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International Trade Degree Programs and Majors

Students seeking a career in international trade can pursue programs at the associate's, bachelor's or master's level. These programs teach students the skills and knowledge needed to operate in an increasingly global economy.

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Essential Information

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in international business and trade explore global markets, international business communications and financial theory. Admission to bachelor's and master's programs requires fluency in a language other than English, and some master's programs also have work experience requirements.

Both bachelor's and master's programs frequently offer study abroad or international student exchange opportunities. Students at the bachelor's level may be able to choose degree specializations, like global politics or international finance.


Associate's Degree in International Business and Trade

Some community colleges offer associate's degree programs in international business or international business administration. These programs teach students the skills applicable to international trade, importing and exporting, international product marketing and global supply chain management. Professors often use classroom instruction, transaction simulation and case studies to teach students. Commonly, this type of program leads to an Associate of Applied Science in International Business and takes two years to complete.

Students learn about business practices, international trade regulations and laws that affect transnational commerce. Programs also cover business technology, communication and finance. Students are often required to take courses covering the following subjects:

  • International economics
  • International business ethics
  • International marketing strategy
  • International finance
  • International trade theory

Bachelor's Degree in International Business

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in international business are interdisciplinary, covering areas like finance, marketing, law, economics and the social sciences. Students can often participate in international exchange programs that allow them to gain experience with international trade firsthand. Most international business programs emphasize business and trade relations between the United States and either Europe or Asia. These programs typically take four years to complete.

The coursework in an international business program emphasizes how politics, law and culture affect international trade practices. The classes mentioned below are often required:

  • International business communications
  • International business management
  • Business statistics
  • Global marketing theory
  • International microeconomic principles

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Master's Degree in International Business and Trade

Two-year master's degree programs relevant to international business and trade commonly fall into one of two categories; Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs emphasize practical international business skills, while Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) programs focus more on the theoretical aspects of international trade and commerce.

Master's degree coursework in international business and trade emphasizes the theories and practices of global economics. Students learn about the research methodology and statistics used to measure global economic indicators. Students often learn about the topics mentioned below:

  • Global macroeconomic analysis
  • Global economic history and theory
  • Comparative government
  • Global financial markets
  • International mergers and acquisitions

Popular Career Options

People who earn associate's degrees in international business and trade qualify for entry-level jobs working with transnational companies. Graduates often hold the positions noted below:

  • International corporation receptionist
  • International marketing assistant
  • Import-export assistant

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in international business often begin their careers working in the domestic sectors of companies and move to international jobs after gaining experience. The careers noted below are popular options for those who have work experience:

  • International advertising assistant
  • International marketing consultant
  • International financial analyst assistant

People who earn master's degrees in international business and trade qualify for careers with global corporations. Depending on whether they earn MBA, M.A. or M.S. degrees, graduates can work in management or analytical positions. Graduates often choose the careers noted below:

  • International account manager
  • Global financial consultant
  • International marketing consultant

Continuing Education Information

While doctorate degree programs in international business administration are extremely rare, a number of schools do offer doctorate degrees in international economics and international finance. These programs emphasize the theoretical, experimental and academic aspects of the discipline and prepare graduates for teaching and research positions.

Students wishing to focus on international trade can consider degree programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. These programs dissect various aspects of economics through a global perspective, with each degree level opening up more opportunities for employment at the international level.

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