International Business Majors: Career and Salary Facts

Read about the classes you'll take and the skills you'll learn in an international business degree program. Learn about potential careers in the field and how much they pay. Schools offering International Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is the Curriculum for an International Business Major?

International business is a broad topic encompassing practical business skills, international politics and world cultures. Your studies as an international business major will cover topics such as:

  • International trade agreements
  • Treaties
  • Political economy
  • Multinational organizations
  • Global marketing
  • Foreign language
  • Geography

You will also take classes in functional business skills, such as finance, economics, accounting, marketing and management. Some schools require you to select one of these skills as a second major to ensure that you understand business functions, as well as their international applications.

Many international business programs offer you the opportunity to study at a foreign university or complete an internship with an international corporation or non-profit organization. Study abroad programs are typically available to college juniors and seniors and can last one semester to a year. International internships are also a possibility.

Where Can I Work?

With an international business degree, you could work in the U.S. or abroad for international organizations, the U.S. government, multinational corporations or U.S.-based businesses that have interests in other countries. Note that many international business majors start their careers in domestic companies or organizations to gain experience in basic business skills. Businesses that hire international business majors include:

  • Banks
  • Manufacturers
  • Airlines
  • Retail chains
  • Manufacturers
  • Accounting firms

What Will My Job Duties Be?

Global expansion of business has increased the need for employees that understand how to expand into international markets and operate business in a culture other than their own. With your bachelor's degree in international business, you may become a management analyst studying the efficiency of a business or organization and suggest ways to improve international outreach and profitability.

Sales of goods and services across national borders might be your job, if you become an international account representative. For this job, you will build business relationships with individuals, corporations and government agencies in different countries. If you choose a career as a global marketing specialist, you may travel around the world researching and developing strategies to sell your company's products or services.

What Will I Be Paid?

Your salary will vary depending on the career path you take. reported that the starting median salary in 2010 for an international business major was $41,900 and the mid-career median salary for someone with about 15 years of experience was $77,800.

The median annual wage for a management analyst in 2010 was $87,260, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The average annual salary of a marketing manager was $122,720. The salaries of sales representatives vary according to product type; those in manufacturing and industry earned $62,720 a year, while those in science and technology products earned $84,360.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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