International Business Careers: How to Get Started

international business careersBusiness degrees are a common path for college students that have a specific career path in mind, are undecided in choosing a major, or are seeking an educational foundation that is as practical as it is diverse. International business is becoming a growing field for students to seek a degree and go on to enter the workforce. To learn about international business careers that can stem from pursuit of a degree, you must first be able to define what international business is considered to include.

The Basics of International Business

International business is a broad career field that encompasses many different industries. By definition, it is any commercial activity that occurs between two or more countries. Commercial activity does not just refer to transactions that occur between businesses, but also includes any activity that occurs between governmental entities, nongovernmental organizations, private industry, and any other organization that conducts commercial activities across country lines. These types of variances require Success in Global Business. What makes the field of international business so diverse is not only the geographical boundaries that are crossed, but the broad definition includes all types of for profit business activities.

This diversity opens the fields of specialized study in a degree program to a nearly countless variety of specialties. Study can include specialization in language, accounting, labor relations, import/ export, political studies, trade and tariffs, legal studies, and much more.

Characteristics to Embrace

Here are a few traits you need to have if you choose the path of international business:

  • Innate curious and intuitive nature.

  • Excellent organizational skills.

  • Sensitive to new cultures.

  • Enjoys travel.

  • Flexible.

  • Extremely motivated.

  • Good negotiation skills.

  • Resourceful.

  • Works well with a team.

  • Flexible.

  • Handles pressure, easily.

Career Options in International Business

international business careersBecause of the broad range of needs, there are many career options available for those with a degree and interest in international business. The majority of international business careers are found in the fields of sales and marketing, but there is certainly more out there for the motivated job seeker. International Expansion: A Blueprint for Success helps to give you the assistance you need to reach your global objectives. Positions in accounting, finance, planning, contracting and procurement, investing, project management, import/ export, training, legislative assistance and more can be found in the international business circuit.

Some of the Popular and In-Demand Jobs in this Field

  • Accounting Analyst: In this role, your job is to help a company remain profitable. You would compare current and past statistics to determine where changes might need to be made. You would pore through profit and loss statements to figure out how to trim waste. You might also study invoices and shipping history. Moreover, you might take care of regional compliance. That is dealing with items such as paying taxes in different countries.

  • Import-Export Specialist: You would help to facilitate shipments that cross international borders. You would document shipments in order to ensure they are in compliance with the sending and receiving countries. In addition, you categorize based on a tariff coding system. You also have to work with customs agents to help get your shipments through more quickly and much more easily.

  • Immigration Specialist: This can be an immigration attorney or paralegal. Since you are working in international business, your company will need to have someone who has expertise in the immigration laws of varying countries. You would assist immigrants in all aspects of their moves. You have to maintain current knowledge of immigration laws. In addition, you might also have to appear in court, when needed. You assist with work visas, as well.

  • International Trade Manager: You manage your firm’s trade negotiations and policies. You definitely need a degree in international business. Furthermore, you should be fluent in more than one language. Specifically, you should be fluent in the language that is native to the country where you work. Furthermore, you need to cultivate relationships with trade officials and industry leaders. It helps to ease business relations when these individuals have a better understanding of your company’s products and services. You might also help to secure products from overseas for domestic or international sales.

  • Strategic Planner: With this career, you become an integral part of any organization. Your job is to help your company look into growth opportunities in order to help get new goals off of the ground. You help to implement new strategies or products for improving sustainability. Some of the duties include implementing environmental scans, set up evaluations and design the flow of these processes. In addition, you need to have superior analytical skills and a deep comprehension of organizational processes.

Jobs Forecast for International Business Graduates

Many factors over the last few decades have triggered growth in international business fields. Most prominently, technology has thrown the door wide open to international business by not only removing barriers to commercial activity, but also vastly improving communications. Because of the technological advances and an increase in available products on the market, competition has increased because most markets are now much more global rather than local. In addition, you definitely need to have an Agile Market Strategy for Business to Business Products.

This has fed into another development that has fueled international business, which is that governments are becoming less restrictive to international business. Technology, communication, increased competition and higher demand has driven governments to make these changes. All of these and other factors make international business degrees highly desirable today and in the future job markets.

Graduates seeking international business careers should note that many companies don’t have an international branch. Rather, company structures are generally by discipline with those companies that do international business having specialists within the appropriate branches. Reading vacancy announcement carefully to ensure you are finding positions that best fit the skill set with an emphasis on international business is critical. You do want to be cognizant though of the Advantages of International Trade and What to Watch Out For.

Other Considerations for International Business Careers

When working with international business partners, it’s important to take the time to learn a bit about the culture because this can vastly influence how business is conducted. Making the effort to learn another language may also be appropriate and in some cases, sponsored by the company.

When seeking international business positions in a company, it’s important to consider whether you are willing and able to move overseas if the position were to require you to do so. In the cases where it is not required, consider that you may have to work a vastly different schedule to accommodate your international partner’s time zone.

It is important to note that more and more companies value employees who have studied international business. The reason is straightforward, global business is expanding. Trading partners are available all throughout the world and many come with a unique set of advantages. Working on a global scale is also very exciting for obvious reasons. You get to learn about new cultures and meet people you wouldn’t have in your home country.

Even if you do not move to another continent, you will still have to work with individuals from other countries. This is just the nature of today’s business world. With an international business background, the relationships start to feel more natural and respectful. You worry less about committing offenses because you have completed your studies and research. Now, you can focus on treating your business partners as you would your neighbor.

An international business career can be extremely challenging and rewarding. The opportunities in the US in international business fields and in other countries is numerous and diverse, with great prospects for motivated, educated and specialized international business professionals.