Updated on Friday 1 March 2013
The study of international business is becoming a necessity for businesspeople in the 21st century. A graduate degree in international business will not only lead to career advancement, but also to personal enrichment as you travel the world. Before you decide to take the leap, there are some important things to consider about the various masters programs in international business.
There's no turning back the clock; business now operates 24/7 in all parts of the world. In order to take advantage of the dynamic global marketplace, many international students are seeking a graduate degree in international business. A master’s in international business builds on previous business coursework and relevant work experience to give one the skills necessary to navigate the world of global commerce.
Every graduate program is different, but some requirements apply similarly across the board. In the business world, one thing that stands out is actual business experience. At least two years of business experience, especially with some involvement of international business, is far more valuable than most undergraduate business degrees alone. While some business schools that offer a graduate degree in international business do not require an undergraduate degree in business, some do. Thus, it's best for international students who seek a master’s degree in international business to research their school requirements. In addition to experience and previous degrees, graduate business programs also often require a GMAT or GRE score, an active passport or visa, and proficiency in a foreign language. International students should also have proficiency in English for US business schools.
What is a master’s degree in international business (MIB)? Broadly speaking, the MIB is a graduate degree in international business that gives business professionals insights and skills necessary for understanding and engaging with the global economy. The degree often entails studying international entities like multinational corporations, multiple economic systems, and often elements of cultural studies.
Most graduate programs in international business are relatively short, lasting one to two years for full-time students and two to four years for part-time students. Some programs offer a range of fundamental business courses as part of their training, while others require that applicants have taken these courses before enrolling.
In terms of course topics, again each program is different. In order to obtain a graduate degree in international business, students will often take courses such as Global Strategic Management, Macroeconomics, International Finance, International Marketing, Global Supply Chain Management, or International Law. Check with your potential schools to research course requirements and descriptions to make sure they offer your desired focus.
Several schools across the US offer some form of the masters in international business. Below are some prominent examples.
What can students do with a graduate degree in international business? Many things. Most schools that feature a MIB program have some sort of career services to help with placement. Students with an MIB may end up as a marketing manager, diplomatic security specialist, investor relations specialist, industry analyst, foreign service officer, global research director, or several other possibilities. It's a good idea to have some sense of where you want to spend your career before or early on in your graduate program.