World Business Degree and Certificate Program Overviews

Apr 15, 2021

Essential Information

World business degree programs are often titled 'international business' or 'global management.' Educational levels for international business studies include bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as undergraduate certificate programs.

Students learn about topics such as foreign communications, global economics, finances and marketing strategies. The bachelor's, master's and certificate programs below might offer areas of concentration, like international human resource administration, import and export regulations, global supply chain control, international agricultural issues, and economic policy. Knowledge of a foreign language may be required for admission. In addition, all programs often require extensive foreign language coursework. Other prerequisites include a high school diploma and prerequisite coursework for a bachelor's degree. Certificate programs will require an associates degree with foreign language coursework. For admission into a graduate program, students will need a bachelor's degree, GRE scores, a personal statement, letters of reference and a resume.

Bachelor's Degree in International Business

A bachelor's degree program in international business prepares students to become administrators with international business organizations. Students learn techniques in world business operations that involve finances, marketing methods, economic issues and operational management principles. A foreign language is required and may be offered as a business concentration relating to a specific country. Language concentrations may include Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

An international business major requires a high school diploma, and students may need to have completed three years of a foreign language and math coursework in algebra and geometry. The prerequisite suggestions are intended to better prepare students for the college level coursework involved in a world business program.

The curriculum in a global business degree program involves social aspects and language studies to prepare students for the challenges international business management can present. Subjects may include:

  • Global economic policies
  • Administrative accounting
  • Global legal and ethical issues
  • International business operations management
  • Strategic planning
  • Cross-cultural human relations

International Business Certificate

Certificate programs in international business offer coursework that may be considered specialty or concentrated. There is more flexibility in an undergraduate certificate program, because there are a wide variety of courses to choose from. Concentrations may include specific world regions and their economic policies, international human resource administration, import and export regulations, global supply chain control and international agricultural issues.

Students are usually required to hold a minimum of an associate degree to enter an undergraduate certificate program relating to world business. The student must already speak a foreign language or have two years of high school coursework in a foreign language.

Students are usually able to design the curriculum within their certificate program in international business. Specific concentrations for doing business in China, India, Japan, Latin America and Europe may be available. Subjects may include:

  • Global mergers and acquisitions
  • International trade laws
  • International investing
  • Strategic alliance principles
  • Economic development issues
  • Global business negotiations

Master's Degree in International Business

A master's degree in international business may be found under the title global management. The curriculum offers advanced studies with a global perspective for operational management careers. Cross-cultural issues are addressed, and students also learn about financial responsibilities, economic concepts, marketing strategies and management in an international organization. The curriculum requires a foreign language proficiency to graduate.

Graduate program admittance requires applicants to hold a four-year degree, though it doesn't have to be in a business related concentration. Personal statements, letters of reference and a resume is required in most cases. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are generally required as well. Some international business graduate programs require undergraduate coursework relating to microeconomics and macroeconomics.

A master's degree program relating to world business offers coursework at an accelerated level to prepare students to take administrative positions in companies worldwide. Coursework may involve:

  • International entrepreneurship
  • Statistical decision making
  • Cross-cultural communication methods
  • Global leadership principles
  • Project Management
  • Strategic competition

Popular Careers

There are a number of career opportunities within international business organizations. Positions may include:

  • International economist
  • Import compliance specialist
  • Global marketing coordinator

Positions available to students with a certificate in international business are extensive and may include:

  • Human resource manager
  • International trade specialist
  • Sales account manager

International business program graduates may use the skills acquired in their educational training to hold any number of positions in global corporations. Careers may include:

  • Management analyst
  • Cultural advisor
  • Public relations specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects faster than average employment growth of 6% for human resources managers and 7% for marketing managers (including international trade specialists) over the 2019-2029 decade ( The median annual wage in May 2020 was $142,170 for marketing managers and $121,220 for human resources managers.

The BLS reports that management analysts should have a much-faster-than-average employment growth of 11% from 2019-2029. Their median annual wage in May 2020 was $87,660. Public relations specialists are expected to have a faster average growth of 7% over the 2019-2029 decade, and they earned a median annual wage of $62,810 in May 2020.

Continuing Education

Doctorate programs in international business are also available for graduates with a master's degree. This degree qualifies students to teach at the university level, perform research and consult with businesses around the world.

World business contains many subfields and industries, ranging from human resource managers to international trade specialists. Interested students can enter bachelor's, master's, or certificate programs in international business, where they will study courses like international entrepreneurship, international trade laws, project management, and much more.

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