International Business Management: Online Master's Degree

An online master's degree program could prepare you for a high-level management position at a multinational corporation. Read on to learn about available degree programs, related areas of specialization in courses and career prospects. See how to choose a program and a job after graduation. Schools offering International Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of International Business Management Master's Programs Are Available Online?

Online master's degree programs focused on international business management come in a variety of different forms. If you're interested in a program that emphasizes business concepts such as marketing, accounting and finance, then a master's degree in international business may be a solid option. Some schools offer a Master of Business Management program online, which focuses on management techniques and international management concepts that can help you run a global business in the 21st century.

Schools may also offer Master of Business Administration (MBA) online programs that specialize in international business or international management. The MBA programs typically require you to take a set of core courses that focus on general business concepts, followed by a set of specialized electives that give you specific training in international business or international management. The core courses in an online MBA program cover broad business topics, while the master's degree programs in international management and international business feature core courses focused on global concepts.

Program SpecializationsInternational business, international management, finance, marketing
Common CoursesInternational marketing, global accounting, business law, service management, supply chain management, international economics
Career OptionsSales manager, marketing manager, purchasing manager
Median Salary$106,090* (for purchasing managers in 2014) and $110,660* (for sales managers in 2014)
Program Selection Individual interests in either domestic or international business, personal skill development, will help them decide what specialization is right for them

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Online master's programs are highly specialized and rarely have general education requirements. The course requirements for each program are very different from one another, so it is important that you choose a program that includes the courses you want to take. The online master's program in international business generally features core courses in international marketing, international business law, global accounting, international finance and analyzing consumers in emerging markets. Elective options may include international human resource management or an internship.

An online master's program in international management may consist of courses in marketing management, business operations management, service management and communication for managers. A thesis may not be required, and the program can be completed in less than two years.

The online MBA programs have similar core course requirements, featuring courses in organizational management, managerial accounting and business ethics. Your specialization courses in an international management MBA program may include global supply chain management, international finance management and cultural aspects of international business. If you opt for the international business specialization, you can expect to take courses like international economics, international business laws and international marketing. You may find some overlap in course options between both MBA programs, but each one features some unique options. Similar to master's programs, online MBA programs don't generally require a thesis or a research project.

What Jobs Can I Get with an International Business Management Master's Degree?

International business careers are found across many different industries, so you'll probably have a variety of job opportunities with a master's degree. High-level sales management positions may require a graduate degree and offer solid earning potential; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that these professionals earned a median salary of about $110,660 in 2014. Many employers need sales managers to handle business-to-business transactions, which often occur between companies from different countries.

Purchasing managers keep up with the sales trends of a specific product or industry so they can analyze proposals and determine what products are available and for how much. Since so many companies buy from overseas suppliers, knowledge of the international business arena can give you a huge advantage as a purchasing manager. Some of these positions require a bachelor's degree and some require a master's degree. The BLS found that purchasing managers earned a median annual income of approximately $106,090 in 2014.

Which Program is Right for Me?

Although you can learn similar concepts in these online programs, each program has unique features that can make it difficult to decide. You may want to select a program that strengthens your weak areas; for example, if you have a solid grasp on how business works but you're lacking some confidence in actually operating a business, then the international management program may be a better option. If you already have domestic management experience but you want to pursue a position that deals with a significant amount of international transactions, then the international business program is probably the way to go.

If you want to gain more general business skills that easily transfer to domestic business operations, then the online MBA program (either specialization) may be the way to go. Some businesses may prefer you to have an MBA; if you are already employed and are earning an MBA to improve your opportunities within the company, you should find out which degree your employer prefers.

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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