Missouri plays a vital role in today’s global economy through its participation in international business initiatives, which give the state a competitive edge in the global market and increase its visibility worldwide.
For example, the U.S. Department of State notes:
- Missouri’s international trade supports over 770,000 jobs throughout the state
- Almost 200 foreign countries buy Missouri goods and services
- In 2011, Missouri received $7.7 billion for service exports
- In 2012, Missouri received $14.9 billion for goods exports
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These numbers make it clear that international trade between Missouri and foreign stakeholders is a vital component of bolstering the Missouri economy and reaffirming the state’s important role internationally.
Because of this, the Missouri Department of Economic Development created an Office of International Trade and Investment, which launched an initiative called the Missouri State Trade & Export Promotion program, or MO STEP=UP.
This wildly successful initiative supports Missouri’s small and medium-sized businesses through export training, trade events, and export assistance, which is projected to help over 300 small businesses in Missouri create export initiatives.
Thus, international business in Missouri is rapidly growing, and government agencies, private business, and nonprofit organizations are looking for top-notch international business professionals who are experts in creating and strengthening international trade and business initiatives.
Choosing the Right Degree to Launch an International Business Career in Missouri
For those who want to be involved in Missouri’s quickly growing field of international business—whether with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or private businesses—a degree in international business is a great place to start.
Schools of international business offer both on-campus programs in Missouri or online programs, allowing student to complete their degree from home.
Beginning a Career by Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business
International business majors get to choose from a variety of degrees, including, but not limited to:
- Bachelor of Arts in International Business
- Bachelor of Science in Business: International Relations
- Bachelor of Arts in International Relations: Business
- Bachelor of Business Administration: International Business
While a bachelor of arts will focus on developing foreign language skills and fluency, a bachelor of science will focus on developing business skills such as accounting or finance.
International business majors will take both business and international relations courses, such as:
- Quantitative Methods in Business
International Relations Courses
- International Business Negotiation
- International Management
- International Banking
- Global Logistics
International business careers in Missouri that may require a bachelor’s degree in international business include, but are not limited to:
- Export/Import Coordinator
- Export/Import Specialist
- Compliance Specialist
- International Sales Representative
- Freight Coordinator
- Direct Marketing Specialist
- International Logistics Specialist
- International Accounting Specialist
- International Accounts Analyst
An example of an international business career in Missouri will illustrate the type of qualifications that top international business companies in the state are looking for in job candidates (listing there is an example taken from an international business job survey completed in July 2015 and does not constitute a job offer):
- International Marketing Manager for XIKAR, Inc. in Kansas City – Applicants to this position should hold a bachelor’s degree in international business: marketing. Preference will be given to applicants with international experience and those who are fluent in a foreign language, such as Mandarin, German, French, and/or Spanish.
Professionals in this role will be responsible for working with the CEO, European Sales Manager, and US Marketing Department to coordinate all aspects of international business marketing activities. Successful professionals may grow into the role of International Business Unit Manager.
Advancing a Career with a Master’s Degree in International Business
Professionals who want to advance their career through earning an advanced degree in international business can choose from many single and dual degrees, including, but not limited to:
- Master of International Management (MIM)
- Master of International Business (MIB)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Relations
- Master of Arts in International Relations (MA) & Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of International Business (MIB) & Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)
To enroll in these graduate programs, students must meet minimum admissions criteria, such as:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree (preferably in business or a related field)
- Maintain good academic standing
- Submit official GRE or GMAT scores
These degrees will consist of international business courses such as:
- Global Financial Strategy
- International Management
- International Marketing
- International Business Policy
- International Accounting
- International Law
- International Business Environment
With a master’s degree in international business, professionals will be trained to enter international business careers in Missouri such as:
- International Business Lawyer
- Director of International Product Management
- Head of Global Marketing
- Director of Global Sales
An example of an advanced international business career in Missouri will illustrate the type of qualifications that top international business companies in the state are looking for in job candidates (listing there is an example taken from an international business job survey completed in July 2015 and does not constitute a job offer):
- Business Development Manager for PSI in Kansas City – applicants to positions such as these should hold, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or international business: marketing, and should have 10+ years of international marketing experience. Preference will be given to applicants with master’s degrees.
This professional will be responsible for assisting in building international business with existing or new distributors, analyzing product capabilities, and establishing noncompetitive packaging alternatives.
Missouri-Based Organizations Dedicated to Promote International Trade
Some of Missouri’s largest nonprofit and government contributors to the state’s international trade include:
- International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City – this not-for-profit works to enhance Missouri’s participating in international trade through developing and conducting trade education programs, through giving international trade support, and through facilitating networking through special events.
- Kansas City Chamber of Commerce – this Chamber has launched a GLOBE initiative, or a Global Leadership Objectives for Business Executives initiative. GLOBE offers seminars and networking that will help reduce the risk of culture shock and allow businesses to be global leaders.
Sessions include titles such as, “Selling Yourself in the Global Setting,” “Leadership Styles for Global Strategy,” “Solving Problems and Making Decisions Across Cultures,” and more.
- Greater Ozarks International Trade Association (GOITA) –– based in Springfield, Missouri, this nonprofit organization works to support individuals and businesses who are developing international trade initiatives and programs. To do this, GOITA offers international business networking, international business speakers, and seminars on important business issues.
For example, two events hosted in 2015 were Governor Jay Nixon’s seminar on trade mission with France and Ireland, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Paris Air show.
- World Trade Center: Saint Louis—This nonprofit works to support all Missouri businesses in their efforts to capitalize on the growing arena of globalization. Through offering international business tools, education, and research, this organization can effectively help Missouri businesses thrive globally.
The Center’s international education is one of the best international business education programs in the region, offering access to trade education, market intelligence reports, networking, customized research, and referrals.
- World Trade Center: Kansas City – this world trade center has connected Kansas City businesses with over 330 cities in over 100 countries through its global cities initiative. This vast network provides inland Missouri with an unprecedented number of business partner possibilities.
- Missouri Department of Agriculture International Trade – the international marketing program for the Missouri Department of Agriculture allows Missouri’s food producers to connect internationally and export all types of food—including purebred livestock—to international businesses.
Through international trade assistance, this department plays a vital role in revitalizing the Missouri economy and brining in millions of dollars to the state.
Missouri’s Top International Business Organizations
Missouri’s leading supporters of international trade include, but are not limited to:
- Greater Ozarks International Trade Association
- International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City
- World Trade Center: Saint Louis
- World Trade Center: Kansas City
- Missouri Department of Economic Development
- Missouri International Trade and Investment Office
- Missouri Department of Agriculture: International Trade
- Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
- MO STEP=UP