Schools of International Business for Careers in the District of Columbia

With the majority of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, international trade and commerce has come to contribute significantly to Washington D.C.’s economy, creating high-paying jobs for professionals with a global perspective on business.

Because of this, the Washington D.C. Chamber of Commerce international program offers advisory services and export programs to all companies interested in conducting business in foreign markets. Specific services include:

  • Target market information related to a business’s product or service
  • Information on sources of credit and financing for exporting
  • Educational programs focused on exporting
  • Assistance with international marketing and sales
  • Networking opportunities for businesses to meet potential foreign partners

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* The online master's programs from American University's School of International Service allow professionals to build international and business expertise in 12–24 months. GRE/GMAT scores not required.

Washington D.C. also serves as the headquarters for a number of trade groups dedicated to promoting trade relations with foreign nations, including the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones and the National Council on International Trade Development.

Washington D.C.’s multi-domestic companies, along with multinationals with operations in the District, look to retain business professionals capable of developing and implementing business strategies that allow them access to foreign suppliers and consumers alike.

Earning the Right Degree for an International Business Career in Washington D.C.

Washington DC is home to a number of schools of international business that offer campus-based, online and study abroad programs designed to prepare students for the unique opportunities and challenges of global business.

The interdisciplinary degree offers courses focused on management, human resources, marketing, accounting, foreign language, and more, which combine to create well-rounded business leaders within the global economy.

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business

International business majors at the undergraduate level may consider any of the following degree options:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
  • Bachelor of International Business (BIB)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in International Relations (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Science in International Business (BS)

Each international business major will take core business courses, including, but not limited to:

  • Global Management
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Marketing and Advertising

Afterward, students can specialize in a field of business – such as finance, accounting, management, human resources, and more – or they may specialize in a field of international studies – such as French language and culture, Latin American cultural business environment, or Asian business politics.

Depending on an international business major’s specialization, their concentration courses may include titles such as:

  • Latin America business
  • Asian Business
  • Geopolitics of World Business
  • International e-Business
  • Middle Eastern Business
  • Cultural Differences in International Business

Careers that are likely to require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in international business include, but are not limited to:

  • Resource Mobilization Associate
  • International Office Administrator
  • International Business Development Specialist
  • Bilingual Marketing Associate
  • Communications and Global Programs Coordinator
  • International Marketing Specialist
  • Import/Export Specialist

A survey of international business jobs advertised in the DC area in 2015 helps shed light on the type of skills and proficiencies employers are looking for (shown as an example and does not constitute a job offer):

  • International Affairs Intermediate Analyst for JRC Integrated Systems in Washington D.C. professionals applying to this position should hold a BA or BS in business administration, international affairs, foreign military sales, acquisition, or financial support services. Preference will go to those with a specialization in international military sales and those who have 10+ years of experience.

This professional will apply technical and business knowledge and judgment to international affairs throughout the company.

Advancing to a Master’s Degree in International Business

D.C.-based international businesses look to retain executive-level business leaders with advanced degrees, such as:

  • Master of International Business (MIB)
  • Master of International Management (MIM)
  • Master of Science in International Management (MSI)
  • Master of Arts in International Trade and Investment Policy (MA)
  • Master of Business Administration in Global Management (MBA)
  • Master of Business Administration in International Business (MBA)
  • Online Master of Business Administration in International Business (MBA)
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs/Master of Business Administration (MA/MBA)
  • Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in International Business (MBA/MSIB)

These degrees prepare professionals to optimize cross-border and cross-business collaboration, understand the development of emerging market strategies, and master cross-cultural relationship building.

To enroll in a master’s program in international business, students will meet minimum admission criteria. Although each university is different, general admission criteria include having:

  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably in business)
  • Work experience
  • Good academic standing
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Writing samples

Within these programs, students will get the opportunity to dive into business studies and international studies.

For instance, for the business portion of the degree, students can concentrate on any field of business, including, but not limited to:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Tourism

Further, for the international studies portion of the degree, students can choose to specialize in concentrations such as:

  • Asian Studies
  • Global Communication
  • International Development
  • International Trade
  • Middle East Studies

With a unique, specialized degree in international business, professionals will be prepared to move into advanced roles in their specific field, enhancing Washington D.C.’s position as a global leader in business.

Careers that are likely to require applicants to hold a master’s degree in international business include, but are not limited to:

  • International Business Development Manager
  • International Business Analyst
  • Director of Corporate Partnerships
  • Manager of International Marketing
  • Global Project Manager
  • Chief Global Business Development Strategist

A survey of international business jobs advertised in the DC area in 2015 helps shed light on the type of skills and proficiencies employers are looking for (shown as an example and does not constitute a job offer):

  • Operations Analyst for The World Bank in Washington D.C. – applicants should hold a master’s degree in international law, economics, finance, accounting, business administration, information sciences, or another related field. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working with an international development agency.

This professional will be responsible for conducting risk reviews, contributing to all aspects of risk management work, developing risk management policies and procedures, and more.

Washington D.C.-based Organizations Dedicated to Fostering International Trade and Commerce

Washington D.C.’s leading international business agencies, organizations, and businesses include, but are not limited to:

  • C. China Center – this center, established in Shanghai by the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, is a public-private partnership that allows D.C. companies to gain a foothold in the Chinese market.

The center’s key objectives are attracting Chinese investment in D.C., facilitating export trade, providing exporting education, conducting special projects such as trade shows, and creating destination marketing to enhance both trade and tourism.

  • C. Department of Small and Local Business Development – this Department’s international trade program – export DC – is a team of international experts that work closely with businesses looking to export.

They support businesses by offering trade mission and trade project support, export readiness training, trade and export promotion grants, export finance support, and export/import loan partnerships.

  • Maryland/D.C. District Export Council – this council consists of international business leaders from both Maryland and Washington D.C., who come together to support international trade in this area through education, mentoring, and seminars/conferences on issues such as shipping logistics, customs clearance, customs policies, country-specific regulatory environments, and more.
  • Virginia/Washington D.C. District Export Council – this volunteer organization includes top international business leaders from both Virginia and Washington D.C., who offer counseling, education, mentoring, and seminars that help to identify key issues affecting Washington D.C.’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

In 2015, a trade mission the Canary Islands worked to support and strengthen an international relationship that focuses on Washington exports in the energy, environmental technologies, industrial equipment, and infrastructure supply sectors.

  • Global Offset and Countertrade Association (GOCA) – this organization is based in Washington D.C. and works to promote trade and commerce between global companies and foreign customers. To do this, the association hosts forums and conferences for companies involved in offset and countertrade.
  • National Association of Foreign Trade Zones – based in Washington D.C., this organization supports Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) which has allowed U.S. businesses in 2013 to conduct more than $835 billion in business, export more than $79 billion in goods, and provide more than 390,000 jobs.
  • National Council on International Trade Development – this nonprofit organization based in D.C. works to provide direct expertise to local businesses on a wide range of international business issues, supporting and facilitating exports and global trade.

The top organizations in Washington D.C. that are dedicated to promoting and facilitating international trade, exports, and investment include:

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