International Business Management Degrees: Master's, PhD & Online Class Info

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What kind of job can you get with a master's or doctoral degree in international business management? Find out program requirements, online options and info on courses and international business management degree programs.
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International Business Management Master's and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees at a Glance

A degree in international business management can prepare you for careers in fields such as sales, marketing and operations management. You might oversee international business for a financial institution or consulting firm, or you might work within a multinational corporation that does business overseas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sales managers, general operations managers and executives often need at least a bachelor's or master's degree. A graduate degree in international business management can prepare you for upper-level positions working with multinational interests, while a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) might prepare you for research or academic opportunities.

The BLS does not offer employment data for international business positions. However, it did predict that during the 2010-2020 decade, employment of sales managers in general would increase 12%, employment of general managers would grow three to nine percent and employment of executives would grow five percent.

Master's Doctorate
Who is this degree for? Undergraduate degree holders looking to obtain upper-level international management positions and current professionals looking to advance in their careers Individuals who aspire to teach international business at the collegiate level or pursue research in the field
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - General and operations manager ($114,000)*
- Sales manager ($117,000)*
- Financial manager ($120,000)*
- Chief executive ($177,000)*
- Postsecondary teacher ($65,000)*
Time to Completion 1-2 years 3-5 years
Common Graduation Requirements - Core international business courses
- Foreign language requirement
- Possible internship or cooperative work experience
- Potential capstone course
- Core courses
- Dissertation research
- Methodology courses
- Possible teaching requirements
- Research project
Prerequisites - Undergraduate degree
- Prerequisite courses in business management, financial management, accounting and marketing
- Resume or professional recommendations
- Qualifying examination
- Bachelor's degree
- Some graduate courses often required
- GMAT or GRE scores
- Current resume
Online Availability Yes No

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Master's Degree in International Business Management

Master's degree programs in this field can fall under several titles, including Master of Science (M.S.) in International Business and International Master of Business Administration (IMBA). The programs are designed to build on your understanding of business, accounting and finance by teaching you how to conduct business across international borders. Some of these programs are designed for students who have just earned an undergraduate degree in a business-related field, while others are designed for working professionals who are interested in earning an advanced degree to further their careers.

Most of these programs include advanced seminars, foreign language requirements and some type of internship or hands-on training experience in the business world. Some allow you to further specialize in a field, such as international finance, international marketing or international supply chain management.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Most top executives and upper-level managers have a master's degree in business.*
  • These programs can help you develop the leadership skills and cultural understanding to move ahead of the competition in the international business world.*
  • Universities can provide you with access to international business clubs and associations that can equip you with networking skills and opportunities.**

Cons

  • You must often have related work experience in addition to education before you can achieve top-level positions.*
  • Even with a master's degree, you will face strong competition for top jobs in the business world.*
  • Top executives will see below-average job growth, mainly due to the limited positions available at high levels.*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **New York University International Business Association

Courses and Requirements

Many of these graduate courses are divided into core international business classes and electives. Some include additional courses that might appeal to a specific specialization. Common courses include:??

  • International finance
  • International marketing
  • Principles of international business
  • Law and international business
  • Global marketplace and competition
  • International business negotiations
  • Management across cultures

Online Degree Options

You will be able to find a few master's degree programs in international business available entirely online, although these programs are not especially common. Those programs that are offered online or through flexible class hours are typically designed for working professionals who need to earn a graduate degree while maintaining a full work load. Some programs are also offered on a hybrid basis, combining online courses with on-campus classes. Be careful to make sure your online graduate program is accredited by an organization such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Stand Out with This Degree

There are a few ways you can make the most of your master's degree in international business management. As most jobs in the business field require you to have some professional experience, you should take advantage of any internship or cooperative work experiences offered by your university, particularly those that allow you to spend time abroad. Becoming fluent in a foreign language or specializing in a particular aspect of the international business field, such as sales or supply chain management, can also set you apart from job competitors.

Ph.D. Degree in International Business Management

Doctoral programs in international business management are almost entirely devoted to preparing you for careers in academia and research. These interdisciplinary programs allow you to study in depth the relationship between globalization and economy and gain a better understanding of how different nations and cultures interact on a business level. You will likely be required to complete a dissertation that focuses on one particular aspect of the field, selected by you.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • There is a strong demand for professors in the international business field.**
  • Teaching requirements within your degree program can prepare you for employment upon graduation.**
  • You do not necessarily need a master's degree to enroll in a Ph.D. program.*

Cons

  • Although a Ph.D. requires several more years of schooling, you will likely make a much lower salary as a professor than you would working in the business field.*
  • Ph.D. programs are often very competitive and hard to get into.***
  • Most Ph.D. programs in the field are only offered full-time, making them difficult for working professionals to gain admittance.***

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **University of Texas at El Paso, ***University of Hawaii at Manoa Shidler College of Business

Courses and Requirements

Ph.D. programs in international business management often include core courses, seminar series, dissertation research courses and research methodology courses. Some specific examples include:

  • Research design and philosophy
  • Econometrics
  • International business theory
  • Global politics and economies
  • Business organizations and culture
  • International business through history
  • Global management strategies

Online Degree Options

Doctoral programs in international business management aren't offered online from accredited universities. Most of them also require you to be present full-time for a period of at least three years, though most programs take four to five years to complete. Your presence will be needed to attend seminar series, meet with faculty advisors and fulfill teaching requirements.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you aspire to teach international business at the postsecondary level, you should find a program that allows you to complete a teaching requirement before graduation. Conducting research and publishing your work in scholarly journals and books can also give you an edge over the competition when seeking a position.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - International Business
      • PhD in Business Admin - International Business
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Financial Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management - Global Leadership (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Trident University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration (Ph.D. BA)
  • Honolulu, HI

    University of Hawaii at Manoa

  • El Paso, TX

    The University of Texas at El Paso

  • Richardson, TX

    The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Laredo, TX

    Texas A & M International University

Featured Schools

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - International Business
  • PhD in Business Admin - International Business
  • PhD in Business Admin - Management

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management - Global Leadership (Executive Format)
  • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)

Are you a US citizen?

Trident University

  • Business Administration (Ph.D. BA)

What is your highest level of education completed?

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at Dallas

Texas A & M International University