Schools of International Business for Careers in Michigan

Michigan’s international economic leadership is detailed in the U.S. Department of State Jobs and Diplomacy Research Report for 2013:

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  • International trade supports 1.1 million jobs in Michigan
  • Michigan-grown products are exported to over 200 foreign countries
  • In 2011, Michigan exported $11.1 million in services
  • In 2012, Michigan exported $57.7 billion in goods
  • Michigan attracted a $21 million investment from Canada’s AGS Automotive, which promoted over 100 new Michigan jobs
  • The State of Michigan has created business partnerships with Brazil, Jamaica, and Canada as part of the Small Business Network of the Americas
  • Business partnerships between Michigan, Mexico, and Peru formed two semi-finalist companies in the La Idea Business Competition – the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory and SIKA Mexican Arts

Along with this, the Detroit Chamber of Commerce launched a “translinked” initiative, which takes advantage of Detroit’s internationally accessible location to promote the growth of international transportation, distribution, and trade.

By offering educational, regional, and data-driven resources, the translinked initiative works to create a cluster of industrial excellence, fostering heightened levels of international trade, investments, imports, and exports designed to stimulate the state’s economy and maintain Michigan’s position as a global economic leader.

The Right Degree for an International Business Career in Michigan

A degree in international business prepares students to excel in the field through an in-depth education in two vital areas—the hard-and-fast business concepts, such as finance and accounting, and the international humanities concepts surrounding international business, such as business environments, business law, cultural exchange differences, and more.

Students may pursue a program through a traditional, on-campus school of international business, or they may enroll in online programs.

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business

Bachelor’s degrees available in Michigan that include an international business major include:

  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in International Business
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in Business: International Relations
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in International Business Management
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in International Business Administration

While a Bachelor of Arts degree will give students a more well-rounded humanities education, including foreign language training, a bachelor of science degree is more likely to focus on hard-and-fast business, statistical, and mathematical concepts.

International business majors will take four types of courses:

  • Pre-core courses
  • Business core courses
  • Major courses
  • Elective courses

Each type of requirement includes courses such as:

Pre-core courses

  • Principles of macroeconomics
  • Introduction to microcomputer applications for business
  • Calculus for business

Business core courses

  • Financial management
  • Legal environment of business
  • Introduction to marketing

Major courses

  • International finance management
  • International management
  • International business

Elective courses

  • International business negotiations
  • International human resources
  • International banking

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

  • Import/Export Assistant
  • International Business Lawyer
  • International Marketing Specialist
  • Compliance Test Specialist
  • International Accounting Specialist
  • International Competition Analyst
  • Export Compliance Administrator

An example taken from a job listing posted June 2015 illustrates the kind of diverse careers available to those with a bachelor’s degree in international business (job listing is shown as an example and does not constitute a job offer):

  • International eCommerce Coordinator with Shinola in DetroitApplicants to this position should hold a BA/BS degree with international business, have a strong understanding of EU eCommerce, and preferably be multilingual.

This professional will focus on cross-functional planning for international web properties across 14 countries, 6 languages, and 3 currencies.

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Advancing to a Master’s Degree in International Business

Although many international business professionals can begin their career with a bachelor’s degree, leadership and executive positions are typically reserved for those with advanced education—such as a Master of International Business (MIB), Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business, Master of International Management (MIM) and more.

In order to enroll in a graduate school of international business, applicants will need to meet admissions criteria, which often includes:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (preferably in business, international relations, or another related field)
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have obtained professional experience
  • Submit GRE or GMAT scores

Once eligible, students will get to enroll in their specialized, in-depth program.

For example, if a student wants to enroll in a Master of International Management degree program, they will generally be able to choose from among a number of management specializations, such as:

  • International Emergency Management
  • International Enterprise Management
  • International Financial Management
  • International Marketing Management

Further, in a Master of International Business degree program, students will get to choose from among different specializations, including:

  • International Entrepreneurship
  • International Human Resource Management
  • Special Topics in International Business

With a graduate education, professionals will be eligible to apply for advanced jobs with such Michigan-based multinationals as:

  • NSF International
  • Mondelez International
  • Service Corporation International
  • Magna Electronics
  • International Food Protection Training Institute

Job titles that may require applicants to hold a master’s degree in international business include:

  • HR Strategic Business Partner
  • International Employment Specialist
  • Global Operations Manager
  • International Tax Leader
  • International Business Legal Advisor
  • Director of Trade Operations

An example taken from a job listing posted June 2015 illustrates the kind of diverse careers available to those with a background in international business (job listing is shown as an example and does not constitute a job offer):

  • International Defense Market Analyst for General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling HeightsApplicants to this position should hold a master’s degree (preferably an MBA in international marketing or strategy) and have 4-7 years of professional experience.

This professional will be responsible for developing long-term strategic growth plans, supporting all marketing assessments, and forecasting global market data.

Michigan’s Contribution to International Trade and Commerce

Some of Michigan’s top private, nonprofit, and government organizations promote programs dedicated to stimulating international business:

  • Global Talent Retention Initiative of Michigan (GTRI) – This organization works to bring diversification to Michigan’s workforce by retain the world’s top international talent. Through collaborating with the Michigan Governor’s office, Global Detroit, Michigan Universities, and more, this organization brings together the best minds in the state to foster a more rich economy.

To do this, the organization provides immigration information both to businesses and immigrants, informs businesses on critical cross-cultural issues, and helps immigrants find jobs locally in the state.

  • Global Detroit – This organization works to foster engagement among immigrant communities in Detroit and the local workforce in order to welcome, hire, retain, and empower immigrant workers, who are proven to bring more life to already-bustling economies.

Global Detroit launched partner initiatives to increase international involvement in Michigan, including Welcome Mat Detroit, ProsperUS Detroit, Detroit Cultural Ambassadors Program, Welcoming Michigan / Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, GTRI, and more.

  • West Michigan World Trade Association – Based in Grand Rapids, this nonprofit works to foster international business relations throughout Michigan in order to vitalize the economy and keep the state on the cutting-edge of the global marketplace.

To do so, the organization offers networking initiatives, industry-specific education, and mentorship to importers/exporters.

  • World Trade Center Detroit / Windsor – This nonprofit organization is part of a network comprised of over 300 centers in over 90 countries that are dedicated to promoting international trade, commerce, and communications.

To promote global trade, this organization hosts international business forums, basics of importing/exporting programs, women’s roundtables, and provides language services to local and foreign businesses.

  • American Arab Chamber of Commerce – Located in Dearborn, this organization works directly with Middle Eastern countries in order to foster a closer relationship between the United States and the Middle East.

By embarking on joint ventures, hosting academic exchanges, and arranging partnership agreements, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce works to transform international business relations.

  • Colleagues International – Based in Kalamazoo, this organization works to promote international business through linking local leaders and businesses with foreign stakeholders.

To do this, the organization hosts the international visitor leadership program to encourage and foster citizen diplomacy, creates internships, and works with the Council of International Programs USA.

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Michigan-Based Organizations Devoted to International Business

Some of the organizations in Michigan dedicated to promoting international trade and commerce include:

State Government Affiliated


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