As businesses around the world become increasingly connected, an understanding of international business operations is vital for graduates wanting to work in the sector
China, Japan and India's economies are among the world's top ten (second, third and fifth, 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, with Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Mexico expected to join the top ten by 2050 (The World in 2050, PwC).
International business programmes give students an understanding of the different business management practices found all over the world, and prepare them for graduate careers working abroad or in organisations that are engaged in business on a global scale.
Why choose international business?
'In an ever-changing global business and economic environment, studying business from an international perspective is vital for graduates who are ambitious to work across international boundaries and cultures,' explains Dr Robert Webb, associate dean global engagement and recruitment and director of MSc programmes at Stirling Management School.
In a nutshell, students need to develop a global perspective in order to be successful in business. Studying international business allows you to see how globalisation has brought about an increasing 'connectedness' of businesses, markets, people and information across countries.
'Working across countries is a necessity for most firms today. Hence, there is a growing need for business and management graduates with an international perspective, who are capable of operating effectively in a globalised world. This concerns not only senior managers, but employees at all levels that have to interact with international customers and suppliers, partners, or international colleagues,' says Angelika Zimmermann, senior lecturer in international business and strategy at Loughborough University.
What's more, the skills that you develop on a course of this nature are highly sought after by employers. This demand translates into varied opportunities in a range of settings and job sectors.
What do courses involve?
Studying for a Masters in international business is becoming increasingly popular and courses are available at a vast number of universities across the UK.
If you opt to study the one-year International Business MSc at the University of Stirling you’ll cover core areas such as accounting, people management and strategy, as well as ethical and environmental sustainability issues. You’ll also be able to choose between two degree pathways - you could specialise in either International Business and Marketing or International Business and Entrepreneurship. All students have the opportunity to work on a real-life consultancy project within a business.
You'll need a 2:1, and for 2020 entry, home and European Union (EU) tuition fees are £8,500.
Meanwhile, at Loughborough University you'll learn about 'International Business Environments', 'International and Cross-Cultural Management', and 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship' in semester one. For semester two, you have the choice of studying for further core and optional modules or taking a study abroad placement.
'The MSc is designed to equip students with the essential knowledge and skills required for working effectively across different national contexts, in a range of business and management roles,' explains Angelika.
'Taught by world class scholars and informed by cutting-edge research, students develop sought-after intercultural skills and a global mind-set, and are prepared to work confidently and effectively with global partners.'
The programme is assessed through seminars, lectures, tutorials, workshops, group work and independent study and home and EU fees stand at £13,800.
Search for postgraduate courses in international business and learn more about funding postgraduate study.
What jobs can I do with an international business degree?
'An international business degree opens up a variety of careers and students can also use their knowledge to internationalise their own business or family business,' says Angelika.
According to Dr Webb, international business graduates are well prepared for careers in consultancy, international finance, non-profit organisations and entrepreneurial ventures. Graduates of the MSc International Business at the University of Stirling have gone on to work for employers such as RBS, Proctor and Gamble, EY and Accenture.
Possible job titles include:
- business adviser
- business analyst
- corporate investment banker
- human resources officer
- management consultant
- marketing executive
- procurement manager
- product manager.
You could also continue your studies with a PhD, before seeking a career in academia.
To stand out to employers, Dr Webb has this advice. 'Take advantage of all the opportunities your institution offers, from careers services, to attending business events, volunteering as a student ambassador, and taking up opportunities for international experience.'
Find out more
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