professional network, or change careers. If you’re considering a career in international business, here are seven popular roles an advanced global studies or international business degree can provide.

In-Demand International Business Careers 

1. Management Analyst

2017 Median Pay: $82,450
Estimated Job Growth through 2026: 14 percent

Management analysts, also known as consultants, create new ways of improving an organization’s efficiency. They advise upper management on how to enhance company performance by solving organizational problems, such as evaluating a new market expansion program or adapting to a different operations strategy.

In particular, global analysts help companies find solutions to issues regarding foreign markets. They work with companies on specific projects within a wide range of areas on a global scale, including management, market research, corporate strategy, finance, and information technology.

An international analyst’s responsibilities may also involve:

  • Gathering and analyzing company data, such as revenue, expenditure, and employment reports, across international divisions
  • Determining how to lower company overhead, such as supply expenses, financial expenditures, and global staffing
  • Interviewing management overseas to determine the best methods and resources needed to resolve company issues on an international scale
  • Recommending new systems, practices, and organizational changes to be implemented within each global office
  • Working with managers to ensure that changes are being implemented effectively

Analysts work in both the public and private sector, including the government, nonprofits, small and medium-sized businesses, and large corporations. They may be freelancers or employed by consulting agencies. The largest international consultancies, such as Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, boast hundreds of thousands of employees.

“Consultants have to look at problems from a wide range of perspectives,” Marcus says. “They access issues objectively and distill facts by being able to analyze problems and trying to understand the root cause. They also need to have strong interpersonal skills, as consulting is as much about the analytical work as it is about building relationships.”

2. Marketing Manager

2017 Median Pay: $129,380
Estimated Job Growth through 202610 percent

Marketing managers must balance a competitive business strategy with a creative vision. They often work with art directors, sales executives, product developers, public relations managers, and other employees to create engaging marketing campaigns.

In addition, international marketing managers are responsible for increasing global sales. They must be aware of global market trends and develop products that meet demand worldwide.

Global marketing managers’ duties also include:

  • Overseeing budgets, contracts, marketing plans, and advertising media with management and team members across international markets
  • Planning marketing campaigns to reach target markets, including specific age, gender, income, and education demographics, based on global needs
  • Initiating market research and analyzing findings to determine customer opportunities
  • Examining the international demand for company products and services while studying what their competition offers
  • Developing pricing strategies for a company’s products or services
  • Ensuring consistent brand tone and messaging across all platforms
  • Leading content generation and production across digital and print media

3. Executive

2017 Median Pay: $104,700
Estimated Job Growth through 2026: 8 percent

Executives plan organizational strategies that align with their company’s mission while managing employees and resources, with global executives overseeing company goals, policies, and procedures across international divisions. Their responsibilities may include:

  • Directing operational activities to create in-demand global products and services
  • Discussing company performance with other executives, staff, and board members worldwide
  • Negotiating and signing off on contractual agreements
  • Assigning department heads and managers overseas
  • Analyzing company reports, including financial and sales data
  • Identifying areas to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve company performance

Executives can include chief executive officers, chief operating officers, and general managers, whose responsibilities vary based on the size of their company. In general, the larger the company, the broader the executive’s responsibilities. They can be found in every industry, including education, project management, and data analytics.

Executives need strong decision-making, management, and problem-solving skills to handle their organization’s needs. As company leaders, executives are effective multi-taskers, managing numerous projects while making sure their work is completed under deadline.

4. Human Resources Manager

2017 Median Pay: $110,120
Estimated Job Growth through 2026: 9 percent

Human resources managers recruit and hire employees, discuss organizational objectives with executives, and serve as a liaison between top management and employees.

International HR managers manage workforce diversity, legal restrictions, and the relationship between training and professional development on a global scale. They align legal compliance with labor and tax laws worldwide. In addition, an international HR manager’s duties comprise of:

  • Aligning management with its employees to support global organizational development and culture
  • Coordinating and directing employee benefits programs across foreign divisions
  • Working with other managers on sensitive HR issues in accordance with national laws, such as equal employment opportunity
  • Handling staffing issues, including disciplinary action, productivity, training, compliance, payroll, and outsourcing
  • Supervising international contractors, support staff, and employees
  • Overseeing company retention procedures and ensuring a supportive, collaborative company culture

HR managers also enhance their company’s efficiency by identifying ways to keep employees motivated. For example, they might notice a decline in a department’s productivity and, as a result, recommend several strategies to keep employees motivated in order to maintain employee happiness and performance.

5. Financial Analyst

2017 Median Pay: $84,300
Estimated Job Growth through 2026: 11 percent

Financial analysts produce reports, guide investment activities, and develop strategic planning to support the long-term financial goals of a company. They combine the technical and communication skills needed to enhance their organization’s bottom line.

As investing becomes more international, global organizations want financial analysts who understand the region’s language, culture, environment, and political background. International analysts must understand how global currencies, diplomacy, and worldwide stock exchanges affect their company’s bottom line.

Global financial analysts may also focus on:

  • Recommending foreign investments and portfolios
  • Analyzing current and historical financial data to determine global market trends
  • Studying international economic and business patterns
  • Examining their organization’s financial records across global divisions
  • Preparing financial reports and presentations to review with management
  • Evaluating their company’s financial decisions to help enhance company performance
  • Listening to and understanding their clients’ needs, effectively communicating their recommendations to enhance client outcomes.

Financial analysts typically focus on patterns affecting a specific industry, geographical area, or particular product. For example, an analyst may focus on the healthcare industry, a region such as the United Kingdom, or the foreign stock exchange. They understand how different regulations, policies, and political and economic trends can influence individual investments and portfolios.

6. Economist

2017 Median Pay: $102,490
Estimated Job Growth through 2026: 6 percent

Economists study the production and circulation of resources, goods, and services by analyzing data, developing theories, and evaluating economic issues. They work in a variety of fields, including education, development, and healthcare.

International economists analyze global issues, such as international consumer demand for certain products or services, to help increase a company’s profits. Some economists may work for research institutes, while others work for major international organizations, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations.  Many economists work for federal, state, and local governments, analyzing data about their country’s economy, including employment, pricing, productivity, wages, and other types of national data.

Global economists’ responsibilities also include:

  • Conducting surveys and examining international data using statistical analysis, database management programs, and other complex mathematical tools
  • Studying and forecasting global market trends
  • Creating reports, tables, and charts representing their findings
  • Designing policies and making recommendations to solve economic issues worldwide

Economists project spending needs and notify policymakers on the economic impact of current laws and regulations. Given their significance, economists’ findings are frequently published in newspapers and journal articles.

7. Policy Analyst

Median Pay: $115,110
Number of Jobs in 2016: 7,300

Policy analysts study complex problems and recommend solutions for a wide range of political issues, from homeland security to healthcare and environmental policy. They examine governments, political trends, legal systems, and other related issues, and their research helps inform public policy.

Global policy analysts typically focusonn one or more areas pertaining to international relations, such as international trade, global business policies, national defense, international economics, and foreign law. Their duties include:

  • Evaluating outcomes related to proposed regulations, legislation, or resources on a global scale
  • Monitoring international events and policy decisions
  • Developing and testing theories using statistical analysis and other tools
  • Gathering and examining data from various sources, such as election results and public opinion surveys
  • Identifying key trends, policies, and strategies worldwide

In addition, analysts must have strong written, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. They can work for governmental agencies or multinational corporations, often writing reports, publishing articles, and giving presentations to government officials and business executives.

From consultant to marketing manager to economist, professionals who enter international business open themselves up to roles shaping organizational strategy, directing global policy, and managing corporations.

“There are a number of different paths people can take,” Marcus says. “Find a career based on what resonates with you, what matches your skill set, and what you excel at.”

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