An international business qualification can open up career opportunities in a variety of sectors, in countries around the world. Discover how you can make your mark in the ever-changing global economic landscape
China, Japan and India's economies are among the world's top ten (second, third and sixth, respectively), reflecting the fact that the majority of gross domestic product (GDP) is now generated outside of the USA and Europe. This trend is set to continue in the future with Indonesia and Russia expected to join the top ten by 2050. Understanding international business operations is therefore increasingly important for today's business graduates and that's where postgraduate courses come in useful.
International business programmes give students an understanding of the different business management practices found all over the world and prepares them for graduate careers working abroad or in organisations that are engaged in business on a global scale.
Why choose international business?
To be successful in business these days students need to develop a global mind set. Studying international business allows you to see how globalisation has brought about an increasing 'connectedness' of businesses, markets, people and information across countries.
'The importance of international business is greater than ever, whether it be a company thinking about selling abroad, following other organisations that are internationalising or cross-border mergers and acquisitions. It's hard to think of any small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are not involved in international business,' says Harminder Singh, senior teaching fellow MSc International Business at the Warwick Business School.
'For UK companies the issue of Brexit and the future decisions that need to be taken will be assisted by a strong grounding in international business. Additionally, international trade and investment is growing faster than global production, which makes it a vital area to understand for anybody doing business today,' adds Harminder.
What's more, the skills that you develop on a course of this nature are highly sought after by employers and there is a buoyant current and future labour market demand for international business postgraduates. This demand translates into varied opportunities in a range of settings and job sectors.
What do courses involve?
Postgraduate international business programmes are increasingly popular and are available at a vast number of universities across the UK. If you opt for the course at Leeds University Business School you will study ten compulsory modules, including globalisation of innovation, economics of business, international strategic management, international business theory and professional skills for international business. You'll also choose two optional modules, one in each semester. Assessment methods include exams, group projects, essays, presentations and a dissertation.
'Leeds is ranked second in the world and first in the UK for international business teaching and research. We have strong corporate links giving you a range of opportunities for practical development,' explains Dr Surender Munjal, director of MSc International Business at Leeds University Business School.
'Our cutting-edge research allows you to consider the latest emerging issues in international business. You will be asked to identify the motives and means of servicing foreign markets, address controversial issues, formulate your own international and strategic business plans and appreciate the factors that drive performance in the global economy.'
Meanwhile at Warwick you'll study four core modules in term one, two core modules and two elective modules in term two and one elective module and two core modules in term three. Core modules include international business, international business strategy and international business research.
'Students will learn why companies cross borders, how they choose which countries to enter and what mode of entry is most effective,' clarifies Harminder. 'The latest academic research is incorporated into the delivery of teaching and emphasis is placed on developing both student’s critical awareness and their skills as managers and practitioners.'
What jobs can I do with an international business degree?
Possible professions include:
- business adviser
- business analyst
- corporate investment banker
- human resources officer
- management consultant
- marketing executive
- product manager
- purchasing or supply chain manager
'Students at Warwick have gone on to work at many blue chip companies including Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg, IBM, Google, KPMG, Tesco and Tata Steel, in roles such as trainee buyer, project manager, account associate and business development specialist,' adds Harminder.
'Graduates of Leeds University Business School have gone into a variety of roles in top firms worldwide. They work as business analysts, country managers, product managers, trading executives, buyers, business development managers and in financial services,' says Surender.
When it comes to standing out to employers, Harminder says that your International Business MSc will stand you in good stead. 'There is a big demand for this kind of expertise and multinational companies are particularly keen on MSc graduates. By the time you graduate you will have a critical understanding and the tools to do international business in the modern age.'
Find out more
- Gain an insight into the business, consulting and management sector.
- See what our work abroad destinations have to offer.
- Learn more about careers with our job profiles.