International Business Finance

An understanding of global currencies, diplomacy and worldwide stock exchanges may open the door to a career in international business finance. Read more about this complex field here, including career and degree options, earnings and useful skills for experts in international finance.

Is International Business Finance for Me?

Career Overview

International business finance is the art of managing money on a global scale. Students interested in this field study various areas of finance, such as investments and corporate finance. Before you continue your study of international markets and global financial institutions, you must understand the fundamentals of domestic operations.

Career Options

As an expert in international business finance, you may pursue a career with a multinational corporation, financial institution or consulting firm. Your level of education and experience will be key to obtaining a position, as international jobs are usually reserved for candidates with strong foreign language skills and knowledge of a specialized area of finance. For example, you may work as a financial officer, helping organizations grow through mergers, contracts and expansions in the most cost-effective way possible. As a financial analyst, you'll guide businesses and individuals through investment decisions by studying financial statements and the global economy.

Financial managers are essential to the operations of a firm because they understand and control all vital financial functions. In this position, you'll work long hours under intense pressure in an office setting.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of financial analysts was projected to increase by a faster-than-average rate nationwide from 2012-2022. By comparison, an average growth in jobs was expected for securities, commodities and financial service services sales agents, as well as financial managers, during the same period.

In May 2013, the mean annual salary for a financial analyst was $91,620, while financial managers earned $126,660. As reported by the BLS in May 2013, personal financial advisors earned a mean annual salary of $99,920, while securities, commodities and financial services sales agents had average yearly incomes of $102,510 (

How Can I Work in International Business Finance?

Certificate Programs

A Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) program can help you prepare for work overseas. Typically, these certificate programs involve studying abroad and intensive language immersion. Popular languages of study include French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. In an Advanced Certificate in International Business and Finance program, you'll learn how to analyze multinational investments while studying global finance and international accounting.

Undergraduate Programs

A Bachelor of Arts in International Business program will introduce you to the political, cultural and social aspects of various countries and businesses. Once enrolled, you'll study international economic environment, corporate governance, capital markets and contemporary issues in international banking. Global financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, may also play a role in your curriculum.

Graduate Programs

A Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) program can provide you with a well-rounded education in the main areas of finance. In order to earn this degree, you must complete a thesis, which will help you develop strong research and analytical skills. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can help you advance your leadership and strategic thinking skills and enhance your knowledge of the global business environment. Typically, the first year is devoted to the study of fundamental business principles, such as accounting, finance and management strategy. The second year allows students to focus on a specialty, such as international business finance.

A Master of Arts in International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program may allow for a specialty in international banking and finance while providing you with a foundation in economic analysis. In addition to the study of research methods and political science, your curriculum will include core courses in international economic relations and global economic policy.

Required Skills

Strong analytical skills are necessary in international business finance, since the important decisions you make on a daily basis can affect companies, economies and individuals. You'll also need to be confident, detail oriented, self-motivated and familiar with the processes of international laws, markets and economics.


A professional certification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation offered by the CFA Institute, may be required for some positions in international business finance.

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