Written by OnlineMBA.com Staff


The global nature of business today demands that upper-level managers and executives understand global markets and negotiate business deals effectively across cultures. Serving aspiring international business leaders, MBA in international business programs incorporate this global awareness into foundational business administration courses.

As an advanced business degree, the MBA often can lead to lucrative careers. According to the PayScale, MBA in international business graduates make around $93,000 per year, on average.

What Is an MBA in International Business?

An online MBA in international business is typically reserved for working professionals with a few years of relevant business experience. This advanced degree builds students' skills in business analytics, decision-making, managerial economics, and communications.

Coursework covers specialized topics, such as trade laws, international markets, and distribution logistics. Most programs support applied learning by including capstone projects and/or internships at approved sites.

Graduates of online MBA in international business programs often use this degree to qualify for upper-level management roles, like international sales manager, global marketing manager, and international trade compliance manager.

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What Can You Do With an MBA in International Business?

Global Marketing Manager

Skilled in design, leadership, and communications, global marketing managers collaborate with design departments and supervise marketing staff in creating marketing campaigns. These managers often spend their days budgeting, collaborating, and designing campaigns. Global marketing managers may assist global marketing directors in strategizing, forging marketing partnerships, and reporting marketing plans and results to executives. These professionals earn an average annual salary of $98,892, according to PayScale.

International Sales Manager

Tasked with managing global sales operations, international sales managers negotiate contracts, address customer issues, and make supply and delivery arrangements. Skilled in analysis, collaboration, and project management, these professionals also research market trends, create sales strategies, collaborate with marketing teams, and oversee sales staff. International sales managers make about $77,892 annually, according to PayScale salary data.

International Trade Compliance Manager

These professionals manage trade projects and staff, ensuring that company trade practices align with international trade laws and regulations. This work entails knowledge and careful study of trade agreements, regulations, and laws. Management skills in areas such as leadership and decision-making help international trade compliance managers lead initiatives, direct teams, and guide marketing efforts. Salaries for international trade compliance managers average $85,997 annually, according to PayScale.

International Logistics Coordinator

These coordinators oversee supply chains and logistics, identifying effective and affordable shipping methods, coordinating shipments, and tracking products. These professionals also prepare necessary documentation for customs and may perform various customer service-related tasks. International logistics coordinators need strong research and planning abilities and policy knowledge. PayScale reports that international logistics coordinators make an average annual salary of $50,684.

Business Development Coordinator

These coordinators identify and pursue new business development opportunities, such as new sales leads. They need skills in analysis, customer service, and communications. Business development coordinators often put together cost estimates, proposals, and sales presentations. This career may involve traveling to meet clients or attend conferences. PayScale data indicates that business development coordinator salaries average $48,307 annually.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in International Business?

The advanced management skills developed in MBA programs serve graduates well in many roles and industries. Business professionals often turn to online MBA programs as a means of qualifying for promotion within their current company or transitioning to better career prospects elsewhere.

Professionals interested in new opportunities for travel and other cross-cultural experiences often use the international business MBA to transition from domestic to international areas of their business or industry. International MBA students learn about diverse world cultures and business practices, and many programs include a global experience course that involves travel.

Pursuing an MBA online allows working professionals to learn new skills and advance their careers without giving up their current jobs or commuting to campus. Many online MBAs allow asynchronous attendance, so students can listen to lectures and participate in discussions at convenient times.

Online MBA in International Business Salary

An online MBA in international business can increase salary potential. For example, bachelor's in international business graduates make an average of $65,000 annually, while international business MBA graduates earn an average annual salary of $93,000, according to PayScale.

Salaries for coordinator positions, such as international logistics coordinator and business development coordinator, average around $48,000-$50,000 per year. However, international business MBA graduates may qualify for higher-paying positions, such as international trade compliance manager, international sales manager, and global marketing manager, with annual salaries averaging $78,000-$99,000.

International MBA career salaries vary by experience. For example, international sales managers with 20 years of experience typically make around twice as much as entry-level international sales managers. Salaries also vary by factors like location, company, and industry.

Comparison of Average Annual Salary by Occupation and Degree Type
Source: PayScale

FAQs About MBA in International Business Careers

What certification should I get in addition to an MBA in international business?

Many professional organizations and business schools offer certification programs in international business. Popular choices include NASBITE International's certified global business professional credential and the Forum for International Trade Training certified international trade professional credential.

What job opportunities does an MBA in international business qualify graduates for?

International business MBA graduates may work in coordinator roles, such as logistics coordinator or business development coordinator. They can also compete for high-level manager roles, including business development manager, international sales, and global marketing manager.

Is an MBA in international business better than a master of international business?

With its emphasis on multiple core business areas and management skills, the MBA in international business is typically more versatile than the master of international business, which often focuses more exclusively on international business-related topics and skills.

Is an MBA in international business worth it?

Given that graduates with an MBA in international business make about $30,000 more per year, on average, than graduates with a bachelor's degree, the degree is a worthwhile investment.

Professional Organizations for International Business

The professional organizations described below serve international business students and professionals through continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and professional development tools and services. Many organizations also host conferences, publish current research, and establish professional standards.

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