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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
#67 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

People with careers related to international business were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for International Business Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in international business should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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

A major in international business prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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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?

People with a international business degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Business Professors 18.0% $83,960
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 a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 6,507 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international business in 2019, making it rank #67 in popularity. 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

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in International Business. 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

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

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to international business.

Salaries According to BLS

International Business majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $103,330 to $200,140 (25th to 75th percentile). 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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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
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. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

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

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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