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What Is International Management?

International management involves understanding international economics, leading change in international corporations and creating global business strategies. Continue reading for more information about what international management encompasses and how you can study this subject.

Overview of International Management

As an international manager, you need to possess the same skills as domestic managers, like critical thinking, problem solving and business skills, in addition to understanding global economics, multicultural business practices and foreign languages. Background knowledge of basic business principles, like marketing, finance and supply chain management is necessary, along with specialized knowledge in applying business practices on a global scale. You must be able to consider how local cultural ideals, social statuses, politics, economics and geography play into making ethical business decisions, and being able to communicate with work associates in their native language is an important specialized skill of international managers. As an international manager, you may work with non-profit organizations, corporations and other global agencies or groups.

Important Facts About International Management Schooling

Online Availability Offered at the graduate and undergraduate levels
Programs Internships are available at government agencies, nonprofit organizations and international banks
Concentrations At the master's level, students may be able to specialize in Innovation/Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain Management, Information Management Technology and more
Continuing Education Certificates in Financial Planning and Professional Fundraising are available
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% growth (for management analysts)*
Median Salary (2018) $83,610 (for management analysts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

Degree programs in international management are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, although graduate programs are far more common. Some international management programs allow you to focus on a certain industry, like tourism or finance, or on a particular world region, like Latin America or Asia. Internships, study abroad programs or other practical learning opportunities are commonly included in the curriculum. And, you typically must study one or more foreign languages and cultures.

Here are descriptions for a few key courses that you may take in an international management degree program:

  • International management: Students learn about key features of managing an international organization. Some of the topics to be discussed include understanding the complex dynamics of global markets and controlling business interests across national and cultural boundaries.
  • Financial management: This course typically covers a number of areas essential to the field of financial management. These topics include capital budgeting, long- and short-term financing and risk evaluation.
  • Management science: Students learn about quantitative methods and models used to analyze common management problems. Topics to be covered include optimization functions, queuing theory, time series analysis, linear programming, decision theory, transportation models and multiple regression analysis.
  • International marketing strategy: This course covers areas related to marketing in an international context and covers topics such as distribution strategies, product pricing and product promotion. Students can expect to cover many case studies.
  • Intercultural communication: Students learn how to communicate effectively in a multinational organization. Specific emphasis will be given to how systems of belief, thought and value affect problem solving and analytical skills in a business environment.