What is Studying for an International Business Degree Like?


Image Source

International business is one of the hottest majors catching B-school students’ attention due to the continued globalization of our economy. It’s becoming effortless to find various international business degrees leading to a BBA, BS, MS, MBA, and even PhD. Top-notch schools, such as the University of South Carolina, New York University, and the University of California-Berkeley, are charting new territories in international business education. Programs are also growing overseas at universities like IMD in Switzerland. Studying international business is useful for students who may work outside the United States to foster commerce growth across borders. Let’s review what studying for an international business degree is like before you jump into the major though.

International Business Classes

Degrees in international business have well-defined curricula to focus on the unique challenges of managing corporations without geographic barriers. Four-year bachelor’s programs typically build on a broad core of business disciplines, such as marketing, human resources, accounting, and management, before going global. Foreign language classes for Spanish, Chinese, German, and similar dialects are often requisite. Master’s degrees last anywhere from 12 to 48 months to immerse students specifically in international business content. Course titles may include global banking, emerging economies, political economy, international trade, logistics, and corporate social responsibility.

Global Experience Semesters

Business programs wouldn’t be truly international if students remained comfortably on-campus throughout. Therefore, B-schools generally require spending at least one semester studying at colleges or universities overseas. Flying to global destinations and immersing yourself in the local culture and business scene offers unparalleled lessons. International business majors often choose powerful economic juggernauts like Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Tokyo, Milan, Paris, and Dubai. Study abroad students are welcomed into their host country for hands-on learning about intricate foreign business details while expanding their professional network.

Internships with Multinational Organizations

Simply studying at a foreign institution isn’t the only way to globalize your resume. Many B-schools boost their international business degrees with overseas internships. Ranging from one month to one year, internships are formal work agreements established with domestic or multinational organizations. Whether paid or unpaid, interns enter real-world business environments to put their curriculum into practice. The Annual NACE Survey found that 95 percent of employers say internship experience is a hiring factor. International business internships could place you at Goldman Sachs in India, H&M in Sweden, Deloitte in South Africa, and more.

International Business Research

One of the prominent components to graduate international business degrees is research. The master’s thesis involves devoting at least four months to independently investigating central business topics of global proportions. Under faculty mentorship, students tackle master’s thesis research to construct a scholarly paper of around 50 pages and orally defend it. For example, international business majors could examine reliable sources to determine the impact of political behavior on global organizations. Finishing a PhD in International Business will require a more in-depth, technical dissertation research paper over 100 pages long.

Capstone Business Projects Abroad

Instead of a thesis or dissertation, bachelor’s degrees in international business will normally culminate with an applied capstone project. Capstones are semester-long, for-credit endeavors that synthesize your didactic learning into today’s market. Some universities will assign senior teams to consult with real-world companies abroad. Consulting projects with Fortune 500 giants like Valero Energy, General Motors, or IBM would provide valuable experience developing applicable business solutions. Other colleges will require students to craft international business plans for startups. This capstone format compiles strategies used to achieve sustainable growth across new economies.

Future frequent flyers enroll in international degree programs to enhance their global awareness for large-scale business ventures worldwide. International business opens careers that are poised for average 10-year growth at 8 percent. Graduates gain a competitive edge with the above experiences to excel as risk managers, management analysts, administrative managers, trade coordinators, logistics specialists, translators, treasurers, staffing consultants, and more. Bachelor’s graduates receive a mean starting salary of $51,220 and MBAs claim median salaries up to $185,048 or beyond. Consider this in-demand major now that you know what studying for an international business degree is like.