International Commerce Degree and Education Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2019

Programs in international commerce cover a broad spectrum of subjects, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduates might be prepared for entry-level careers in international business or transportation.

Essential Information

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in international commerce provide study in the principals of global economics. Some of the themes and topics common to these programs include political, social and cultural awareness, foreign languages and the fundamentals of global economics. Consisting of coursework in international business management and global legal practices, bachelor's degree programs may include an internship.

Applicants to master's programs require bachelor's degrees. They may examine international banking issues and world trade organizations. Upon graduating, students might pursue management careers in business or government. Relevant certifications are offered through the International Import-Export Institute. Experience and passing scores on an examination are necessary.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in International Commerce

Bachelor's degree programs in international commerce cover subjects in international transportation and global economic development. International commerce may be offered as an undergraduate major or minor within a business program. Additionally, some schools offer dual degree programs, combining bachelor's and master's degree programs' coursework, allowing students to simultaneously earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in a shortened time period.

Most bachelor's degree programs with an emphasis on international commerce include studies in global finance, importing, exporting and management. Students might also be exposed to related subjects in port and terminal management, international economics and global transportation logistics. The majority of these programs do not have specific educational prerequisites for admission beyond those found in most bachelor's degree programs, though some do prefer students with a high cumulative grade point average.

Curriculum in the majority of undergraduate international business programs typically culminates with a comprehensive exam or internship. Intern opportunities often provide concentrated experience within a company that specializes in some form of global business exchange, whether transportation logistics, sales or marketing. Topics within these programs may include:

  • Fundamentals of international business management
  • International trade theory and finance
  • Ethical and legal practices in international commerce
  • Global regulatory issues
  • Political and cultural communication principles
  • Foreign languages

Master's Degree Programs in International Commerce

At the master's degree level, international commerce programs offer instruction and training in the various aspects of global business, including social and cultural considerations. Graduates often pursue careers in global corporate marketing, government relations and entrepreneurship. Some of these programs have specific grade point average mandates and minimum admissions test score requirements. International commerce master's degree programs tend to consist of studies in the academic subjects of political science, global economics and international law. Some areas of study include:

  • International banking issues
  • Introduction to world trade organizations
  • Principles of global economics and policies
  • Global mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Fundamentals of governance, culture and international commerce

Popular Careers and Salary Info

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program emphasizing international commerce may find entry-level careers in global logistics, transportation, customs brokerage or international trade businesses. Additionally, government agencies and global trade organizations employ people with the skills found in a bachelor's degree program. Advanced degrees in international commerce may help working professionals rise to management and executive positions within private business or government agencies. Some of the other related career options may include:

  • Management and operations research analyst
  • International marketing specialists
  • Administrative services manager
  • Human resources and labor relations manager
  • Diplomatic relations specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 26% increase in demand for operations research analysts from 2018 until 2028 ( The demand for operations research analysts is expected to increase to meet the growing need for companies to save costs in global economic markets. The BLS reported a median annual salary of $83,390 in 2018 for operations research analysts. The median annual earnings in 2018 for market research analysts and marketing specialists were $63,120, according to the BLS. The BLS reported that the demand for market research analysts and marketing specialists is expected to grow by 20% from 2018-2028.

Continuing Education

Professionals in international commerce and foreign trade may advance a career with a master's degree. Graduate studies in international commerce exhibit an employee's or manager's dedication to maintain current knowledge and skills of the industry. Bachelor's degree-holders with some work experience may also benefit from certification offered by the International Import-Export Institute Certification in freight forwarding, logistics, marketing or compliance.

There are numerous opportunities within the field of international commerce, as jobs within the field are excepted to increase quickly over the next several years. Students should seek undergraduate and graduate degrees in the subject to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to obtain jobs.

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