International business professionals in Kansas such as supply chain managers, international marketing specialists, and foreign regulation specialists are becoming increasingly in demand thanks to the state’s overall position in the global business market. CNBC ranks Kansas as the 15th best state for businesses in the U.S., noting a strong domestic workforce and business-friendly regulations.
Accordingly, a number of major international business players make their home in the state. Among these companies:
- Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., Market Cap: $6 billion
- Westar Energy, Inc., Market Cap: $4.8 billion
- Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP, Market Cap: $3 billion
- Compass Minerals International, Inc., Market Cap: $2.83 billion
- Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. Market Cap: $469.19 million
The Kansas Department of Commerce is dedicated to helping businesses within the state export their goods and services to worldwide markets. Partnering with several outside state departments including the Kansas Small Business Development Center and World Trade Council of Wichita, the Department of Commerce offers educational seminars, foreign marketing assistance, and foreign export data to Kansas businesses who contribute to the global economy. The state’s dedication to foreign economic partnerships makes Kansas a promising location for students and professionals looking to work in international business.
Collegiate Paths to Careers in International Business
Collegiate preparation for international business consists of fundamental business courses and more advanced courses that teach students the application of business in an international context. While most colleges and universities offer these programs on campus, an increasingly number of schools are offering online courses, allowing working professionals to obtain their degree without making major schedule sacrifices.
Graduates of international business bachelor’s degree programs have the option to pursue a career in the field or to apply to master’s degree programs. Examples of bachelor’s degrees in the field include, but are not limited to:
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with an International Business Focus
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Economics
- Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in International Business
Coursework in these programs covers some of the most important aspects of today’s international business world including foreign business regulations, managing employees in multiple countries, and communication between different business cultures. Specific examples of these courses include:
- International economics and finance
- Cross-Cultural Management
- Cultural & Political Environment of International Business
- Business Processes and Supply Chain Management
- International marketing management
- Global Business Strategy
- Concepts of Community
- Logistics in the Global Economy
- Applications of Statistics in Business
Master’s degree programs offer coursework that allows students to hone in on their desired careers in international business. Graduates of these programs are some of today’s highest paid international business professionals, working for Kansas’ largest companies. In fact, Kansas marketing managers earned a mean annual wage of $127,060 in FY 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS). Given the global economy’s increasing reliance on international collaboration, some of these managers specialize in promoting products in overseas markets.
Just some of the master’s degrees offered by today’s colleges and universities:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business
- Master of Science (MS) in International Business
- Master of Science in International Management (MIM)
- Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations and Diplomacy
Different degree types allow students to hone in on their desired careers. Additionally, many colleges offer different areas of specialization that can put students on the fast track to various jobs in the international business sphere. Just a few of the specialization types offered by today’s programs:
- International Information and Communication
- Pacific Asia
- International Monetary Theory and Policy
- International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
- International Trade and Commercial Policies
- Public International Law
- International Political Economy
Admission to master’s degree programs is selective, with many schools requiring strong educational and professional credentials. Examples of admission requirements may include:
- An undergraduate degree that includes coursework in areas such as statistics, finance, or microeconomics
- Past experience in the business field, often up to four years.
- Strong scores on the GRE and GMAT exams
- A 3.0 GPA or higher during undergraduate studies
- Prior coursework in foreign languages
Kansas’ Global Economic Influence
Kansas’ commitment to international business has lead a number of professionals such as financial controllers, international lawyers, and product managers to work in the state. Just some of the companies and professionals who are putting Kansas business on the global map:
- Kansas Aviation of Independence, an airline mechanic business, installed parts on over 12,000 aircrafts in 2014, many of which were foreign vehicles. As a result of the company’s strong service exports, the Kansas Department of Commerce named Kansas Aviation 2014’s Exporter of the Year. A director of sales, an operations manager, and a director of procurement contribute to the company’s strong growth.
- Export coordinators and international marketing managers have helped many of Kansas’ agricultural companies increase their exports to China from $1.7 million in 2009 to $836 million in 2013. By identifying and collaborating with various Chinese markets, these professionals allow Kansas companies to create a steady trade income. Interpreters are also needed for this collaboration, as they bridge the communication gaps between Kansas companies and top Chinese executives.
- Compass Minerals, a Kansas-based manufacturer of various minerals such as salt and chloride, is a major supplier of road salt to Canada and the United Kingdom. The company employs a chief financial officer and multinational managers to ensure a strong global presence.
Kansas International Business Resources
The international business efforts of Kansas’ governmental departments are compounded by the initiatives of various private and nonprofit organizations in the state who focus on keeping Kansas companies at the front of the global business sphere. Examples of these departments and organizations include, but are not limited to:
- Kansas Department of Commerce
- World Trade Council of Wichita
- Kansas Agriculture – Kansas Department of Agriculture