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WhatWhat is an International Business MBA?

The ever-changing global economy has boosted the demand for MBA in International Business programs. Within many MBA programs, the international business specialization is highly-respected concentration giving B-Students a macro-level picture of the global business world. The objective of this specialization is to equip students on how to effectively approach international business management issues with strategic problem-solving methods. This specialization has the objective of producing highly versatile managerial candidates that will have the subject matter expertise to be effective leaders within multinational companies. The primary mission of this program is to use the case study methodology to firmly grasp global business decision making and to obtain hands-on experience in the international business sector.

Within the International Business concentration, you will study the essential components of economics, finance, leadership, digital marketing, business communications and effective strategic management. While studying in your MBA, you will learn through real-world case studies that illustrate common issues relating to global financial regulations, how to navigate multicultural organizations, economic theory, and distinct legal systems around the globe.

Choosing to pursue an MBA with an International Business will open professional doors unique to Fortune 500 companies that conduct business overseas. Some examples of the types of business that you could work for after obtaining an MBA with an International Business Specialization are international institutions, corporations, multinational companies, nonprofit organizations, and diplomatic posts. Once finish your MBA in International Business, you’ll choose a specific sector of business whether it’s finance, strategic management, marketing, e-commerce, accounting, or supply chain management. These specific industry sectors are critical to your progression as an international manager and each one has certain licensing/credentialing requirements.

The International Business Specialization is tailored to prepare B-Students to face challenges in the global business environment. Most MBA programs will focus on developing skills related to legal, cultural, technological developments, entrepreneurship, staffing management, and global leadership strategy. Upon mastering these skills, you will be fully prepared to start a managerial training program for a multinational company.

What is the Career Outlook for an MBA in International BusinessWhat is the Career Outlook for an MBA in International Business

An MBA in International Business provides B-Students with a distinct advantage in the corporate world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees that possess a master’s degree or higher will have a 20% increase in their salary compared to employees that have only a bachelor’s degree.

There are many industries in the global economy that actively pursue MBA in International Business graduates. Whether it’s science and technology, international trade, healthcare innovation, global financial services and transactions or e-commerce entrepreneurship, the sky is the limit for MBA in International Business graduates. This is particularly true for startups that are actively recruiting MBA graduates from accredited institution across the globe. If you ask an MBA graduate, you will find the majority describe their B-School investment as financially, personally, and professionally rewarding.

What are Average Salaries Among International Business Managers?What are Average Salaries Among International Business Managers?

The median annual wage for financial managers is $121,750 per year. The lower 10% of the workforce earned less than $65,000 per year and the upper 10% of the workforce earned more than $208,000 per year.

The median annual wage for chief executives is $181,210 per year. The upper 10% of chief executives earned in excess of $208,000 per year and the lower 10% of chief executives earned less than $69,780 per year.

In terms of general and operations managers, the median annual wage averaged $99,310. The upper 10% earned higher than $208,000 per year and the lower 10% earned less than $49,290 per year.

What Can I Do in International Business?What Can I Do in International Business?

The career path for someone with an MBA in International Business is endless. Here are some targeted career options for graduates:

  • Export Management
  • Import Management
  • International Sales
  • International Business Transactions
  • Global Sourcing and Purchasing
  • Global Business Development
  • International Financial Management
  • International Accounting
  • Global Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Global Human Resources
  • Expatriate Management
  • Global Strategy
  • International Management Consulting

How Can I Promote Myself with an International Business MBA

Learning another language will be instrumental to your success as an international business manager. Whether it’s Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish or French, you will have a distinct advantage over job prospects seeking a high level position at a multinational company. Additionally, you will have an edge over the competition if you keep up-to-date with productive technological advancements and social media growth strategies.

If you decide to pursue an MBA in International Business, here are some of the career opportunities:

  • Entrepreneur – At times, Entrepreneurs are forgotten in business school. This is particularly true for Entrepreneurs that have a global edge. By achieving an MBA degree, it will provide you with the tools to set up a company in different countries or to source products there. It will also allow you to have the technological strategies to implement a social media strategy effectively in many markets.
  • Regional Office Manager at a Multinational – Having an MBA could allow you to be promoted to serve as a leading manager for a major multinational company. This is something that could have you in charge of the headquarters of a major bank in Asia or have you leading the oil and gas office headquarters in Africa or the Middle East, for example. Depending on the area of study that you select, it is absolutely possible for you to lead a major portion of a project within a multinational firm.
  • Consulting Specialist – One of the major roles that consultants face is assisting global firms with entering new markets. These opportunities exist in the legal capacity, but also in marketing efforts in terms of effective strategies to boost sales. If you are able to obtain employment at a top global consulting firm, you will be able to study a region intensively and lead projects there with major global business players.
  • Global Marketing Director – There is an increased demand for MBA graduates that have an international marketing background. If you have focused on marketing in your MBA coursework, you will have many global career opportunities available to you such as: working as a social media strategist for an international fashion company, serving in Facebook’s office in Seoul or even, working for a leading financial institution’s marketing department in Singapore.
  • Financial Manager – Multinational firms desperately need financial managers in all of their regional offices. Given the high value of the transactions, it is important to have an MBA graduate with strong skills and high ethical principles. If you choose this career path and have fluency in multiple languages, you will succeed in this role.
  • Business Strategy/Development Director – Top level firms are always looking for fresh minds to lead their business development strategy. Currently, there is a demand for MBA graduates, particularly those that have the capability to work in the international sector. If you have an MBA degree, you will be competitive for a business development strategy role in a multinational firm.
  • Foreign Policy Advisor – In diplomatic posts, there is an elite level that is reserved for lawyers and MBA graduates that have skills with foreign languages. These jobs are lucrative, fascinating, and will allow you to travel the world during your career.
  • Global Trade Compliance Directors – If you are interested in trade and the import/export world, it is absolutely possible to work in a firm that needs an upper-level manager of their operation to include: following trade regulations, developing a distribution chain, and sourcing products in developing markets.

Qualities That Make A Successful International Business LeaderQualities That Make A Successful International Business Leader

Sector Description
Communication skills Being able to communicate effectively is something that is required to be a top-level professional in the international business world.You will be required to have the ability to negotiate with others, explain their policies, and manage subordinates.
Decisionmaking skills. At times in business, it is important to be able to make difficult decisions that will greatly alter the potential future success of the business. As an upper-level manager, you will be required to have decisionmaking skills in order to make strategic decisions to keep the business operating efficiently.
Leadership skills. Top executives regularly have to make decisions. In this role, you will be required to navigate the management of people, resources, and policies in a manner that serves the health of the organization.
Management skills. In a top executive role, you will need to have strong management skills for the day-to-day operations of the business. You will have to design operations strategies, budgets, and business plans for the organization.
Problem-solving skills. Executives need to be able to problem solve with varying issues in the organization on a daily basis. In this role, you will have to have the ability to problem solve efficiently to benefit your firm’s well being.
Time-management skills. Time-management is an essential skill to being a top executive. As a top executive, you will have to make every effort to organize your time effectively in order to have a healthy balance between business development, managing existing clients, and staff management.

What are the Outcomes of my DevelopmentWhat are the Outcomes of my Development

  • You will be able to learn strategies to manage employees from multiple backgrounds.
  • Once you develop your quantitative reasoning skills, you will be able to solve issues based on your knowledge of economics, finance, statistics, and mathematics.
  • After completing your MBA program, you will have a strong sense of how to develop business plans that improve the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • You will have the ability to apply quantitative and qualitative research to case studies and evaluate whether the proper research has been completed.
  • Once you have a strong understanding of economic principles, you will be able to analyze what potential economic problems and opportunities exist in a particular situation.
  • You will develop strong critical thinking skills to apply to issues that come up in the business world.
  • Having an MBA forces you to learn about up-to-date technological advancements and how they could make your firm’s business run more efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • The MBA curriculum will permit you to see the impact that legal and ethical conflicts have in global business transactions.
  • Your communication skills developed from an MBA program will enable you to navigate diverse situations that occur in your role as a top executive.

What Typical Classes for an MBA in International BusinessWhat Typical Classes for an MBA in International Business

  • International Business. International Business focuses on the various social, cultural, legal, and environmental factors that occur in order to conduct business as a global firm with a presence in diverse markets. This coursework will provide you with a first-hand glimpse of how multinational organizations make decisions in their respective industries.
  • Financial Management Policy. Financial Management Policy is designed to raise awareness about the impact that global transactions can have on a firm’s financial success. This course will allow you to analyze financial management instruments that require the use of working capital, capital budgeting, and capital structure.
  • Global Accounting and Financial Analysis. Global Accounting and Financial Analysis zoom in on the financial and accounting techniques that are required to conduct business between borders. This course will also permit you to focus on what analytical approaches are required to conduct business internationally and how those approaches have the potential to impact stakeholders and organizations.
  • Global Marketing Management. Global Marketing Management highlights what marketing research is required in order to be competitive in foreign markets. While studying this course, you will be able to discuss product sourcing strategies, relationship marketing, social media marketing, and business-to-business marketing.

How Much is Tuition for MBA International Business ProgramsHow Much is Tuition for MBA International Business Programs?

If you plan on attending B-School, it’s best to start thinking about managing your finances. A prospective B-Student in International Business needs to understand ROI (Return-on-Investment). A highly reputable MBA program can pave the way for a great starting salary by way of on-campus recruitment from top multinational firms. An online MBA program can provide the flexibility of completing a program while being employed in your field. With that being said, the lowest in-state tuition for on-campus MBA in International Business programs is $8,978.00 compared to the highest average in-state tuition of $116,300.00. There’s a significant tuition range for in-state programs. The average in-state tuition is $46,795.62 compared to an average out-of-state tuition of $58,412.51 for traditional MBA programs. If you have the option of attending a well-respected in-state program, it may be worthwhile to save close to $10,000 in tuition costs. If geography is a limiting factor, then an accredited online MBA program may be the best option for aspiring B-Students. The average in-state online MBA program in International Business is $47,567.09 compared to the average online out-of-state program of $59,082.32.

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA International Business ProgramsGMAT Scores for MBA International Business Programs

It’s important to note that not all MBA in International Business programs require a GMAT Score for acceptance; but most AACSB accredited programs do. There are other factors that ultimately decide an admissions decision. They include undergraduate GPA, professional experience, letters of reference, CV, and a personal statement. Any professional experiences overseas or internships working multinational firms may be a difference maker. The GMAT measures a prospective students’ ability to quantitatively analyze data. The MBA in International Business is one of the more popular programs due to its breadth of business knowledge and global outreach; therefore, GMAT scores will be a bit more competitive. The average GMAT score for on-campus programs is 560.87 compared to an online GMAT of 568.12. If you have a specific program in mind, it’s best to boost your GMAT to improve your chances of acceptance. With a GMAT Score range of 377.30 to 700.50, there’s plenty of opportunity to attend a high-quality MBA in International Business program.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA International Business ProgramsStudent / Faculty Ratio for MBA International Business Programs

The best MBA Student/Faculty ratio for International Business programs is 0.08 compared to the worst on-campus Student/Faculty ratio of 18.88. The lower the ratio, the better it is for students interested in networking with professors. B-Students sit in classroom with low Student/Faculty ratios receive personalized one-on-one attention from professors that have extensive experience in the global community. The Student/Faculty metric is a matter of personal preference and for those students who excel in lecture hall environments, you may choose a program that has a higher Student/Faculty ratio. The best Student/Faculty ratio for online MBA in International Business is 0.08 compared to the worst online Student/Faculty ratio of 4.07. The combination of cutting-edge eLearning platforms and innovative Blackboard courses make the online experience a rewarding one for prospective business students. The Student/Faculty ratio comes down to personal preference. For a B-Student interested in networking with professors and fellow students via a cohort style classroom environment, it’s best to look for programs with lower Student/Faculty ratios. If you don’t mind the lecture hall environment, then a higher Student/Faculty ratio may be a suitable option for the prospective MBA applicant.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA International Business ProgramsStudent Population for MBA International Business Programs

Every B-School has a strategy behind their enrollment sizes. If a prospective B-Student is looking for networking opportunities, wants to attend job fairs, and plans on joining student organizations, B-School enrollment size plays an important role in the decision making process. For the B-Student interested in the smaller cohort-style classroom experience and thrive in more intimiate settings, a manageable enrollment size is the preferred option. This is especially true for cohort MBA programs where the class stays together for the entire program. The average MBA full-time enrollment for on-campus programs is 397 compared to the average online MBA program of 450. The average MBA part-time enrollment for on-campus is 370 students compared to the average part-time online enrollment of 447. It’s important to note there is a significant difference between the online study experience versus the traditional classroom experience. And if you plan on language courses, you may want a smaller traditional classroom setting over an online learning environment.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Student Population from the United StatesStudent Population from the United States

This is a very important category for those pursuing an MBA in International Business. One of the many benefits of your MBA coursework is the networking opportunities that you will have from both your American colleagues and colleagues from around the world. On average, 76.57% of students will be American in your MBA program. This means that you will be able to network with roughly 23% of the student population. Your contact with these individuals could lead you to global employment opportunities after the completion of your MBA program. Interacting with foreign classmates in the classroom will also enable you to obtain a perspective from different cultures. By interacting with your American and foreign colleagues, you will have better job prospects and obtain a diverse perspective on international business.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA International Business ProgramsFaculty Information for MBA International Business Programs

The International Business Specialization is also a fantastic opportunity to network with your professors. Within this field, many of the professors are still working in top firms and serving as adjunct faculty or they have a doctorate degree and are respected researchers. If you select a program with coursework that has smaller class sizes, it can be a great way to get close to your professors and create long term connections for networking. The average full time MBA program has 85 full time professors, 106 part time professors, and 87 professors with doctoral degrees. If you use these connections to your advantage, you will gain many job prospects upon graduation and internships during your program.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA International Business ProgramsList of Campus and Online MBA International Business Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA International Business programs offered: 86
  • The number of online MBA International Business programs offered: 38

If you are looking to have an International Business Specialization within your MBA, there are 86 programs that have an on-campus option. That said, if those locations are not close to you, there are also 38 online programs that currently have the International Business Specialization as well. There is also a hybrid option between on campus and online MBA programs with the International Business Specialization. It is important to evaluate your individual situation and if you are still working during school, for example, it could be wise to complete the hybrid program for your convenience. Lastly, bear in mind the impact of geographic location on long-term job opportunities in particular industries when you are deciding between an on-campus and online program. Bearing all of these factors in mind, you will be able to find the programs that are best suited to you.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.