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2021 International Business Degree Guide

Have you ever wanted to travel or conduct business with other cultures? A major in International Business would provide a great education for you to meet your goals.

By majoring in International Business, you will learn the how to think internationally about the business world. You will be instructed in international markets and operations, in order to help you understand different customs. Students will be take a variety of courses including foreign languages, global logistics, international finance, marketing, and operations, and communications. These classes will help prepare you for entering into the international business world following your education.

International Business Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#87 Most Popular Major
10.2k Degrees Awarded
-3.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, international business was the 87th most popular major nationwide with 10,181 degrees awarded. This represents a 3.5% reduction in international business degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -10,536.

The United States has 396 different schools where you can get a degree in international business. Our 2021 Best Colleges for International Business ranking analyzes 64 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for international business students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of international business programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in International Business

In order to be successful in International Business you must be open to learning new cultures and customs. This career involves a lot of travel and interacts with people of different cultures, therefore respecting their traditions and customs is critical in order to do successful business. Being an efficient communicator is a critical skill needed for this major. Many students learn a second or third language to aid their business relations.

There are opportunities for study abroad programs at some institutions. This would allow student to experience the culture first hand. Some students decide to pursue their Master's or Ph.D. in International Business as well.

International Business Degree Program Entry Requirements

international business degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic international business program qualifications, to serve in some international business careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of International Business Degrees

International Business degree levels vary. International Business programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest international business degree you can get. The type of international business degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to international business, with approximately 24.6% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for international business workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 24.3%
Doctoral Degree 20.1%
Master’s Degree 15.9%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 11.8%
Some College Courses 8.5%

Most workers in international business have at least a bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in international business careers have.


This of course varies depending on which international business career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In International Business Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$48.8k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

With a degree in International Business, graduates can do many different things. One option is to become a representative of the International Trade Administration. These professionals provide advice and help to exporters in the United States. Titles in this profession include International Economist, Import Compliance Specialist, and International Trade Specialist. The demand for these professionals is not high, however with a master's degree or Ph.D. job opportunities grow.

Graduates can also go into international banking with this degree. You would be working in either a domestic bank with foreign accounts, or vice-versa. This job is in demand due to the emerging international markets.

Becoming a Cultural Adviser is another option. These professionals help businesses with market research to assist their expansion into international markets.

Growth Projected for International Business Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your international business degree? International Business careers are expected to grow 7.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to international business.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
General and Operations Managers 2,468,300 9.1%
Chief Executives 296,800 -3.9%
Business Professors 123,000 18.0%

How Much Money Do International Business Grads Make?

International Business graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $48,834 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $29,900 to as high as $189,400. As you might expect, salaries for international business graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for International Business Majors

Salaries for international business graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers international business grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Chief Executives $200,140
General and Operations Managers $123,880
Business Professors $103,330

Getting Your International Business Degree

With over 927 different international business degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased international business school rankings to help you with this.

One of 21 majors within the Business, Management & Marketing area of study, International Business has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Marketing 51,241

View All International Business Related Majors >


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