Career Options for World Commerce Specialists

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an international trade specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree requirements, job duties and professional experience as well as certifications to find out if this is the career for you.

Interested in working in world commerce? Large businesses need specialists in order to conduct commerce across borders. This article explores potential career paths for world commerce specialists in finance, logistics, marketing, and compliance.

Essential Information

World commerce specialists--more commonly known as international trade specialists--research and provide guidance on potential business development opportunities both domestically and globally for corporations, trade associations and government entities. Specialists typically work under supervision while coordinating and monitoring trade policies, market access and private sector outreach. They may also work independently in handling foreign market supply-and-demand orders, while applying their knowledge of customs and import and export compliance laws.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements 5 years experience in trade, compliance or foreign market analysis
Specializations Finance, transportation and logistics, marketing, and compliance
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024*) Financial Analysts 12%
Logisticians 2%
Market Research Analysts 19%
Compliance Officers 3%
Median Salary (2015*) Financial Analysts $80,310
Logisticians $74,260
Market Research Analysts $62,150
Compliance Officers $65,640

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education, Experience and Qualifications

Specialists hold at least a bachelor's degree in business administration but more commonly a graduate degree in international economics or a related field. According to job postings on Monster.com, they should also have five or more years of trade, compliance or foreign market analysis experience. Work related to specific goods, services and geographic regions is also a plus. In addition, many specialists have certification within fields such as import and export, freight, finance, documentation, logistics and marketing.

Career Options

U.S. Government

Applicants can look to the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) for potential employment. The ITA is a federal agency that helps national firms compete in the global economy. Positions exist globally as specialists, advisors and analysts. Job descriptions include reviewing trade policies and giving recommendations with special attention to subsidies, regulations and intellectual property rights.

Finance Specialists

International finance trade specialists direct and advise multinational banks, financial institutions or firms with currency hedging, financial compliance and establishing credit with other governments and corporations. International trade finance specialists can work as specialists within a multinational firm's financial department or a multinational financial company. Specialists also provide knowledge of import and export finance, payment systems, taxation and insurance. Employment of financial analysts is projected to increase by 12% during the 2014-2024 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Financial analysts earned a median annual salary of $80,310 as of May 2015, according to the BLS.

Transportation and Logistics Specialists

These professionals provide key insight on transportation and freighting in global markets. Transportation by air, water or land must comply with customs laws and regulations. Specialists are knowledgeable of internal and external shipping practices and procedures, brokerage, free trade zones, tariffs and schedules. Career options include working for global freighting companies and shipping departments for multinational firms. In May 2015, the BLS reported that logisticians earned a median annual salary of $74,260. The BLS projects that logisticians will experience a 2% employment growth from 2014 to 2024.

Marketing Specialists

These individuals are familiar with global trends, cultural needs and product pricing in international markets. Potential career options include global marketing manager, advertising manager and product or brand manager. Specialists provide guidance and recommendation to multinational firms looking to expand into new markets as well corporations looking to increase market share within specific industries. Market research analysts and marketing specialists earned a median annual wage of $62,150 as of May 2015, according to the BLS. The BLS projects that this occupation will experience a 19% increase in jobs during the 2014-2024 decade.

Compliance Specialists

Compliance specialists manage, develop and implement auditing measures to ensure compliance with international trade regulations. They collaborate with distribution, logistics, technology and legal department specialists to implement automatic systems and other tools to guarantee and improve compliance protocol. They provide expertise on sourcing and distributing products to global markets while assessing safety, standardization and other regulations. The BLS reported that compliance officers earned a median annual salary of $65,640 as of May 2015. The BLS projects that job growth for compliance officers will be 3% during the 2014-2024 decade.

Due to faster-than-average job growth, the best job prospects in world commerce will likely be in marketing analysis. All positions require a bachelor's degree, but holding a related master's degree and a good understanding of important on-the-job tools, such as statistics, can be a big plus.


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