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Foreign Business Consultant: Job Description & Career Requirements

Foreign business consultants help businesses navigate the complicated international marketplace. The possibilities for buying and selling goods and services around the world have create a need for foreign business consultants who can give advice on how to make overseas contacts, use exchange currencies and understand the myriad of laws regulating international trade. Read on to learn about the requirements and benefits of this profession.

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Career Definition

Foreign business consultants, also referred to as foreign commerce consultants, help businesses exchange goods and services with organizations located in other countries. Some foreign business consultants also work for the government, maneuvering through the many rules which dictate the terms of international trade. Firms that hire foreign business consultants usually require a few years of workplace experience; in order to get a foot in the door, companies require at least a bachelor's degree while many prefer a master's degree.

How to Become a Foreign Business Consultant

Required Education

In order to become a foreign business consultant, one must have an extensive education; degrees of interest include a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Finance, a Bachelor of Science in Economics, a Bachelor of Science in International Business, a Master's of Science in Economics and a Master's of Business Administration with a focus in international business. Students interested in a career as a foreign business consultant can expect to have classes in math, computer science, economics, public speaking, writing, foreign language and the basics of business. Many companies that hire foreign business consultants also require job candidates to take a variety of professional development courses.

Skills Required

Foreign business consultants must have skills in math and experience in economics and finance; international trade can be complicated by language barriers, exchange rates, tariffs and changing laws. Fluency in a foreign language is another key skill; many foreign business consultants work with one particular country or region and the ability to communicate in the native tongue is an advantage. Firms that hire foreign business consultants also look for experience in writing, public speaking and various computer programs.

Economic and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 718,700 jobs existed for management analysts, which includes foreign business consultants, in 2012. The BLS estimates that, from 2012 to 2022, job growth in this field overall will reach 19%. As of May 2012, the annual median salary for management analysts was $78,600.

Alternate Career Options

Market Research Analyst

Increased demand for these analysts points toward faster than average employment growth of 32% during the 2012-2022 decade, according to the BLS. Normally having at least a bachelor's degree in an area such as market research, analysts study market conditions to predict possible sales of services and products. As of May 2012, they earned an annual median salary of $60,300, with those working in manufacturing earning the top wages, the BLS revealed.


These professionals, who usually hold a master's degree in economics, collect and analyze information pertaining to the distribution and production of goods and services. Their annual median earnings in 2012 were $91,860, according to the BLS, with those employed in the finance and insurance industries taking home the highest salaries. Per that same source, economists could anticipate slightly above-average job growth of 14% from 2012-2022.

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