International Business Administration Career Options and Requirements

Sep 17, 2019

A career in international business administration usually requires at least a bachelor's degree. Learn about the education and job duties to see if this is the right career for you.

Professionals in international business are expected to analyze business portfolios and create and follow business strategies for international businesses. Trade, markets, corporations and politics all fall within the expertise of an international business administrator. A bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement for this career.

Essential Information

A career in international business administration requires a strong background in functional business studies as well as an understanding of sociopolitical issues that affect multinational corporations. There are management career options within the finance, accounting, marketing and consulting industries. A bachelor's degree is required to start; however, an advanced Master of Business Administration degree, along with several years of experience, can create more opportunities.

Career Financial Managers Marketing Managers Management Analysts
Education Requirements Bachelor's; MBA for advancement Bachelor's; MBA for advancement Bachelor's; MBA for advancement
Other Requirements Five or more years of experience in a related field Prior work experience Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation highly recommended
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 16% increase 8% increase 14% increase
Median Salary (2018)* $127,990 $134,290 $83,610

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

International Business Administration Career Options and Requirements

An international business administration professional works within the global arena at a managerial level, evaluating how a business operates in an international context. Companies expect such professionals to be able to identify and assess any ethical issues of the firm's day-to-day business decisions through a deep understanding of sociocultural and political environments. In addition, these careers operate within the sphere of international trade, involving both tangible and intangible goods and commodities, as well as banking, insurance, marketing and finance principles.

Career Options

International business specialists work with numerous employers, ranging from large multinational corporations to smaller, boutique financial firms overseas. Career options include finance & accounting, marketing and consulting.

Finance & Accounting

Finance and accounting specialists are responsible for all financial functions of a company and deal with financial services, banking and venture capital through investments on a global scale. Financial managers prepare financial reports which evaluate investment activities and cash management through long-term planning. A manager of international banking is held accountable for all banking transactions of the multinational corporation, including any mergers, acquisitions and consolidations in the global expansion of the company. Accountants for a multinational corporation keep financial information accurate so that the financial managers can operate efficiently.


International marketing and sales careers deal with the design and development of strategies to advance products and services in order to maximize the company's profits. Marketing managers identify the demand for the company's products and services, as well as the potential customers. In addition, project managers of a marketing department monitor global consumer trends to develop successful future products.

Management Consultant

Management consultants are hired by multinational corporations as external problem solvers through management consulting firms specializing in management analysis to help them stay competitive globally. Consultants analyze the structure and efficiency of a corporation in terms of profits and suggest and implement strategies to increase productivity and control costs.

Educational Requirements

International business administration professionals begin by attaining a bachelor's degree in international business. Undergraduate studies may introduce social and behavioral sciences, such as political science, psychology, anthropology and sociology, which have applications in cross-cultural business, as well as foreign languages. Administrators in multinational corporations may need the ability to speak one or more additional modern languages.

With 2-5 years of work experience, professionals can advance to a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, program with a focus on international business. MBA programs provide managers with a background in accounting, economics and statistics, as well as business law, international finance, marketing and management.

Career Requirements

An international business administrator manages projects, analyzing direct and portfolio investments in the global marketplace. Requirements also include written and oral communication skills in multiple languages, as well as the ability to design and implement business strategies that benefit the corporation while respecting sociocultural and political issues and ethical standards. In addition, professionals promote company growth using analytical and problem-solving skills. Marketing candidates need strong presentation skills. Accountants must complete the Uniform CPA Examination for certified public accountants.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that marketing manager jobs will increase 8% from 2018-2028, which is faster than average. The BLS also reported that marketing managers earned a median salary of $134,290 in 2018. Accountants and auditors, according to the BLS, are expected to see job growth of 6% from 2018-2028, and they earned a median salary of $70,500 in 2018.

Financial manager jobs are estimated to increase 16% from 2018-2028, while financial managers earned a median salary of $127,990 in 2018. Management analyst jobs are predicted to increase 15% during that time frame, according to the agency, and they earned a median salary of $83,610 in 2018.

International business administrators balance concepts of international business and trade with an understanding of social and political changes and movements in different countries. Whether considering a career as a manager, analyst or accountant, international business professionals will need an undergraduate degree in this field and may consider an MBA to strengthen their educational background and expertise. An MBA program can be specialized in international business, and usually requires 2-5 years of relevant work experience.

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