International Finance Careers: Education Requirements, Duties & Salary Info

International finance is generally studied through bachelor's degree, master's degree and MBA programs. Continue reading for an overview of the requirements for working in this field, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Financial institutions require a number of trained professionals to navigate the international market. Occupations in this field include analysts, managers, and sales agents, positions which often may play a role in international finances.

Essential Information

Those who work in international finance employ theories and strategies involving exchange rates, foreign investments and other concerns related to global finance. There is a broad range of career opportunities in international banking, financial management, business development and trade. In addition to a bachelor's degree, people working in international finance might need an MBA or other master's degree, as well as licensure and certifications.

Career Titles Financial Analyst Financial Manager Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agents
Required Education Bachelor's degree; MBA or master's degree in finance, accounting, or economics is often required for advanced positions Bachelor's degree; MBA or master's degree in finance, accounting, or economics is often sought by employers Bachelor's degree; MBA might be needed for advanced positions
Other Requirements licensure/certification 5 years of work experience,
licensure/certification
licensure/certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 12% 7% 10%
Average Annual Salary (2015)* $80,310 $117,990 $71,550

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

International finance examines topics like investing, banking, stocks, bonds and commodities, all from a global perspective. Read on to explore some careers in this field.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide services to individuals or businesses with regards to various investments. They might give advice on stocks and bonds and analyze portfolios. They also keep up-to-date on new companies and geographic regions to invest in as well as compare risks to benefits of investments.

Financial Manager

Financial managers are in charge of the financial aspects of organizations. They can work in many industries, including for international banks and corporations. They must produce financial reports and manage the organization's finances, in addition to setting goals for the organization and working toward them.

Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agents

Securities, commodities and financial services sales agents work with buyers and sellers to trade various securities, such as stocks and bonds; commodities, such as gold or cotton, and other financial services. They might work with individuals or corporations. They need to keep up to date on various financial markets, including international markets, and they often contact clients to advise them of good times to buy or sell.

Education Requirements

Those working in international finance or banking careers typically have an undergraduate degree in business, finance, accounting or economics. However, employers often desire a master's degree in finance, accounting or economics or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well. Those working directly with a specific country will need an understanding of that country's business laws.

In some instances, licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can be beneficial. Additionally, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the International Research Association encourage voluntary professional certifications for individuals seeking an international finance career. These include the Certificate of International Financial Reporting (CertIFR) and Licensed International Financial Analyst (LIFA) credentials.

Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual average wage of a financial analyst in May 2015 was $80,310. That same year, the yearly average salary for a financial manager was $117,990, while securities, commodities and financial services sales agents made an average of $71,550. If working abroad, exchange rates should be taken into consideration, as should the currency in which payroll is processed.

While financial managers may have the largest income, managerial positions are not expected to grow as quickly as either financial analyst or sales agent positions. In addition, all three of these positions are very desirable, and applicants will face strong competition, especially for higher level positions. Earning a graduate level degree and some form of recognized certification can greatly improve applicants' odds.

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