The U.S. Department of State notes that in 2012 alone, Montana brought in $2.4 billion in revenue from goods and services exported to foreign markets around the world. Along with this, international trade supports more than 100,000 jobs in Montana, including high paying positions for the international business professionals that make it all happen.
The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Trade and International Relations works to promote international trade and commerce. To do this, the Office helps Montana’s small and medium-sized businesses gain access to foreign markets through initiatives that include:
- Made in Montana Marketing Initiative – A marketing initiative to showcase the unique nature of goods and services created in Montana
- Export Assistance and Training – Includes tradeshow assistance and an international marketing assistance program
Along with this, the Office has set up a partnership to establish a Montana trade office in Japan, facilitating easier and more frequent trade by providing Montana-based businesses with valuable information, such as trade leads, market research, trade show representation, and support services.
Finally, this Office plays a vital role in strengthening Montana’s sister state relationships, which are strong partnerships that facilitate international understanding, exchange, trade, and more.
Choosing the Right Degree to Launch an International Business Career in Montana
As Montana’s economy increasingly relies on international trade and commerce, schools of international business continue to evolve their bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to prepare students for the unique opportunities and challenges they will face in the global business arena of the 21st century.
Beginning a Career by Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business
Schools of international business offer a variety of degrees, including:
- Bachelor of Arts or Science in International Business
- Bachelor of Arts or Science in Foreign Service – Global Business
- Bachelor of Arts or Science in Business Administration in International Relations
- Bachelor of Arts or Science in International Relations in Business
- Bachelor of Arts or Science in International Political Economy & Business
- Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in International Business
In each of these international business programs, students will generally take five different types of courses, including:
- Liberal arts core courses
- Business core courses
- Specialized major courses
- Elective courses
- International seminar, study abroad, or internship
Core business courses include courses such as:
- Management Science
Major courses include courses such as:
- International Political Economy
- International Business Regional Studies
- International Marketing
With a bachelor’s degree in international business, students are trained to enter careers such as:
- Export Compliance Specialist
- Consumer Marketing Specialist
- Global Sales Representative
- Global Freight Coordinator
- International Accounting Specialist
- International Accounts Analyst
An example international business career in Montana will illustrate the type of qualifications that top companies in the state are looking for (listing here does not constitute a job offer):
- Business Unit Controller for Thomson Reuters in Amsterdam, MT – Applicants to positions such as these should hold a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting, and must have experience working on an international, multi-cultural team.
In this large, international company, this professional will coordinate ledger entries, support intercompany sublicensing, support intercompany reconciliation, and complete special projects.
Advancing a Career with a Master’s Degree in International Business
Although many professionals begin their career with a bachelor’s degree in international business, Montana’s top employers will look to hire and retain applicants who have the in-depth understanding that comes from obtaining master’s degrees in international business.
Before professionals may enroll in a graduate school of international business, they must first meet graduate school admissions criteria, such as:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree
- Earn a 3.0 GPA
- Earn high scores on the GRE or GMAT
Once eligible, students will choose from a wide variety of degree options. Because the international business degree is a blend between a business degree and an international studies degree, many schools of international business offer dual degrees, such as:
- Master of Business Administration & Master of Arts in International Relations (MBA/MA)
- Master of International Business (MIB) & Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)
Aside from dual degrees, students may choose a single graduate degree that merges the two areas of study. Single graduate degrees will include titles such as:
- Master of International Management (MIM)
- Master of International Business (MIB)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Relations
- Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) in Global Business and Finance
Each degree will have a slightly different emphasis, shown through the type of courses that constitute the program. Different programs will include courses such as:
Master of International Business (MIB)
- Managing Global Technology
- International Management
- International Financial Strategy
Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)
- Approaches to International Issues
- International Law
- Contemporary Dynamics to International Relations
Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) in Global Business and Finance
- International Trade
- Globalization of Intersocietal Relations
- International Corporate Risk
Master of International Management (MIM) in Financial Management
- Intercultural Communication and Leadership
- Managing Country Risk
- Multinational Financial Management
Depending on which area of emphasis students receive, a master’s degree in international business trains them to enter international business careers in Montana such as:
- International Business Consultant
- International Business Lawyer
- International Financial Manager
- Capital Investment Analyst
- International Financial Consultant
- Director of International Product Management
- International Market Research Analyst
- Direct Marketing Manager
- Head of Global Marketing
- Internet Marketing Manager
- Director of Global Sales
An example advanced international business job in Montana will illustrate the type of qualifications that top international business companies in the state are looking for (listing here does not constitute a job offer):
- Tax Manager for Washington Corporations in Missoula, MT – applicants to positions such as this should hold a master’s degree in business, finance, or accounting (or a related field) with a concentration or 3-5 years of experience in international corporate taxes.
This professional will be responsible for managing the compliance process for numerous partnerships throughout the US and Canada.
Montana-Based Organizations that Promote International Trade and Commerce
Some of Montana’s top government agencies and nonprofit organizations that support the state’s international trade include:
- Montana Manufacturing Association – this statewide association supports Montana manufacturing businesses through advocating for legislation that benefits manufacturing and through supporting and promoting international manufacturing trade.
To do this, the Montana Manufacturing Association offers members exclusive membership with the Montana Chamber of Commerce, giving them access to benefits such as free HR resources, workers compensation programs, and state research.
- Montana District Export Council – this council collaborates with governmental agencies, nonprofits, and private business to find members that have in-depth understanding of international business. These experts band together to offer Montana businesses education and training in international business, making Montana an overall stronger contender in the global market.
Trade events, an export resource database, educational seminars, and more all work together to increase international business participation among Montana businesses.
- Montana World Trade Center (MWTC) – this Center works to foreign dignitaries and the Montana International Trade Office to establish international partnerships and offer Montana businesses all the tools necessary to engage in international trade.
Services offered through MWTC include trade education and information, export training, long-term strategic guidance, prescriptive export strategies, and more.
- Montana Chamber of Commerce—the Montana Chamber of Commerce is the leading state-sponsored agency dedicated to international trade. The “Taking Montana to the World” slogan is lived out through multiple international trade programs, such as international trade and business development trips.
For these trips, the Department has hosted trips to China, Israel, Brazil, Cuba, and more.
Montana’s Top International Business Organizations
Montana leaders in international trade include, but are not limited to:
- Montana Manufacturing Association
- Montana Office of Trade and International Relations
- Montana Economic Development Advisory Council
- Montana Department of Commerce