With all the technological innovation and globalization that’s taken place over the past decade, many businesses have expanded overseas to remain competitive. Degrees in international business provide students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need in business, finance, marketing, cross-cultural management, and numerous other disciplines. Those who pursue an associate degree in this business study will train for careers in the global marketplace in areas like importing and exporting, supply chain management, and global sales. International business students will learn about global changes in businesses; strategies for entering foreign markets; how culture, economics, government, and consumers shape marketing; management of international negotiations; and factors influencing international business, trade and investment. Since international business executives are competitive, students who enroll in this program should be focused, globally-minded, and hard-working.

Why an Associate Degree?

Although most international business careers require students to have at least a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree can pave the way for an entry-level position as an international management analyst, financial analyst, sales representative, or a market researcher. However, it is important to note that positions with an associate degree in this field are harder to obtain. Instead, an associate degree can act as a “stepping stone.” Like stated before, most positions are open to bachelor degree holders. For example, financial analysts are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree as well as various other licenses and certifications, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states. Most of the other international business positions the BLS mentions also require students to have a bachelor’s degree.

Getting Into an Associate Degree Program

An associate degree in international business is a highly competitive degree program, but the admission requirements are relatively straightforward. Some common admission requirements to look out for include:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent
  • SAT or ACT scores

Inside an Associate Degree Program

Full time students usually complete an associate degree in two years. In addition to passing all their courses, students are often required to seek out internships within international businesses. These often include ones in the U.S. as well as ones overseas. In their years of study, students will enroll in a handful of exciting, challenging courses, such as international trade and businesses, e-commerce and e-business, accounting, information systems, and organizational change and behavior.

Advances in technology have benefited both businesses and colleges. That being said, many colleges and universities now offer an international business associate degree online. In these online courses, students will submit self-paced assignments, exams, and projects at their own leisure. Because students are able to complete and submit their assignments independently, online degrees are quite popular. That being said, online degrees are still quite challenging, and therefore students must be organized and naturally intrigued by their studies.

What’s Next for International Business Associate Degree Holders?

International business degree graduates are qualified to accept positions in an array of global industries. According to the BLS, those who work as financial analysts earn an average of $74,350 a year. BLS research indicates that this career is expected to experience a 23% growth, above the national average, over the next few years.

Those who want to continue their education after graduating from an associate program often look into a bachelor’s degree in international business. A bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree in international business prepare students for management and executive positions in international business careers. A PhD in international business is solely intended for those who want to seek out positions in postsecondary teaching, research, or academia. Those who want to work in businesses should stick with a master’s degree.