Are you interested in a rewarding career as an international business professional? Are you an ambitious learner looking to develop a versatile skill set to suit the needs of today's global markets? If so, an online MBA international business might just be the degree for you. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, projected employment growth for management analysts is 14% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Completing an MBA international business online program can boost your earning potential, equip you with a multicultural perspective on business management, and open doors to exciting international business job opportunities to travel abroad for work.
What are the best international business MBA programs? Here are our top 10:
|1||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|2||Lehigh University||Bethlehem, PA|
|3||American University||Washington, DC|
|4||University of Delaware||Newark, DE|
|5||Webster University||Saint Louis, MO|
|6||Arizona State University||Scottsdale, AZ|
|7||California Lutheran University||Thousand Oaks, CA|
|8||Concordia University Wisconsin||Mequon, WI|
|9||Florida Atlantic University||Boca Raton, FL|
|10||Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
Choosing a Program
WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
A good online master's in international business program can equip you with in-demand professional skills, including culturally sensitive management and negotiation skills and expanded critical thinking skills. The master's level places a heightened emphasis on analytics, preparing you to integrate strategic planning with supply chain management and finance. Students learn how to navigate complex organizations from a global perspective, imparting a solid foundation for business leadership.
DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?
Most quality MBA programs in international business require incoming students to have at least two years of professional work experience in their field before they can enroll. However, previous work experience is not always a prerequisite for admission. Some schools accept GMAT or GRE scores from students with no previous work experience.
CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS?
Online business schools recognize that the majority of their students have work and family obligations, and some programs only admit full-time working professionals. While it typically takes three years or more to complete the MBA if you are studying part-time, your professional experience is as important as your education in preparing you for career advancement. (You're also likely to develop good time management skills, something employers always appreciate.)
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ONLINE?
A major benefit of online MBA programs is their flexibility. The majority of courses in online MBA programs are offered asynchronously. You can access them anytime, with no need to commute to classes. Since most programs offer options for part-time study or accelerated attendance, you can set a pace that fits your needs and goals. Studying with classmates, who may be located all over the globe, can make your studies more interesting, and even more valuable from a cross-cultural perspective.
Best Accredited Online MBA in International Business Programs
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
FIU is a leader in distance education, providing more than 100 career-focused online certificates and degrees, including an online master of international business. This program emphasizes cross-cultural communication skills and global entrepreneurship. Full-time students can take two eight-week courses at a time to graduate in 12 months.
The 30-credit curriculum includes courses like global startup; contextual business intelligence; and global megatrends, geopolitics, and political economy. All students work with real clients during the program's capstone project.
Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and two years of professional work experience. Prospective students must also submit a resume, a statement of purpose, two recommendation letters, an autobiographical admission video, and GMAT or GRE scores.
Florida International University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Bethlehem, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
Lehigh serves about 7,000 students each year, many of whom enroll online. The university offers an online MBA degree in international business. Distance learners can complete the program entirely online or take some courses at Lehigh's campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Required coursework includes statistics for business and inquiry, financial reporting for managers and investors, and managing products and services. As part of the international business concentration, students examine global marketing strategies. Learners can go on optional immersion trips to apply what they learned in real-world situations. The program delivers coursework synchronously.
Lehigh accepts applications year-round for fall, spring, and summer start dates. Prospective students must submit a personal essay, a professional resume, GMAT or GRE scores, and recommendation letters.
Lehigh University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
Based in Washington D.C., AU offers four online programs through its Kogod School of Business, including an online master of science in international relations and business. Through flexible course scheduling, full-time students can complete this 36-credit program within 18 months.
Core coursework includes applied managerial statistics, financial management, and understanding global economics and markets. Learners can gain practical experience through a global immersion trip. The program culminates in an integrative capstone project.
Applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. AU's business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Delaware
|Newark, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
UD offers a fully online master of science in international business program that welcomes students from all academic and professional backgrounds. Thanks to accelerated seven-week classes and no residency requirements, distance learners can finish the program in 18 months.
The 30-credit curriculum includes core classes like leading across boundaries and ethical issues in diverse business environments. Students personalize the curriculum through four advanced electives. Elective options include investment analysis/portfolio management, policy and finance for healthcare delivery, and corporate strategy.
Applicants need a minimum 2.8 GPA and adequate GMAT or GRE scores. Prospective students can apply for test score waivers based on GPA, work experience, and previous math coursework.
UD's international business degree is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
|Saint Louis, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Webster operates its flagship campus in Webster Groves, Missouri, serving approximately 11,400 students each year. The university offers 16 remote business programs, including an online MBA in international business. Throughout a curriculum that totals 42-45 credits, students learn to create strategies that maximize the value of their organizations.
Core courses include market analysis and business planning, information support for decision-making, and quantitative methods. As part of the international business emphasis, students delve into global supply chain management and cross-cultural leadership. The program culminates in a consulting project.
Applicants with a 2.5 undergraduate GPA qualify for full admission. Webster powers distance learning with the Canvas platform.
Webster's online MBA degree in international business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Arizona State University
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
ASU offers over 200 online programs through Canvas, including an online MBA in international business. Through flexible five-week courses, distance learners can work full time and still graduate in under two years.
The 49-credit curriculum includes courses like financial performance reporting and managerial economics. Students also examine comprehensive organizational theory, learning how to lead people, teams, and organizations. Learners can supplement online coursework with international travel experiences.
Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students must submit GMAT or GRE scores, a current resume, two recommendation letters, and responses to short essay prompts.
ASU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
California Lutheran University
|Thousand Oaks, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 76%||
Cal Lutheran offers an online MBA in international business that allows learners to complete all required courses online. However, students may also choose to take some in-person courses at any of the university's four campuses.
The 45-credit curriculum covers topics like information technology management, financial principles and policies, and strategic decision-making. As part of their specialization, students delve into international business law and global marketing strategies. Through accelerated eight-week courses, full-time students can earn their degrees within 12 months.
CLU accepts applications on a rolling basis for fall, winter, spring, and summer enrollment. The university grants assured admission to students with an undergraduate business degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
California Lutheran University is regionally accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Concordia University Wisconsin
|Mequon, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
CUW delivers over 60 online certificates and degrees through the Blackboard platform, including an online MBA in international business. After completing this 36-credit program, graduates are prepared for careers as marketing managers, import/export specialists, and business intelligence analysts.
Core courses include ethics and organizational leadership, management science and analytics, and corporate finance. Students personalize the curriculum through five electives, choosing from options like global production systems and transnational business law. Learners complete elective credits through an immersive study abroad trip.
Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must submit a one-page essay, a resume, and two recommendation letters. CUW does not require standardized test scores for admission.
CUW's online MBA degree in international business is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Florida Atlantic University
|Boca Raton, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
Located in Boca Raton, FAU enrolls about 30,000 students every year. The university's fully online MBA in international business delivers all coursework asynchronously through the Canvas platform. Students enroll in the program as members of a cohort.
The curriculum totals 40-46 credits and includes core courses like advanced analysis of accounting data and management of information systems/technologies. As part of the international business specialization, students learn to navigate mergers and acquisitions in emerging markets.
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and four years of work experience. The university waives GMAT/GRE requirements for prospective students with exceptional academic or professional accomplishments.
FAU's online MBA degree in international business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Located just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU serves approximately 20,000 learners, most of whom are graduate students. The university offers several programs through distance learning, including an online MBA in international business.
The program prepares graduates for careers in nonprofits, startups, and corporations around the world. The program requires 37-46 credits depending on each student's prior experience. Notable courses include business finance, marketing decisions for managers, and analytical modeling for decision-making. All students can complete an optional management internship.
Learners graduate in 18-21 months. The program offers five start dates each year. All applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school.
NSU is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online MBA in International Business Program?
Although core coursework requirements are similar in most online MBA - international business programs, schools vary widely in target audience, focus, quality, and courses offered. An MBA is an investment, so it's important to carefully research each school you're considering to assess its fit with your needs and career goals.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Online MBA - international business programs are typically based on a core curriculum in accounting, finance, organizational leadership, management, and marketing, plus a series of courses pertaining to multinational business. While courses vary by school, here are some examples:
- International economics: Investigates key aspects of international economic growth, including international trade theories and policies, macroeconomic analysis, absolute vs. comparative advantage, foreign currency exchange markets, and open economy monetary policy. This course prepares students for careers in international economic development, and for work in relief agencies, think tanks, and research institutes.
- Global business management: Explores the complex dynamics of conducting business across cultural and national boundaries. Issues for host countries and multinational enterprises in joint ventures are addressed. Topics include global strategic planning, supply chain management, leadership, decision making, and cross-cultural management. This course prepares students for professional roles as management analysts and consultants.
- International marketing: Covers issues involved in conducting marketing operations globally, including market research, logistics, identifying and evaluating overseas market opportunities, adapting strategies to market needs and constraints, marketing information systems, innovation and branding, pricing and distribution, global marketing ethics, and professional communication. This course prepares students for market research analyst roles.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS?
For students who hold undergraduate degrees in business, most online MBA international business programs require 18 months to two years of study, and completion of an average of 30 credits. For students from a non-business background, some schools offer preliminary "boot camps" for completion of MBA prerequisites. An accelerated full-time intensive study option is also available at some schools, permitting motivated and capable students to complete the MBA within one year. Part-time students generally take three years or more to complete the program. Some programs offer dual concentrations that can take up to five years to complete, with 48 to 63 credits.
Some programs are individually paced while others offer a cohort learning format, in which all MBA students begin the program at the same time, progress through coursework together, and graduate as a group. Advantages of the cohort model include a fixed schedule, opportunities for teamwork, and guaranteed enrollment in classes.
CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES AN MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PREPARES FOR:
- Certified Management Consultant: Offered by the Institute of Management Consultants, the CMC is awarded in 50 countries and features global reciprocity. It requires documentation of three years of consulting work experience, oral and written ethics examinations, evaluations from five clients, a panel interview, and a final review. The credential must be renewed every three years.
- Certified Business Manager: Offered by the Association of Professionals in Business Management, the CBM assesses your skills using a business acumen framework at an advanced level, based on practices used worldwide. It requires an examination, and can be completed in 12 to 18 months. An MBA and three years of full-time work experience are required.
Accreditation for Online MBA in International Business Degrees
Accreditation is a crucial seal of approval indicating that programs meet peer standards for rigor and academic quality. Federal financial aid is only available to students enrolled in accredited schools. Regionally accredited schools have been evaluated by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and have met standards for their home state. National accreditation is awarded by CHEA-approved agencies focusing on technical, vocational, or distance education. Schools with national accreditation are often for-profit or have religious affiliations, and requirements for national accreditation are not as standardized as those for regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is the more popular of the two, and more important for MBA students.
For business majors, there are two field-specific accrediting agencies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, providing quality assurance, business education, and professional development, and the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools & Programs, accrediting business programs at regionally accredited schools.
The DOE and the CHEA play an important role in accreditation: assuring students that the organization accrediting their institution or program is reliable. DOE is a government agency promoting student achievement by facilitating equal access and educational excellence. CHEA is an association of degree-granting colleges and universities recognizing institutional accrediting organizations, with a focus on quality assurance. In other words, they recognize the accreditors as worthy to provide the stamp of approval to academic institutions. Only recognized accreditors are listed in the CHEA and DOE databases. A list of all accredited schools is available on the DOE and CHEA websites.
Employment Outlook for MBA in International Business Graduates
Derived from a recent report from the US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, below are occupations in which employees with a master's degree earned a wage premium over employees who hold a bachelor's degree. The average wage premium is highest for sales agents working in securities brokerage and financial services, with MBA degree holders earning a full $80,000 more than those with a bachelor's degree. The wage premium is also substantial for financial managers and managers working in sales and marketing, with MBA degree holders earning an average of approximately $30,000 more than those with bachelor's degrees.
MBA vs. Bachelor's in Business
|Occupation||Number of jobs for bachelor's degree holders||Number of jobs for MBA degree holders||Median annual salary for bachelor's degree holders||Median annual salary for MBA degree holders|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||113,110||32,865||$90,000||$170,000|
|Marketing and Sales Managers||380,429||125,900||$80,000||$110,000|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SALARY
Graduates of online programs with MBAs in international business are often employed in mid-level to upper-level management roles. The table below features data from PayScale regarding overall median annual earnings for general project managers and management occupations in international business development, marketing, operations, and sales.
Median Salaries for MBA Careers in International Business
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary|
|Project Manager, (Unspecified Type / General)||$54,362 - $106,991|
|Business Development Manager||$64,329 - $123,347|
|Marketing Manager||$44,042 - $128,802|
|Operations Manager||$34,000 - $124,800|
|International Sales Manager||$48,585 - $111,761|
MBA IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CAREERS
An MBA in international business is a versatile, interdisciplinary degree. Gaining an understanding of global economic business trends provides valuable preparation for leadership roles, particularly in management, accounting, finance, and marketing. Strong communication skills and an interest in travel are key. Flexibility, cultural sensitivity, and resourcefulness are also important. Graduates of MBA programs often move from mid- to upper-level management, and eventually to top executive positions. Potential employers include international financial institutions, investment firms, banks, multinational corporations, and government agencies.
- Management Analyst: Management analysts examine the structure, profits, and efficiency of organizations. They advise managers on ways to improve organizations' profitability through increasing revenues and decreasing costs. Many management analysts enter the field with a bachelor's degree, and later earn an MBA.
- Financial Analyst: Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses, corporations, and individuals by analyzing financial data and offering advice on investment decisions for international operations. They assess the performance of investments, including stocks, bonds, and commodities.
- Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Agents: These professionals act as liaisons in fiduciary relationships between buyers and sellers in financial markets. They buy and sell securities, monitor performance gains and losses, and advise companies in search of investors.
- Economist: Economists collect and analyze economic data and statistics regarding production and distribution of goods and services. They uncover trends, research and evaluate economic issues, and use economic theory to provide advice to improve efficiency.
- Budget Analyst: Budget analysts allocate financial resources. They develop budgets to estimate financial needs for public and private organizations, prepare budget reports, and monitor institutional spending to improve efficiency.
Average Salary are Growth Rate by Career
|Position||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Agents||$67,310||10%|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Professional organizations for MBAs can enhance knowledge and skills to help you succeed in international business. They are especially valuable for those who are just beginning their careers, as they can help students find mentors and scholarships. Organizations of this type encourage professional development, share best practices, and offer members-only educational workshops and presentations. They also make annual conferences and networking opportunities available, including job fairs where you can make contact and stay up to date with people who hire MBA graduates.
Association of MBAs: The AMBA connects MBA students, graduates, business schools, and employers worldwide. Members receive access to networking opportunities, a business school professionals conference, and career services including an advice database, employers forum, and an MBA-specific jobs portal.
National Association of Women MBAs: The NAWMBA offers networking events, social activities, social service opportunities, workshops, and educational presentations. Resources are also available for career information, job-hunting guidance, and scholarships.
American Management Association: The AMA is a professional development organization offering business management training seminars, educational opportunities through webinars and podcasts, a leadership center, and access to books, whitepapers, and articles.
Financing Your Online MBA in International Business Program
The FAFSA form offered by the U.S. Department of Education is the starting point to qualify for all federal financial assistance for your MBA. You may also qualify for fellowships, work-study opportunities, grants, or scholarships. Some employers even offer tuition assistance for MBA programs. Scholarships are both need and merit based, and are often found through business associations, nonprofits, community groups, or charitable organizations. Begin your search at the U.S. Department of Labor database.
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