Earning an international business degree prepares graduates for careers in global corporations and organizations, along with government agencies and international financial institutions.
Potential employers include the U.S. Department of Commerce and State Department, the World Bank, and nongovernmental organizations like Amnesty International.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says globalization and complex regulatory and tax systems contribute to the growth in business and financial occupations. The BLS projects an 8% employment increase for 2020-30 in positions like accountants and auditors, financial analysts, logisticians, and market research analysts.
Explore our list of best online degrees in international business to discover your options.
Top 5 online schools for international business
Avg. annual net price: $7,296
Application fee: $30
Boca Raton, FL
Avg. annual net price: $36,044
Application fee: $45
Avg. annual net price: $10,952
Application fee: $30
Avg. annual net price: $15,851
Application fee: $20
Avg. annual net price: $16,221
Application fee: $20
The best online international business bachelor’s degrees
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What to expect in an online international business bachelor’s degree program
International business degree programs attract business students who also want to explore business from a global perspective, learn about different countries’ practices, and develop cross-cultural communication skills.
Remote learners often take asynchronous courses on their own schedules, although some programs may schedule synchronous sessions. Group projects, discussions, and presentations generally happen virtually, and many programs culminate with capstones.
International business programs offer numerous electives, and some feature concentration or emphasis areas.
International business courses
Most online bachelor’s degrees in international business list similar core curricula. Practical training covers leadership, analysis, and adaptable thinking, while theoretical topics provide the foundation for understanding international trade.
This section includes courses students can expect to encounter.
In this foundational course, students learn about the challenges of managing multinational organizations, methods and theories of management, and ways to work with and among diverse cultural frameworks, both domestically and abroad.
Students are introduced to marketing concepts and the complex and challenging global issues marketers face. Topics include techniques for entering international markets and knowledge of cultural influences on marketing strategies and management.
International banking and finance
This course reviews financial systems and functions used to fund multinational corporations and facilitate investment. Students also explore the finances of international banks, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
International business simulation
Learners apply the principles and theories of international business to workplace scenarios. Students analyze global organizations’ financial data, strategies, and operations to decide on entering markets, growing businesses, and dealing with competitive pressure.
International business degree levels
Different degree levels suit students with different goals, budgets, and time constraints.
Prospective students who want to explore the field of international business without a large investment in money and time might look into an associate degree. However, most international business careers require at least a bachelor’s degree.
Those who aspire to land executive management roles may be interested in a graduate certificate or master’s degree. Academia-oriented business students should explore doctoral study.
Certificate in international business
Length: One to three years
Cost: $500-$1,700 per credit
Post-grad careers: Business development executive; executive business administrator; senior consultant
Mid-career professionals who want to move into executive-level management roles in international business may pursue certificates in international business. Students often hold bachelor’s degrees in international business. Adding a certificate serves as a stepping stone to career advancement or an international business master’s degree.
Coursework includes topics in economics for managers, managing in a global context, enterprise growth and innovation, and global competition and market dominance. Certificate programs often allow part-time study to accommodate working students.
Associate in international business
Length: Two years
Cost: $90-450 per credit
Post-grad careers: Importing and exporting support; marketing assistant; sales representative
An associate degree in international business offers high school graduates and career changers an introductory view of the profession. Graduates may qualify for entry-level positions at multinational organizations.
The curriculum covers business math and computing, corporate ethics, economics, import/export practices, and international trade regulations. Many programs require study in a second language. Written and spoken communication skills development and cultural studies also play large roles.
Remote learners can find associate degree programs at community colleges, which often offer full- and part-time tracks.
Bachelor’s in international business
Length: Four years
Cost: $200-$700 per credit
Post-grad careers: Management analyst; international marketing manager; trade specialist
Bachelor’s degrees in international business dive deeper into global business principles and cross-cultural competencies. Curricula also include general education topics in liberal arts. Graduates who focus on analysis, finance, and sales may move into upper-level roles in corporations, government offices, and organizations.
Online students complete solo, group, and capstone projects. Enrollees may choose to study abroad or opt for in-person internship experiences.
Master’s in international business
Length: Two to three years
Cost: $18,500-$47,250 per year
Post-grad careers: Global operations manager; market research analyst; top executive
Master’s in international business degree-completers graduate with advanced foreign policy, global economics, and international trade law skills. The curriculum also emphasizes foreign language fluency and intercultural understanding. Programs may require travel immersions.
A master’s in international business can lead to senior-level executive positions. Graduates often specialize in entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing and market research, or trade.
Doctorate in international business
Length: Four to five years
Cost: $925-1,250 per credit
Post-grad careers: Postsecondary teacher; global policy analyst; global training and development manager
Students pursuing doctorates in international business often plan to enter academia or research. Some become high-level executives and managers, but earning a doctorate is typically not required for those roles.
Doctoral curricula center research, evolving technologies, and economic theory. Courses focus on analytical methods, strategic planning, organizational behavior, change management, and ethical and solutions-oriented leadership. Specializations include management, marketing, and information systems.
To graduate, students must complete a dissertation and comprehensive exam.
An online degree in international business paves the way to careers blending business skills with knowledge of diverse cultures, global practices, and emerging technologies.
Our program rankings and the information in this guide can help you identify the best educational and career options to suit your goals.