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To work in business, you must understand the global economy. Because of this, international business majors are popular. A degree in international business will provide a global context to a complex economy. And this alone makes the international business major worth it.
But what caused this popularity surge for international business degrees? The answer is technology.
The advancement of technology has softened geographic barriers. It allows people in separate countries to do business together. But it still requires travel and strong communication skills. This is why international business degrees are crucial.
Yes, a general business degree is a valuable tool. But an international business degree provides specialized knowledge. And these unique skills will give you a competitive advantage.
Things to consider before you get a degree in international business
Does this major appeal to you? If so, be sure you have the following qualities before pursuing it:
- Adaptability to change
- Openness to other cultures
- Quantitative reasoning
- Strong communication skills
- Willingness to travel
Travel is both dynamic and stressful. And a career in international business includes lots of it. You must be open to different cultures and change.
Talent in quantitative analysis is also important. Data is a universal language. You can use it to bridge communication and cultural differences.
The international business major is both exciting and challenging. To succeed in the field, you will need people skills and analytical thinking.
But why should you pursue an international business career in the first place? You might wonder, is an international business degree worth it? Read on for 10 benefits of studying international business. Then, you can decide for yourself.
1. Business Acumen and Skills
General business degree programs focus on foundational topics such as:
- Strategic management
International business degrees will also cover the above topics. They ensure you have the same foundation as general business majors. But global management majors will also take specialized courses. So, international business majors often graduate with higher business acumen than general business majors.
As an international business student, you will take specialized courses such as:
- International business negotiations
- International finance
- International marketing
General business administration majors will not take these specialized courses. So, they miss out on the increased business acumen they provide. But international business graduates get this experience.
2. Competitive Advantage
Business administration is among the most common degrees. This is according to data that measures degrees conferred by major.
You can interpret this data in one of two ways. You could say general business is versatile and practical. But it will not help you set yourself apart from the competition.
In other words, general business majors are ubiquitous. They offer little specialized education, if any. They are not considered unique like international business majors.
So, is international business a good degree? Yes, because it is unique and appealing to employers. With this major, you will work well in a global economy.
International organizations often do business with foreign partners and international companies. So, firms need people who can navigate foreign relations and relational transactions.
Qualities employers look for in business majors
- Communication skills
- Cultural awareness
- Social skills
International transactions need cultural and social understanding in the business world. That’s why they teach these qualities to international business majors. You will also learn to communicate with foreign clients and business partners. Your skills will help prepare you for work in government agencies and other spaces.
Communication with diverse individuals is critical for success. And international business students or international business graduates learn these skills as part of their coursework. With an international business degree, you will soar above the competition.
Also, you will learn the difference between collective and individualistic societies. Collective societies value trust before doing business. Individualistic societies like the U.S. need less relationship building.
An international business major navigates these differences. With this experience, your chances of success increase. Someone without cultural training might make a mistake. If that happens, you could lose all current and future business opportunities.
3. Cultural Awareness and Engagement
Effective communication is crucial when engaging with international:
All the above people will come from many different cultures. To clarify, culture refers to a community’s:
- Social norms
These can impact communication at the mass and interpersonal levels. For international business careers, you must navigate the cultural norms of unfamiliar societies. It can mean the difference between success and failure.
Travel is a big part of education for international business majors. This is true at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. You will immerse yourself in international cultures and businesses. This first-hand training with cultural awareness is invaluable to employers and your international business career.
4. Expanded Career Options
International business degree programs prepare you for many jobs outside private business. You can succeed in the public sector and non-profit agencies. Both of which span a wide range of professional industries.
The current economy is global. Global management majors can understand the nuances of international business. This knowledge is valuable to employers of all kinds. Also, an international business degree prepares you for graduate studies in:
- Business administration
- Public policy
International business graduates also learn many transferable skills. And these qualities set you apart in the competitive job market. They also help you appeal to a variety of employers. These skills include:
- Emotional intelligence
- Critical thinking
These skills have long been staples of international business curriculum. And they are even more important in today’s global market. That’s why job opportunities for international business majors continue to increase and why you can find work as an international business graduate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says business management jobs will grow by 7% through 2029. This is over double the rate for all other international business careers.
Those with master’s degrees in international business should expect excellent job opportunities. This is also true for those who speak two or more languages.
Also, the BLS reports that major metro areas will experience even higher growth rates. This is due to increased business activity and retirement of current employees. So, international business is a steady choice that you’ll continue to profit from.
5. Global Worldview and Perspective
One of the benefits of a global management degree is worldview. International business degree programs are a great opportunity to gain a global perspective. This outlook will serve you well in every industry.
General business majors lack this global worldview. They may not grasp the big-picture perspective that you do. And in this industry, cultural and geographical blind spots are weaknesses.
Global perspective can bring unique problem-solving skills to all organizations. They offer the creative and innovative thinking that business needs.
But what does an international business major do, you ask? In short, you will travel a ton. While traveling in the business world, international business majors interact with people from many different backgrounds. These experiences will expand your worldview beyond your home country. And this is something you can’t replicate in a textbook or classroom.
6. International Network
You might still wonder, is international business a good major? The answer is yes, as it provides many opportunities.
One of these opportunities includes access to networking. Interpersonal business relationships can last a lifetime. And those with global networks have long professional contact lists.
In business, contacts equal opportunities. They can offer you jobs you might not have gotten otherwise. And you gain contacts as soon as you start your international business coursework.
It will take work and determination. And you might ask:
Is international business a hard major?
It can be, but not if you form your network early. This is what will help you succeed.
Many job openings never make it to an internet job board. These hires come from personal recommendations or referrals. With strong domestic and international networks, international business majors will have many opportunities. Sometimes, these recommendations come even without you seeking them.
And if you work well, people will pepper you with referrals. You will hear from many people in your network, such as:
- Business partners
7. Learning a Second Language
Multilingualism is a major part of international business. The field has become increasingly global. As a traveler, you will interact with people who speak different languages. You must be able to communicate with them to do business. Many international business degree programs include language study for this reason.
Learning a second language has many career and personal benefits. Fluency in another language is crucial for success in a global market. It is an attractive quality to potential employers because you can help improve foreign relations.
And neurologists say it can even promote gray matter growth in the brain. This is because learning a language forms extra neural pathways. And this increases intelligence.
Also, bilingualism increases reading and writing skills in your native language. As you learn another language, you become aware of its structure. You can apply this to your native language and master it further.
8. Personal Fulfillment and Growth
You might ask, why study international business? Why earn a degree in international business? One of the biggest reasons is personal fulfillment. An enjoyable career and travel are two major components of your fulfillment.
International business graduates travel to exciting places for their jobs. This means little to no personal cost for:
Your adventures might be long-term placements or short stints. But there is always time for exploring the culture of your location. And you’ll meet many interesting people along the way.
Also, international business majors lead to a fulfilling career. This is one of the main drivers of happiness. Meaningful work and fair compensation contribute to career satisfaction. And with this degree, you can achieve both.
The BLS reports the average salary for international finance managers is $147,530. For international marketing managers, it’s $149,200. This is over $100,000 above the average salary for all other jobs.
Is international business a good major?
With this handsome return on investment, it’s impossible to say no.
But aside from money, the work itself is interesting and meaningful. In this field, you will spend time:
- Collaborating with colleagues
- Developing business strategies to boost growth
- Solving complex problems
These high-level tasks give the work purpose. And fulfillment is as important as financial gain.
9. Problem-Solving Skills
International business is complex. There’s everything from foreign policy to cultural and ethical logistics. In this field, you must consider many moving parts. And an international business program prepares you for this.
As an international business major, you learn to solve difficult problems. You also learn to approach issues from different perspectives as you earn a degree in international business. Both these qualities serve you well in every possible career.
Also, difficult problems force you to innovate. You learn to see solutions that others might not.
Much of your coursework will focus on real-world cases. And at the graduate level, students offer real clients consulting services. You learn through both research and experience. This increases student learning and helps organizations find business solutions.
10. Travel Around the Globe
As an international business major, you will travel the globe. And this occurs even before graduation.
Many international business programs include study-abroad opportunities. Whether it’s a full semester or a few weeks, expect to travel far during your program.
Once you have a job, international placements and assignments become normal. As firms expand into foreign markets, they will favor your degree. Foreign companies might even hire you.
International business is a growing major and career. Employers will need you to help them gain or maintain foreign partners.
Perks of traveling for international business
Another perk of traveling the world is social status. People associate international travel with important social metrics like:
International business also comes with a sense of:
Imagine the stories you could tell about your world travel as you conduct business in global markets. Your friends and family will respect you. And they will love to hear about the fulfillment your job brings you.
Final Thoughts on International Business
So, now you know what international business has to offer. It is up to you to decide if it’s the right fit. And deciding on your major is a serious decision. Colleges and universities give you hundreds of choices. But this article sheds light on one of the best options.
Yes, international business is a challenging major. But it offers international business graduates many benefits that outweigh the occasional struggle. It will help you stand out from the competition. And it will lead you to a fulfilling and successful career.
In this uncertain job market, you need stability. International business provides that, though it’s never boring. With so much travel, you gain many new experiences. And that is well worth the work it takes to major in international business.
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