You can take degree programs in international business at the undergraduate
and graduate levels, most of which come with opportunities for study abroad.
But while most undergraduate programs offer excellent training, plan to pursue
a graduate degree to land that fabulous job.
"We are finding that a bachelor's degree is not enough," says Lorna
Unger, a professor of international business. "A student really must go on
for a graduate degree, either an MBA or a law degree, to be able to work internationally."
Language skills are also crucial. "Any student planning this type
of career should learn at least one other language, if not three or four,"
says Lawrence Husted, dean of Lynchburg College's school of business and economics.
"For example, if you speak Spanish and want to work in Latin America, you
should learn Portuguese as well."
San Diego State University (SDSU) offers an international business program
called MEXUS. Students spend two years studying in the U.S. plus two years
in Mexico and receive university degrees from both nations -- a BA in international
business and the Licenciatura en Negocios Internacionales.
Teresa Cisneros-Donahue, director of MEXUS, says graduates have in-depth
training in business concepts as well as language and cultural skills
that allow them to be comfortable doing business on either side of the U.S.-Mexico
She suggests high school students who want to enter MEXUS study a minimum
of four years of Spanish as well as math and English.
Project North America takes the MEXUS idea a step further and involves
all three countries on the continent. SDSU students who participate in this
program study in both Canada and Mexico.
David Thomas, associate director of an international business program,
says joining industry or community groups would be good preparation.
"If a student has a chance to go on exchange or travel, it will make international
business more attractive and provide him with a focus. Language skills are
There are the usual expenses of tuition and books. But keep in mind that study-abroad
programs require a little more pocket money than a basic business degree.
"The tuition and living expenses are the same," explains Unger, "but most
people who go abroad stay in a holiday mode, so they are traveling and spending
You may want to choose a business school that is accredited by the American
Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Find more information related to foreign affairs or international
economics and business
Global Edge Resource Desk
An award-winning directory of international business web links
International Business Forum
Business opportunities around the world