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International Business Major

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International Business

6,507 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
2,170 Master's Degrees Annually
#12 in Popularity
$123,880 Median Salary

Types of Degrees International Business Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many international business graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 6,509
Master’s Degree 2,170
Basic Certificate 992
Graduate Certificate 194
Associate’s Degree 191
Undergraduate Certificate 72
Doctor’s Degree 53

What International Business Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to international business and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for International Business Majors

International Business majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Skills for International Business Majors

When studying international business, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for International Business Majors

As you progress with your international business degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a International Business Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with international business:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
General and Operations Managers 9.1% $100,930

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business?

6,509 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
53% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen business majors. It is the 12th most popular in the country with 6,507 students graduating with a bachelor’s in international business in 2019. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 53% of the graduates are women, and 47% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of international business majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of International Business Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 422
Black or African American 346
Hispanic or Latino 1,375
White 2,702
International Students 1,262
Other Races/Ethnicities 402

Geographic Diversity

International Business appeals to people across the globe. About 19.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Venezuela
  • Japan
  • South Korea

How Much Do International Business Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international business have a median salary of $41,050 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $35,950 (25th percentile) and $48,500 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in international business, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $103,330 to $200,140 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to international business. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an International Business Major  ( 103330 to 200140 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with international business require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to international business have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 5.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 3.5%
Some College Courses 8.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 4.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 24.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 11.8%
Master’s Degree 15.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 5.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 20.1%

Online International Business Programs

In 2018-2019, 608 schools offered a international business program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 58 9
Certificate (1-2 years) 22 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 56 13
Bachelor’s Degree 40 8
Post-Baccalaureate 58 9
Master’s Degree 127 29
Post-Master’s 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in International Business Worth It?

The median salary for a international business grad is $123,880 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 210% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,679,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to international business.

Major Number of Grads
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Marketing 51,241
Human Resource Management 26,823
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 23,738
Business Support & Assistant Services 19,483
Hospitality Management 19,042
Management Information Systems 14,747
Entrepreneurial Studies 10,427
Business/Managerial Economics 6,345
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 5,873
Other Business, Management & Marketing 5,834
General Sales & Marketing 5,734
Real Estate 5,700
Construction Management 3,664
Insurance 2,218
Taxation 1,783
Business/Corporate Communications 968
Telecommunications Management 71

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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