Written by OnlineMBA.com Staff


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7% overall growth in business and financial operations occupations from 2018 to 2028, with certain positions expected to see even higher growth. For instance, the BLS projects a 6% growth rate for financial analysts, a 16% growth rate for financial managers, and a 14% growth rate for management analysts during the same time period.

An MBA in international business prepares learners for these lucrative and dynamic careers by building on their existing business knowledge and preparing them for managerial and leadership roles. An MBA in international business also positions individuals for increased earning potential. For instance, the median salary for financial analysts was $85,660 in 2018, while their managerial counterparts earned $127,990 during the same year.

An MBA in international business opens opportunities to work across industrial sectors globally or domestically. The curriculum highlights the global marketplace and foreign business culture and explores topics such as supply chain logistics, organizational strategies, and trade and investment regulations as they relate to international business. In short, earning an MBA in international business gives graduates the expertise to thrive in the global economy.

Careers in International Business

Graduates with an MBA in international business pursue careers in finance, accounting, management, and other related fields. The expertise gained through an MBA prepares learners for roles as analysts, managers, and executives, while international business coursework emphasizes intercultural competencies.

Students who choose an MBA in international business may work in manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, or nonprofit sectors. An international business MBA fosters communication skills, multicultural perspectives, and critical thinking skills ideal for careers within multinational organizations, large corporations, and small businesses alike.

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee financial activities and goals within a business or organization. They monitor financial trends and provide guidance to managers and executives about how to maximize profits. Financial managers may focus on credit, cash, or risk management.

Financial managers prepare financial reports, forecasts, and statements while ensuring financial activities abide by applicable laws and regulations. They also participate in billing, reimbursement, payroll, and other financial actions.

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Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors offer advice to individuals about investments, taxes, retirement, and similar financial activities. To best benefit their clients, personal financial advisors identify individuals' needs and goals. They also consider risks, available options, and relevant circumstances.

Personal financial advisors may also advise clients about college savings, insurance, and mortgages. They may possess licensure to invest for their clients, obtaining bonds, annuities, and stocks on their behalf. Personal financial advisors who work with large amounts of money may function as private bankers or wealth managers.

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Management Analyst

Management analysts often work as consultants who provide advice on how to more efficiently manage a business or organization. They assess financial practices, internal policies, and employment documents to determine solutions to existing problems and identify ways to maximize profits.

Management analysts can work closely with a business or organization's managers. Alternatively, they may provide an objective perspective independent of management personnel. They present their recommendations for new procedures, organizational change, and methods of improvement through oral presentations or written reports. Management analysts may focus on a specific sector such as healthcare or information technology.

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Accountant

Accountants prepare and examine financial statements and records. Public accountants work with individuals, governments, and businesses and prepare tax documents in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Management accountants work internally to create and maintain financial records for business managers and executives. Conversely, government accountants keep records within state, local, and federal agencies.

Accountants may carry out investigations into financial discrepancies, prepare reports for oversight bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, or provide guidance about cutting costs and improving profits.

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Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agent

Securities, commodities, and financial service sales agents serve as intermediaries between buyers and sellers in financial markets. They may work with individual clients and provide advice about which stocks, commodities, and bonds to buy or sell. Their services extend to businesses and companies, and they often serve as investment bankers.

Securities, commodities, and financial service agents keep close watch of financial markets and trends, analyzing changes in anticipation of mergers, acquisitions, and public offerings.

Many securities and commodities brokers work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, while others use computer networks to trade on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system.

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See Salary and Career Outlook For International Business MBA Graduates

How to Choose a Program in International Business

When choosing an international business MBA, students should research programs to find which option best meets their needs. Schools offer varying curricula, areas of specialization, faculty expertise, and resources for learners.

Finding the right MBA in international business may also mean looking closely at course delivery, timetables, and asynchronous or synchronous elements. Cohort-based MBAs allow degree-seekers to complete all coursework in a program together, but provide little flexibility. Meanwhile, self-paced MBAs give learners options to take classes in an order and at a pace that works for them.

  • Ask for information on how lessons are delivered in the program

    An online MBA in international business may start with an on-campus residency, include weekend or evening meetings, or require learners to attend in-person sessions. Synchronous classes require learners to log in at set times for live lectures and video chats. These programs may prove challenging for working professionals.

    Asynchronous classes, by contrast, set deadlines but allow learners to complete coursework on their own schedule. Online MBAs may also feature accelerated formats with courses that last anywhere from 5-10 weeks, while traditional MBAs provide classes that run through an entire semester.

    Students should also determine what type of learning management system the school uses to ensure they meet the technical requirements of the program. Supplemented by assignments, projects, and activities distributed through a learning management system, online classes include the same course material as their on-campus counterparts.

  • Get details on what support is available to students

    Students in online MBA programs often have access to the same resources as their on-campus counterparts. This may include writing center help, library content, and information technology assistance. Online learners also benefit from career services, counseling resources, and financial guidance.

    Prospective learners should also determine what kind of support they can expect from instructors. While earning a degree remotely may feel impersonal, fostering connections among faculty can deepen one's learning and promote a positive educational experience.

  • Estimate your expected program costs

    When researching online MBA programs, learners need to investigate tuition, fees, and any additional program costs. Tuition varies significantly. Per-credit tuition rates may benefit students pursuing an online MBA on a part-time schedule, while flat-rate semester tuition rates best suit full-time students.

    Without expenses such as room and board, parking, and on-campus fees, online programs provide flexible, affordable options. Online MBA degrees with residency requirements may include additional costs for travel, lodging, and materials, however.

  • Ensure the school's admission requirements align with your expectations

    Researching admission requirements allows students to choose an online MBA that best suits their professional and educational backgrounds. Admission requirements also attest to what programs seek from their students.

    Online MBAs may require applicants to have a requisite number of years of working experience, prerequisite coursework, or an undergraduate degree in a particular discipline. Understanding the expectations of a program from the outset can help MBA students thrive throughout the entirety of the degree.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Online MBA programs provide information about learning outcomes, the activities of their alumni, and the overall successes of the department and program alike. Comparing student outcome data from different online MBA programs gives insight into what opportunities result from the degree. This data also gives applicants an idea as to how program format and content lend themselves to overall student success.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses and communities

    Many online MBA programs offer internships, practical activities, and experiential work opportunities to students. Schools and departments partner with local businesses and communities, but may also work closely with degree-seekers to facilitate placements in their current places of employment.

    These relationships build professional networks within the business community. Online MBA students benefit by making contacts that can lead to career opportunities after graduation.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Reputable colleges and universities hold national and/or regional accreditation. Business departments and programs may also maintain accreditation through a professional organization. These specialized or programmatic accreditations attest to the rigor, standards, and excellence of a business program.

    Three main bodies accredit business programs. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools and Business accredits business programs that emphasize research, while the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs focuses on excellence in teaching. The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education looks closely at outcome-based performance.

  • Speak with current students and alumni

    Schools and departments may provide answers to many inquiries on their website or by email. While helpful, these resources may not address specific issues, concerns, or details of a program. By communicating with current students and alumni, potential online MBA students can ask questions and receive additional clarity.

    Building connections with current and former students also helps foster community within the MBA program. Individuals entering an online MBA can make connections that help them once they enroll and begin to take classes. Talking to alumni also creates networks for future professional growth.

International Business Curriculum

Courses within an online MBA in international business program vary by school and department. Online MBA degrees typically integrate core coursework in fundamental business concepts with specialization classes to create a comprehensive learning experience.

Core classes in an online MBA emphasize aspects of business such as finance, data analytics, and organizational behavior. Students build on those foundations through specialized coursework that offers a global perspective on business practices. Potential courses in an international business MBA include international finance, international management, and international marketing.

International Finance

International finance coursework explores the global financial environment, with a focus on techniques and strategies for navigating capital markets. Students learn about international financial institutions, the operations of multinational corporations, and innovation in the global economy.

International finance courses emphasize risk management, laws and regulations that apply to global business, and data analysis for effective decision-making. Additional topics include exchange rates, monetary policy, international investing, and international cash management.

International Management

International management courses emphasize strategic knowledge and decision-making skills necessary to manage people and organizations across national borders. Learners build cross-cultural intelligence and sensitivity and explore theoretical frameworks for operating a multicultural business.

International management classes prepare learners for the challenges they may face in a global business environment. Students look at economic, political, and cultural variants around the world, as well as how they influence business practices and policies. Additional topics include human resource staffing, motivation for a multicultural workforce, and global supply chain management.

International Marketing

International marketing courses focus on cultural understanding as it relates to business customs, practices, and success in the global economy. By assessing challenges and opportunities related to international marketing, learners develop analytical frameworks to make effective marketing decisions in a multicultural business setting.

Students explore strategies for cross-cultural innovation, market entry techniques, and marketing processes as they relate to cultural differences and similarities. Additional topics include international advertising, promotions, and branding.

Comparison of International Business Degrees and Specializations

Students can pursue several types of graduate degrees in international business. Each degree offers comparable information, although with different emphases. For instance, an MBA in international business provides a strong business curriculum with specialized courses that relate directly to international business.

A master's in international business focuses primarily on international business practices and policies -- an ideal track for current business professionals looking to work abroad. Meanwhile, a master's in international management prepares graduates for leadership roles in global business operations.

Comparison of International Business Degrees and Specializations
Degree Type Description Potential Career Paths
MBA in International Business An MBA in international business combines the generalized program of a traditional MBA with additional coursework devoted to international business topics. The curriculum combines fundamental MBA concepts, such as accounting, management, marketing, and finance, with niche topics in international business, such as cross-cultural marketing. Corporate audit director, supply chain management director, government affairs director, business analytics manager, marketing and sales director
Master's in International Business A master's in international business focuses almost exclusively on the intricacies of international business. This degree is aimed toward students who want to work for large companies with offices overseas or who want to work internationally. Concepts are similar to those of regular business courses. Sales manager, international trader, finance controller, business development manager, management analyst, management consultant, international management consultant, international marketing manager
Master's in International Management (MIM) A master's in international management is geared towards students looking to work in leadership roles for international companies of all sizes. A MIM program provides students with training in global leadership, including international boundary management. In addition to classic business courses, a MIM includes lessons in culture and adaptation. International director of marketing, international finance manager, multinational manager, director of business development, international trade manager, international customs manager, foreign policy advisor

Cost and Length of an International Business Degree

The cost of an international business MBA varies by institution. Online MBAs in international business generally prove more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. Many online programs charge in-state and out-of-state students the same per-credit tuition rate. Online degrees also eliminate on-campus expenses such as room and board, parking, and activity fees.

Students pursuing an online MBA in international business need to factor textbooks and residency requirements into the overall cost of a degree. Online international business MBAs with in-person meetings will require travel and lodging expenses. MBAs may also provide degree-seekers with opportunities to participate in international trips, potentially adding time and expense to the program. Not all MBAs in international business have residencies or excursions, however, something to take into consideration when choosing the right program.

Most full-time students earn an MBA in two years, though accelerated programs may grant an MBA in as little as 12 months. Part-time learners can complete their MBA in 2-5 years. An international business online MBA may also offer coursework in a cohort model, where learners enter a program together and complete coursework in sequence on a set schedule.

International Business FAQs

What kind of jobs can you get with a MBA in international business?
An international business MBA prepares graduates for jobs in global supply chain management, international sales, and marketing analysis. Students can also pursue careers in human resource management, financial analysis, and policy development in industries such as healthcare, hospitality, technology, and retail.
What is the difference between an MBA and an international MBA?
Comparable to a general MBA, the international MBA focuses on business fundamentals as they relate to global markets. An international MBA prepares students for careers around the world, working as international marketing directors, trade and customs managers, and business development directors.
What concentrations are available for an MBA in international business?
As a specialization with an MBA program, international business provides a comprehensive look at global business practices and policies. Within an international business curriculum, students may have the opportunity to concentrate their studies further and focus on subsets of the field such as international marketing, finance, or management.

International Business Scholarships

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grants

AAUW offers financial support to women who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to change careers, advance in their current role, or reenter the workforce. Applicants must enroll in an accredited college or university in the United States. Women of color, women pursuing their first advanced degree, and women seeking to earn credentials in nontraditional fields receive primary consideration.

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The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scholarships

Established to support educational, wealth-building, and professional growth opportunities for historically underrepresented individuals, NBMBAA offers scholarships with collegiate partners around the world. Individual awards vary by institution, applicant qualifications, and program of study. Applicants must be members of NBMBAA.

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Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Founded to support immigrants and children of immigrants, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program awards 30 fellowships annually. Applicants must pursue graduate school in the United States; demonstrate creativity, originality, and initiative; and offer promise of continued contributions and leadership in their field of study.

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Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

Provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mary Elizabeth Beneventi MBA Scholarship provides $2,000 to individuals enrolled full time in a graduate business administration program. Applicants must have a minimum 3.25 GPA and can reapply each year.

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Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) Scholarship

The ALPFA scholarship provides funding to individuals of Hispanic origin and students with DACA status. Individuals must currently be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree in business, accounting, finance, or a STEM field and possess a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants submit essays and provide information about their overall financial need.

Apply for Scholarship
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