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By earning an online MBA in international business, you’ll prepare yourself with the skills, knowledge, and training necessary to be successful in an increasingly globalized business world. It’s critical for today’s business leaders to understand a wide range of cultures and nationalities as they negotiate, strategize, and manage their companies, and these programs focus on developing real-world skills that students can leverage in their careers. Business is also a dynamic career field, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 8% job growth between 2014 and 2024.

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It’s critical for today’s business leaders to understand a wide range of cultures and nationalities as they negotiate, strategize, and manage their companies.

Although a bachelor’s degree offers a good start to your career, an international business MBA online can set you up for great opportunities to expand your responsibilities and increase your salary over time. Below you’ll find the average entry-level and mid-career salaries for those who hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Comparison of International Business Master’s Degrees

Several master’s degree options exist for those interested in the global business world. While they all will prepare you for career opportunities, these programs differ in subjects covered and in typical entry-level salaries graduates can expect.

Degree Description Average Salary* Length
Master of Public Affairs (MPA) MPA programs focus on subjects like management, leadership, negotiations, and economics, preparing students for careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Coursework tends to focus on contemporary public policy issues, such as poverty, education, climate change, and the interactions between political and business leaders. $43,714 2 Years
Master in International Management (MIM) Similar to an online MBA in international business, an MIM degree program offers students education and training on a wide variety of international cultures — and how they are relevant to business and public policy. Students may study subjects like financial planning and investment, regulatory issues, and the development of strategic business plans in a global business environment. $45,781 2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business Online MBA in international business degree programs enable students to effectively lead and manage organizations that conduct business across a broad range of international boundaries, cultures, and markets. They also explore how politics, economics, operations, regulations, competition, and various other factors impact companies engaged in the global marketplace. $59,129 2 years

Graduates of online MBA in international business programs enter their professional careers equipped with a vast array of knowledge and resources, allowing them to market and sell their products around the world. The following is a sample of courses you may take in one of these programs:

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Product Marketing How to position a product to increase its sales and brand awareness at a global level

TITLE: Global Marketing Manager

SALARY: growth of 8%

Strategic Sales Identifying, researching, and analyzing potential markets for a range of products and services

TITLE: International Sales Manager

SALARY: growth of 7%

Trade Compliance Ensuring full compliance with all regulatory requirements across multiple international borders

TITLE: International Trade Compliance Manager

SALARY: growth of 3%

There’s no shortage of high-growth career options for graduates of international business MBA online programs. Below is an outline of some of the most popular career paths, including their average salaries and job duties.

Global Marketing Manager Median Salary: $100,641
  • Health care organizations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Technology firms
  • Retailers and distributors
These professionals oversee marketing strategies and budgets on a global scale and maintain key partnerships with businesses and organizations around the world.
International Sales Manager Median Salary: $77,490
  • Retailers and distributors
  • Manufacturers
  • Software firms
Primary responsibilities for this role include planning and executing sales strategies and marketing programs, along with analyzing business opportunities globally.
International Trade Compliance Manager Median Salary: $84,446
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers and distributors
  • Consulting firms
Responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance, these professionals must develop and maintain sound policies, documentation and processes across an organization. They also conduct audits and remain up to date on policy changes.

If you’ve decided that an MBA in International Business is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses/hospitals

    The main objective of getting your MBA in International Business is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local hospitals and businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in International Business program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

In addition to an MBA in international business online, some businesses and organizations require their managers and other key personnel to achieve additional industry certifications. Through these programs, which can be quite challenging to complete, you can demonstrate your knowledge and skill in a variety of important areas related to global trade and business. Below are several of the most common certification programs available:

Liscense Description
Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) Available from the International Import-Export Institute, this certification is awarded to professionals who demonstrate advanced proficiency in the areas of documentation, finance, logistics, and marketing. This involves passing a four-hour proctored exam.
NASBITE CGBP This certification affirms a professional’s knowledge in various issues related to international trade. There is a 165-question, multiple-choice exam required as part of the NASBITE CGBP certification process.
CBI Certification Awarded through the International Business Brokers Association, the Certified Business Intermediary certification may be earned by experienced business brokers who have demonstrated high levels of excellence throughout their careers.
IIBA Certification The International Institute of Business Analysis offers a certification for top-performing practitioners in the global business world. Individuals who achieve this challenging certification often benefit from greater opportunities for career growth.

Although tuition rates vary by program, it’s important to understand that there are many scholarship options available as you take the next step toward an online master’s in international business degree. In general, committees responsible for awarding these scholarships look at students’ previous academic records and their level of financial need. Learn more about several scholarships aimed at assisting students working toward an international business master’s degree online programs below: